Nissan Leaf Battery Replacement and Upgrades: Full Guide

Since arriving on the scene back in late 2010, the Nissan Leaf has become a popular choice in the world of electric cars. With almost 150,000 units sold in the US since release, thousands of drivers have gotten to grips with the Nissan electric driving experience. The somewhat limited range of the Leaf is one of the reasons that sales were more conservative than more popular and longer-range models like Tesla.

The latest version of the Leaf is rated with a range of about 226 miles, which still places it firmly behind others in the marketplace. For city-dwellers on the other hand, it has more than enough range and the Nissan Leaf is a much more affordable alternative to the more luxury likes of Tesla.

However since the battery is such a big part of the price of the Leaf (up to 40% of its total price), it’s worth fully understanding the Leaf’s battery, including how much it costs to replace or upgrade it.

It’s All About the Battery

The range in electric cars depends entirely on the kind of battery that is used in the powertrain. Below is a summary of the various battery sizes and ranges used in Nissan Leaf models from 2010 to the present generation.

First-Generation Nissan Leaf (2010-2017, ZE0)

  • 2011-2015 – 24kWh lithium-ion battery; EPA range 73-84 miles
  • 2016 – 30kWh lithium-ion battery; EPA range 84-107 miles
  • The 2016 Nissan Leaf S also used the 24kWh battery

Second-Generation Nissan Leaf (2017-Present, ZE1)

  • 40kWh lithium-ion battery; EPA range of 151 miles
  • 62kWh lithium-ion battery; EPA range of 226 miles

As you can see, the Nissan Leaf has made big improvements on its first generation, but it’s still far behind the Long Range version of the Tesla Model 3, which can already offer 353 miles of range. You do pay a premium of around $38,000 for the benefit of that extra hundred or so miles of range, which is another reason the Nissan Leaf remains a popular and more budget-friendly choice.

How Long Does the Nissan Leaf Battery Last?

Besides pure range, it’s also important to know how long the battery will last. Electric cars are not cheap, and so drivers want to ensure that the critical components have a decently long life.

Nissan offers a standard 5-year or 60,000-mile warranty on the Nissan Leaf powertrain. The bumper-to-bumper warranty is 3 years or 36,000 miles. The battery, however, is given its own special limited warranty of 8 years of 100,000 miles, or at least they are for the 2020 model year. The warranty specifically covers defects in materials or workmanship for that period/distance.

Therefore, we can expect the battery of a Nissan Leaf to last at least for that limited warranty period, 8 years or 100,000 miles. The blog reports that most owners predict the battery will last for about 10 years. Given that the car was only first released in late 2010, and its second and latest generation is just entering its 5th model year, it’s still too early to tell for sure how long overall the batteries will last.

In the next section of this article, we’ll look at the common problems that Nissan Leaf batteries face.

Nissan Leaf Batteries: Problems

Overall, the Nissan Leaf has proven itself to be a reliable car, ranking 6th in reliability among 30 Nissan models in the PainRank listed on Among the most common problems reported by Leaf owners, battery problems don’t seem to feature very prominently, or even at all.

The site lists 4 most common Leaf problems, which include a fault with the automatic emergency braking system, problems with the sunroof glass supposedly shattering and a fault in the occupant classification system. Equally, some Leaf owners complain about faults within the braking system.

The general consensus is that the second-generation models are much more problem-free than the first generation. When it comes to the batteries, the only real problem you have to face is the potential price for a replacement if the regular wear and tear leaves it in need of a switch out.

Cost of Replacement Batteries: Official Channels

Demounted battery from electric car Nissan Leaf. Cells of high voltage battery from Kiev, Ukraine.
Demounted battery from electric car Nissan Leaf.

There has been a perception in place for a long time that Nissan Leaf owners had very limited options when it came to replacing defunct battery packs. The few choices that were perceived to exist were also incredibly expensive.

Right now, Nissan does offer an official replacement on the older 24kWh battery packs, which are priced at $5499 plus the cost of labor — estimated by Toyota to be about 3 hours altogether. If you drive a Leaf from 2011 or 2012, then you will also need to shell out another $225 for an adapter kit to help retrofit the newer battery into your older model.

When you consider that a brand-new Nissan Leaf is around $31,000, a new 24kWh battery for potentially $6,000 or more is a pretty expensive proposition. Furthermore, you spend all that money to restore a pretty low driving range, too. It would likely be more worthwhile to just take the $6,000 and use it as a downpayment on a brand-new car!

Cost of Replacement Batteries: Alternative Channels

Should you be in need of replacement Nissan Leaf batteries of a larger size, up to the newest 62kWh batteries, then there are some channels through which you can get them, but once again it’s not exactly cheap.

