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So as an owner of a MK1 Leaf, I made the leap of faith on the opinion that the price of replacement batteries would fall, the physical size of batteries would shrink and so the car could be given a new lease of life when it's range becomes impractical.
With the rate of development in the EV sector I can see the resale values on shorter range cars falling off a cliff edge.
I guess the manufacturers aren't going to be keen on extending the life of old vehicles as it eats into their sales, but the aftermarket space could well fill the void.
What do people think is likely to happen over the next 10 years to the early EV models like the Leaf MK1?
 

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The tin bits will start to cause MOT fails but the corpse will still have value in its depleted battery. I see little value in replacing the battery pack in a failing shell even though there is a growing cottage industry in that work. But if the car itself is sound perhaps an upgrade to a 30 kWh pack has some merit. I suspect that there will be more scrapping and salvaging for home battery storage going on though.
 

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They’ll slowly become uneconomic to repair and get scrapped, just like other cars.

Hybrids have been on sale since 1997 and there’s no burgeoning industry replacing their battery packs and adding grid chargers. It’s technically possible to do (and has been done many times in sheds and workshops around the world) but there’s not enough demand to create an industry, so prices will remain high and reliability of such endeavours low (no offence to anyone doing such things, but they must be seen as what they are, tinkering in a workshop not OEM automotive development designed to last 15 years on the road).

yes, you can today pay an awful lot of money to swap the aged Leaf pack for a slightly less old OEM leaf pack. That’s your best bet but only buys a handful of years. You can buy an extender that fills your boot space and also will get you a handful more years (maybe 10?) but long term reliability is unknown (and as a prospective buyer I would t expect it to be perfect). In the future there may be leaf battery shells with different cells inside, but I don’t think I’d go down that route myself. Too many scenarios where the battery won’t do what the car expects from the original battery. Maybe that’s an error light, maybe it’s an unexptedc shutdown, or maybe it’s a fire. A fire while you’re driving, pretty scary, a fire while you’re charging and asleep in your bed, well, that could be deadly.

so, in the main, they’ll get scrapped with original batteries when the charger, or heater, or BCM die.
 

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They will disappear owing to lack of support and the difficulty, costs and legislation involved in producing replacement batteries.

Consider ICE vehicles when the engine fails. If the vehicle is of high enough value people will replace it, but when they are 10 years old there are normally sufficient other issues and low values to alternative vehicles that cause it to be financially unviable to replace the engine.

The value of even the depleted battery pack means that scrapping a car for a small issue is financially the best option.
 

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30KW Tekna (2017)
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It depends on how degradation continues, if they keep some usable range then there will be a market for your car in certain use cases but I think you are right prices will fall.

EV manufacturers are still selling used cars based on mileage and condition of a car though so part exchange may be better value even on a depleted battery if it’s in good Nick.
 

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A working one will still be great for the school run and shopping and hopefully reduced or free parking/congestion/pollution charging.
 

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There will be point as others have said whereby the battery value will dictate the price of the leaf, even in depleted state a 24kwh battery offers a massive amount of storage compared to an average home battery or even the tesla powerwall that costs a hell of a lot more.

Then there's the ev conversion/donor market where someone specifically buys old leafs and uses them to convert ice vehicles to electric, this is where the future of the leaf is potentially, even the fact there is no battery management is a massive plus as there's less to go wrong and less safety loops to jump through.
 

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I can see them being popular second cars in London, congestion charge exempt (for now anyway) and 0 VED. When the prices are low even a worn out battery that can do 40-50miles is plenty for scooting around London.
 

