Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Nissan LEAF Battery Conundrum

The Nissan LEAF Battery Conundrum: 70%, 80%, or 100%?  What to do?  What would you do?

Many reputable news sources recently reported Nissan is retroactively extending the battery warranty on certain model year LEAFs.  I share here* Autoweek's article which reports on how Nissan with the new  extended warranty will replace batteries less than 5 years old or with less than 60K miles if they fail to charge to 70%   [I chose the Autoweek* article solely because it was the first/top article to appear during my Google search of the topic].

Here is where I start to get a little confused and the conundrum deepens:

  1. Nissan now says they will replace batteries that fail to meet the aforementioned criteria.
  2. My 2012 LEAF lease is 24 months.
  3. Nissan recommends in their 2012 Nissan LEAF Owner's Manual [I have the Manual because I own a LEAF (Yeah!!!!)] no more than 80% charge for maximum battery life, and they make the distinction between Long Distance Mode vs. Long Life Mode (Manual page CH-20**).
  4. 80% charge gives me an 84 mile range, and a 100% charge gives me a 102 mile range.
  5. My furthest single trip in my LEAF has been 60 miles.
Should I charge my batteries to 100% for the next 23 months and enjoy extended range (or more climate control and/or aggressive driving)?  Or, should I only charge to 80%, always drive in ECO Mode, and preserve the life of the batteries that can otherwise be replaced under the new extended warranty? [and likely well after my lease expires and I am driving a 2014 LEAF??]

An ethical questions?  Perhaps.  Maybe not?  What to do?  What to do?

What would you do?


*[Autoweek: Nissan Leaf gets battery warranty boost,.
**2012 Nissan LEAF Owner's Manual

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