Back in June 2020, did a profile on a company based in Portland Oregon called EV Rides. The company’s founder and manager, Anton Litovchenko, salvages Nissan Leaf batteries from totaled Leaf models, often from the most recent model years. It means he has a very limited inventory, but he can offer a more comprehensive and reliable replacement service than any you could pursue via Nissan themselves.

Litovchenko’s idea is essentially to take pre-owned packs that are in pretty good condition still, and simply fit them to models in need of replacement. For some, it can mean getting a much-needed upgrade on an older Leaf model. If you’re driving a Leaf with the 30kWh battery, for example, EV Rides can upgrade your setup with a 40kWh battery pack, effectively extending your range.

These upgrades still don’t come cheap, however. Even with using in-tact pre-owned battery packs, the process is still quite complex and therefore comes at a premium. Litovchenko claims that the 24kWh and 30kWh packs are the ones he deals with most, as these are both the most commonly available and most in-need of change. He does have limited stock of 40kWh and 62kWh, but their relative newness keeps supply low.

Here’s what you’d pay Litovchenko to make the upgrades you need (figures correct as of mid-2022):

  • 24kWh pack replacement – $5,500+
  • 30kWh pack replacement – $7,500-8,500
  • 40kWh pack replacement – $10,000-13,000
  • 62kWh pack replacement – $15,500-18,500

You might be interested to know that due to supply and demand issues, the price has sky-rocketed in recent years. Back in 2020, the prices were much lower:

  • 24kWh pack replacement (2020) – $2,500-3,000
  • 30kWh pack replacement (2020) – $4,500-5,000
  • 40kWh pack replacement (2020) – $6,500-9,000
  • 62kWh pack replacement (2020) – $11,000-12,000

Their company website claims that all the battery packs they use to perform the replacements or upgrades have from 80-90 percent of their capacity intact. Different models and years come with different options for upgrade or replacement.

Once again, however, it’s hard to imagine why you would be willing to shell out up to $12,000 on an upgrade to a 62kWh battery pack, when you could use that money as a very healthy deposit on a finance plan for a brand-new Leaf with better features and more bells and whistles. When you remember that any car, even a fancy electric vehicle, is a depreciating asset, it’s hard to reason such expenses.

Horror Stories: Clayton Brander

Resident of British Columbia, Canada, Clayton Brander, went public in 2020 with the story of his own struggle to get a replacement battery for his 2013 Nissan Leaf. CBC News reported his story. In 2017, Mr. Brander bought his car knowing that sooner or later he would face the issue of battery replacement. It was an older-model car, after all. Upon buying in 2017, the Leaf could still manage about 75 miles on a single charge, but degradation has continued and currently it can only handle about 50 miles.

He’s been all over the place looking for help, multiple mechanic shops and Nissan dealerships, but so far all he has received is:

  • A quote for CA$15,000 to replace the battery – more than he paid for the entire car in 2017.
  • Advice to buy a brand-new Leaf and be done with it.

It’s not the greatest endorsement for Nissan, especially when the whole thing seems so counterintuitive. Even if you base a business model on the premise that you want to encourage buyers to get a new car instead of a replacement battery, it’s still hard to accept that a car so relatively young is so apparently impossible to fix up on such a critical component. This is especially true when you consider how owners of some classic cars find it easier than Clayton Brander has had things to get replacement or retooled parts for their cars of 40+ years of age.

Further to this, Clayton Brander’s story shows that despite Nissan’s strong claims of zero emissions and eco-friendliness represented by the Leaf, the idea that a car of just 7 years old should face the prospect of going to landfill is enough to negate any and all environmental advantages that the Leaf otherwise holds.

Why Bother with a Used Leaf?

Used Nissan Leaf Acenta, from
Used Nissan Leaf Acenta, from

An important question that comes with all the above information on battery replacement costs and limited options for replacement is: why bother with a used Nissan Leaf at all? If any Leaf could potentially turn into a Clayton Brander story, then why even get one at all?

In fact, buying a used Leaf and then facing the possibility of battery replacement is, in most cases, still a much more financially viable option. Here’s why:

A New Nissan Leaf is Still Quite Expensive

The starting price for the Nissan Leaf is definitely much lower than that of the long-range Tesla Model 3, but it’s still not exactly a budget-friendly model. No EV is. When you buy a high-end Leaf with all the bells and whistles, the price gets up to $46,000 or more. If you opt for a used one from the past few years — when many reliability issues had already been ironed out and the batteries greatly improved — you can pay much less.

