Nissan recently became the first EV-maker to announce a firm price for a replacement battery pack for its LEAF.
That price – $5,500 plus installation cost – sounds like a bargain, considering that the high cost of batteries is one of the main factors that makes today’s EVs more expensive than legacy vehicles. A few credulous souls even took the announcement as evidence that Nissan had achieved a massive reduction in battery costs.
Alas, it is not so. Nissan has confirmed to Green Car Reports that it subsidizes the battery price as “a customer-first initiative.”
“Nissan makes zero margin on the replacement program,” said Jeff Kuhlman, Nissan’s VP of Global Communications. “In fact, we subvent every exchange.” Or rather, they will do so when customers begin to order replacement battery packs. A month after the price announcement, “we have yet to sell one battery as part of the program.”
Unsurprisingly, Kuhlman would not comment on Nissan’s actual costs of producing its battery packs. Green Car Reports points out that the company expects those costs to fall over time, as EV sales increase and manufacturing processes improve.