Will my car battery eventually brick itself like a phone battery always does?
Ain’t. Gonna. Happen. Trust us. Nissan has made 300,000 Leafs, and some are now in their eighth year. The number globally that have had battery failure is… three. Degradation too is a vastly overstated problem. A few Leaf taxis in Japan have dropped to sub-80 per cent capacity, after spending years being rapid-charged three times a day (brutal) and doing more than 100,000 miles. Batteries degrade with the number of discharge cycles, especially deep-discharge. Future cars, with longer range, will be less prone, as their charging frequency will inevitably fall. The market is realising they’re reliable. Two years ago a friend of mine bought a three-year-old Leaf. He paid £9,000. Today, three-year-old Leafs of the same mileage and spec are £12k. Also, there’s a growing demand for used car batteries for renewable-energy storage. Those packs don’t need tip-top energy density: it’s OK if they have, say, 70 per cent of their original capacity. So at the end of the car’s life, the battery isn’t a hard-to-recycle liability. It’s an asset.