A used 2017 Nissan Leaf S with an odometer reading of about 32,900 miles should go for a listing price of about $10,189, according to Kelley Blue Book. A 2019 model is typically listed at just $18,325 according to the same book. That’s such a huge difference, that even if you factor in, say, $8,000 for a new battery, you’re still miles ahead of where you would have been financially if you’d bought a new one.

There May Come Other Battery Options

In Japan, Nissan has a joint venture with Sumitomo, with whom they operate a battery remanufacturing facility that disassembles Nissan Leaf batter packs. In the process, they salvage any of the 48 battery modules that still have 80 percent or more of their original capacity. By then grouping the still active modules, they can create an effective new battery pack.

This costs the driver less than $3,000 in Japan, and is thus a great alternative to the idea of getting either a totally new one, or getting the car to Portland to be worked on by the likes of EV Rides, who while undoubtedly doing a good job, also charge a high premium. It’s also true that Nissan dealerships are already equipped to offer the installation service for properly made remanufactured Nissan Leaf batteries. Could this be a viable alternative? It would seem so.

Toyota hybrid owners have been able to enjoy battery repurposing and refurbishing on their cars for some time, and at a much lower cost than that of replacing the battery outright. To be a true champion of the environmental cause, it seems to be on Nissan to provide this more comprehensively to its customers, especially those early adopters who then faced a real predicament when their less-than satisfactory batteries started to lose their charge.

Conclusion: New Technology, New Risks

As is true with virtually any kind of new technology, early adoption means you’re also the first to deal with the potential problems that come with it. It’s unfortunate that currently there appear to be very few options when it comes to Nissan Leaf battery replacements. The good news is that the newer models of the second-generation do not appear to suffer from the same serious degradation — though it’s perhaps still too early to tell for sure — and so owners can rest a little easier for the time being.

One of the biggest things that adds wear to your Nissan Leaf battery is fast charging. One of the best things you can do as an owner to safeguard your battery is to use slower, more sustainable and gentle techniques to charge it up again. Do so and your battery will thank you with a long life. The longer range in the new Nissan Leaf models means that keeping a steady charge level of 80-90 percent is now easier, and owners’ range anxiety has been reduced. Even when the batteries do inevitably start to degrade, the range will remain fairly high for longer.

Time will tell us more about how the new Nissan Leaf battery is faring.

31 thoughts on “Nissan Leaf Battery Replacement and Upgrades: Full Guide”

  1. Hi,

    I Bought a 2013 leaf back in 2014 and paid £15,000 for it ( 6 months old with 900 miles ). It must be one of the best cars that i have owned. I have now Lost 4 battery health bars and just making it to work (53 mile) so rang nissan UK and asked for a quote for a replacement 24kw battery and was quoted £17k – £20k. When these were 1st sold, i’m sure we was all told it would cost £5k to have these replaced.

    These are great cars but nissan needs to do something about replacement batteries and recycling old ones other wise ICE vehicles will be around for ever.

    • aw thats so right my dad got told about 12 grand to replace they don’t tell you about these costs when your buying the car about 5 grand was what you were told if you factor about one thousand quid a year from new plus the drop in value well they are very expensive to run plus your charge costs and the fact the majority of power used still comes from oil it’s a big con selling electric cars your far better sticking to petrol or diesel the cars lovely to drive if you can do without a heater and air-con you might squeeze 40 miles what good is that to anyone they are pure heaps not helped by nissons attitude and that of dealerships they had the gall to tell him he be better changeing hum got ripped of once wish never saw the car

    • Hi Mark.
      I totally agree with you. This is a ridiculously high price from Nissan. They should be willing to upgrade batteries and replace faulty battery cells for a low price. It seems like they have the technology and expert staff, to be able to do it. But not the will to do it for their customers. I would like to upgrade my 24 kw battery for a 40 kw battery on my 2011 Nissan leaf. I believe this is possible. But expensive. Can you recommend any Nissan dealerships or private specialist garages that are willing to do the replacement work for a reasonable price? My car has 70.000 miles on it. Very reliable. But only about 60 miles range on on 1 charge. So not great.
      Best wishes.

    • The most disturbing issue in finding a replacement and upgrade battery for my Leaf is that most of the companies in any list will not answer their phones and will not return my calls or emails. I had someone live answer my call and was very straight with me with his answer. Of course I will have to wait until early April for a reply with a solid and definite answer, but at this point that is all I have to go on.

    • Compare the cost of a replacement L-I battery set and labour to the cost of stripping out, re-furbishing and re-installing of a Buick V8 engine which you can do for US $2,500 to $3,000 – the refurbished V8 engine will probably be good for another 200,000 to 250,000 miles.

