New battery for electric cars will cost almost as much as the vehicle

The current drive to try and get more drivers to get motor insurance quotes for an electric vehicle has had a worrying setback after it has been revealed that a new replacement battery could cost the owner a whooping £19,000.

A lithium ion battery is made up of 48 modules which would each cost £404 to replace. It is this type of battery that powers the world’s best-selling electric car, the Nissan Leaf. If the entire 48 modules all need replacing at the same time it would cost £19,392 to get the car back on the road.

Andy Palmer, Nissan’s senior vice-president in the United Kingdom, said “The battery could last a decade providing the driver makes relatively short journeys each day. However, it may need replacing much quicker if motorists frequently use the fast-charge points which only takes three hours, as opposed to a standard 13 amp socket that takes 10 hours for a full charge. Driving in extremely hot or cold weather will also reduce the life of the battery significantly.”

Nissan is only recommending the Leaf to those who are likely to be driving less than two-hundred miles a day. It is still ideal for the 33% of all UK drivers who never drive more than 80 miles in one day but negative news about zero emission vehicles seems to be coming in thick and fast at the moment. The news comes in the same week that Nissan have been involved in a row with the BBC motoring show Top Gear whom they claim deliberately ran down the battery prior to testing the car.

Some good news for Nissan is that they have just unveiled a prototype system in Japan this week which can be used to supply electricity to a house during a power cut. The device used to charge the car can be reversed to feed power back into the household circuit. The lithium ion battery in the Leaf can store up to 24kWh of electricity, which Nissan say would be more than enough to power an average Japanese home for about two days.

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