B.C. Leaf owner’s plight highlights difficulty in replacing EV batteries

B.C. Leaf owner’s plight highlights difficulty in replacing EV batteries
A B.C. man who bought a used 2013 Nissan Leaf is having trouble getting a new battery for it, as the original unit that came with the car has started to deteriorate.

But after three years of ownership, the battery capacity of the vehicle has dropped significantly, due to the age of the cells. Originally, the car had a range of about 120 km per charge; Brander says now it can only manage around 80 km.

“The dealership where I bought the car said that in a few years, you can replace the battery for about $5,000,” said Brander.

But now he’s having trouble just finding a battery he can have installed; his dealership’s new quote on the battery price is a whopping $15,000, which is more than he paid for the vehicle. Brander has emailed Nissan Canada a half-dozen times, but says the automaker keeps referring him to a dealership, who in turn refers him back to Nissan Canada.

“It seems like these things are going to end up in the landfill,” he said. “It makes more sense for them financially, I imagine, to sell new cars than to service the old cars.”

Battery deterioration isn’t a new thing — it happens to every battery. Of course, it’s a lot easier to eat the loss on an old cell phone you hand over to your electronics recycling center than it is an enire car.

Brander is hoping he can find a solution that doesn’t include purchasing a new $42,000 Nissan Leaf.
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