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I'd agree that costs to keep an old Leaf on the road don't really stack up given that there are cheaper alternative - but this is predicated on a financial model that doesn't really address the true cost of scrapping cars. I think that replacing the battery in an older Leaf is viable, and will become cheaper as more of the 40/62kw variants appear on the market. For sure, battery replacement is a home-brew solution and not a formal dealer process. But, i bet there's a small (perhaps growing) number of people that will prefer to keep an old leaf on the road rather than get a new one. EVs should manage high mileages, and we'd be better off making less new cars and keeping 'old' ones on the road. Look at the USA - there's plenty of old cars still on the road. OK, i daresay many of you are rolling your eyes at 'green' arguments (when these cars are a bit green, but not entirely) - but i think 'we' will need to evolve to a new view of cars as being a bit longer lived than currently - and the Leaf is one of those that might be an evolutionary step in the right direction.

Now, i'll just nip off to handwash the yoghurt stains out of my yak-wool eco-jumper, and chop some self-grown logs to heat my yurt... ;-)
 

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Just wait until there is the first serious incident concerning a "home-brew" battery replacement and the Manufacturers and Insurance companies all walk away leaving the owner and installers in a serious predicament. I appreciate that there are a number of owners that have informed their Insurance providers about the modification but even if they are supported I can see the Insurance companies tightening down considerably.
The engineering standards of some of the installations leave a lot to be desired and are nowhere near OEM standards.
 

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To be fair I don't think it will happen as just look at the 'max power' generation when lads n lasses living at home got £40k bank loans to mod their skylines and gto's to 1000bhp, people were chopping and changing anything and everything from ropey to downright dangerous, I remember seeing a fairly expensive vw golf with airbagged suspension that looked about as safe as pointing a loaded gun at your own head, but no insurance company clamped down on any of them. Infact the insurers loved them as each mod meant potential to make more money. Later on towards the end of maxpower when people started to switch high octane and ethanol fuel again car insurers didn't bother themselves.

The biggest thing late 90's early 2000's was nitrous kits to the point even bbcs top gear took a car an got it modded by the wizard of nos himself christ you could get a citroen ax 1.1 and get enough nos to beat a porsche from a standing start lmao and that didn't bother insurance companies either
 

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Didn't they NOX a 2CV that then burst into flames, apparently the ventilation tubes are made from cardboard and could not take the heat from the engine!!! Lol
 
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Just wait until there is the first serious incident concerning a "home-brew" battery replacement and the Manufacturers and Insurance companies all walk away leaving the owner and installers in a serious predicament. I appreciate that there are a number of owners that have informed their Insurance providers about the modification but even if they are supported I can see the Insurance companies tightening down considerably.
The engineering standards of some of the installations leave a lot to be desired and are nowhere near OEM standards.
I agree though - I think many people see batteries as innocent little things, that cannot do much harm.

If you said to someone you were going to hang 100 litres of petrol on their wall in a pretty plastic box they may have something say, but no matter what the fuel storage / transport medium its a whole lot of energy sat there itching to be liberated.
 
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Just wait until there is the first serious incident concerning a "home-brew" battery replacement and the Manufacturers and Insurance companies all walk away leaving the owner and installers in a serious predicament. I appreciate that there are a number of owners that have informed their Insurance providers about the modification but even if they are supported I can see the Insurance companies tightening down considerably.
The engineering standards of some of the installations leave a lot to be desired and are nowhere near OEM standards.
I agree that the home-brew nature of battery 'updating' is not going to be to OEM standards, and there will be failures. I doubt that the risk will be that great - sure a few cars will go on fire, but i suspect that the drivers will get out of them OK. Yes, there may even be deaths (erm, these happen in ICE cars - probably at higher frequency). But, this risk for me is acceptable (i'm a scientist by trade and i know a bit about probability - though fully recognise that this is not a superpower, and that my carcass will burn as well as anyone else's...). The nature of these battery replacements isn't going to change much about the car's dynamics. Yes, it's cutting some cables and introducing 'sub-par' electronics. Over a large population of vehicles (how large...?) there will be some calamities and the insurers will run their numbers to decide whether it's risk they will insure or not. I strongly suspect that Leafs are not seen as risky by insurers, as it's so far away from being fast, or desirable to steal (my insurance is not expensive). I suspect that there will be a future trade in EV battery replacement - but this future could be between 5-20 years away. I think it'll happen, because we can't keep junking cars EVs at the same rate we see for ICE ones. Car manufacturers have probably realised this, so may well resist EV battery replacement vigorously.
 

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I agree though - I think many people see batteries as innocent little things, that cannot do much harm.

If you said to someone you were going to hang 100 litres of petrol on their wall in a pretty plastic box they may have something say, but no matter what the fuel storage / transport medium its a whole lot of energy sat there itching to be liberated.
I'm sure you're not forgetting that ICE vehicles have a tank of flammable liquid built in. Older cars used to go on fire more frequently than currently ones (remember a carburettor anyone ?). We know batteries can go on fire; i believe that clever engineers will find ways to mitigate this partially(?), totally(?), and who knows when (?). But, i think it'll happen. For me, it's a risk i'm willing to take. The problem is people that don't understand the risk (low probability, high consequence), or think there is none (which is probably a majority of drivers).
 

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I'm sure you're not forgetting that ICE vehicles have a tank of flammable liquid built in. Older cars used to go on fire more frequently than currently ones (remember a carburettor anyone ?). We know batteries can go on fire; i believe that clever engineers will find ways to mitigate this partially(?), totally(?), and who knows when (?). But, i think it'll happen. For me, it's a risk i'm willing to take. The problem is people that don't understand the risk (low probability, high consequence), or think there is none (which is probably a majority of drivers).
I was thinking about home brew power walls and people cannibalising old Leafs to make solar banks etc.
 

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I was thinking about home brew power walls and people cannibalising old Leafs to make solar banks etc.
Apologies - i was thinking about cars... I'd agree that i'd take care when planning to put an old Leaf battery inside my house; if it burns, then that's an issue that would be difficult to avoid (and it'd burn ferociously well, probably needing a fair amount of chemical extinguisher?) For exactly that reason, i'd think that most would put it outside (not viable for those living without significant outdoor space/access).
 

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I can see them being popular second cars in London, congestion charge exempt (for now anyway) and 0 VED. When the prices are low even a worn out battery that can do 40-50miles is plenty for scooting around London.
Or any town/city centre that had introduced zero emissions zones.
The demise of any car is when it costs more to maintain than it is worth, so any major drive train component, rust, or accident damage for example could see a Leaf off to the breakers for recycling. So pretty much what happens now for ICE vehicles.
 

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In 5 to 7 years, current gen 40kWh Leafs will be on the used market for about the same value as MK1's are today and then most would be compelled to upgrade to one of those if they need the range. If they don't need the extra range, they may be happy to hold on to their MK1 until they blow the battery or the motor or any other high value part.

The MK1 will progressively thin down as accidents and aging take them out one by one.

Aftermarket battery replacements are too expensive for now, more competition in this space may bring prices down. You can get a current 40kWh for not much more than the value of the MK1 plus aftermarket upgrade to 40kWh.
I think that the ship is about to sail on OEM replacements, Nissan is missing a window of opportunity to make margins on keeping Leafs on the road while reducing their battery production costs. The market may not be huge but sufficient to contribute to economies of scale.
I think that the sweet spot would be about 6000 Euro's VAT included plus the old battery for an OEM battery replacement to 40kWh. That should leave enough margin for Nissan.
I don't think that those upgrades would compete with new sales. In fact, offering an affordable upgrade or replacement program may be a selling point for new cars as residual values will stay higher.
 

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I've decided to go for a 40kw battery replacement - because my car has low mileage (24k), one previous owner (Perth city council), and is in good condition. It's a 2012 1st gen, and my wife likes it. I think it's worth going for a 40kw battery, since i'm hoping to get a decent range to enable longer trips with no or few rapids. I suspect that 40kw upgrades will get cheaper in the coming years once there's more 40kw's to be written off. Right now, there seems to be very few 40kw batteries about which means high prices.
 
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