    • Apologies, no idea why that one slipped in – I mean, it is listed as a common ‘Leaf’ fault in a few places online, but that’s clearly not relevant. I’ve updated the article now – thanks for flagging this up.

    • I’ve had a 2012 Leaf SL for going on two years. I researched for a solid year. To the best of my knowledge, the traction battery moves the car. Because there are no accessories made that run on the voltage supplied by the traction battery, everything else is made to run on 12 volts. The traction battery charges the 12-volt battery when the Leaf is running, and the computer (which never sleeps) will feed the 12-volt battery by pulling power from the traction battery. You might catch it in the act when you see the third light on your dash blinking when the car has not been started and is just sitting there. (It kind of freaked me out a bit the first time I caught this happening in my garage.) I connect a battery minder ($10) to the 12-volt terminals when it’s just sitting. This floats the voltage at 12.7 volts.

    • I know the answer to this one. Most of The accessories are powered by a separate 12Volt battery.
      The reason why is that the Powertrain motor needs to run off about 300 volts, so it is easier to run the other features off of 12 volts, because that’s all they can handle. The Heater and A/C do run off the traction battery though, and so will cut down on your range.

  2. After looking online I suspect Nissan went with the higher voltage power packs to keep people from swapping in battery cells that are better chemistry and easy to buy. Since the BMS talks to the main computer and you couldn’t use a non Nissan BMS (or even one out of another leaf) you can’t change the BMS to something that would not put too much (or draw too much) voltage from these “off the shelf” battery modules.

    Basically, if someone hacked the voltage range of charge/discharge of the stock Nissan BMS it looks like swapping in cheaper/better batteries would be a viable option. For around $6,000 you could have a 43 KW Lipo4 Battery pack…

  3. I bought a 2015 Leaf and have driven it 52,000 miles, Battery charge status still goes to 12 bars. I believe my range is about 65 to 70 miles (depending on whether I use air conditioning or heater). If my range drops to 50 miles, I will probably try to replace the battery. It depends on the price Nissan dealership will charge, and whether there are other, more affordable options for battery replacement.

    I wonder if the replacement will be 30 kWh or even 40 kWh. The 2015 Leaf has a 24 kWh battery.

    • I have the same car and if they are going to charge me an extremely high price, I’m dropping it in front of the dealership and quit paying on the note. There is no reason to charge 12k for a new battery.

  4. June 20, 2021 – Just leased a 2020 Leaf. Salesman told me the battery (64 kw) should last for eight years, or 100,000 miles, but most of his customers said their batteries for earlier model Leaf vehicles lasted longer than that. He said current price for a replacement 64 kw battery is $7,000. Then he said more EVs will be on the road over the next several years and battery prices should come down, just like most other electronics. He suggested one thing to extend the battery life: cut down on the Level 3 charging…..use Level 2 instead,

  5. My 2017 Leaf is in pristine condition, and I can’t bear the thought of sending it to the junkyard.
    I phoned my Nissan dealer today and was told, flat out, there is no way to replace the batteries on a Nissan Leaf. None.

  6. I have a 2013 leaf with 33,000 miles, always charging @ 110v. I have lost 2 bars already. I would feel guilty selling it to some one. It makes sense to purchase on time and when the battery starts fading stop payments and give it back to the dealer. When the word gets out these cars are going to end up in the scrap heap. Sad. I may go back to a hybrid.

  7. Good overview Tristan. I have owned three Nissan Leafs: 2011 SL, 2012 SL, and now a 2020 SL. The 2011’s battery slowly degraded within weeks of buying the car. The 2020 is dramatic improvement in battery life. I have owned this car almost a year with no sign of battery degradation. I would attribute this to better regen braking I run it in ECO B mode all the time and rarely do I ever use the brakes themselves. I can go from 60MPH to a standstill in about 14 seconds using regen braking. That’s alot of kinetic energy being converted back to power. The 2011’s regen braking was very weak in comparison. Ironically I charged it pretty frequently for free at Nissan HQ in Franklin!

    There are some advanced shops out there providing tools to do Nissan Leaf battery swaps. I am tempted to start a company for this service and become an EV Enhanced service partner. They have the best set up I have seen for adapting later model Leaf batteries to older Leafs. I still have my 2011 – down to 39 miles, 5 bars, 70K miles. I sold my 2012 with 8 bars and about a 50 mile range to a willing buyer for $6K who only needed to get back and forth to work on a 20 mile commute. I could sell my 2011 right now for probably $3-$4K. there are people with use cases who would be happy with 39 miles of range.

    • Thanks for the comment, and for sharing your experience. That’s great that your 2020 model has less/no battery degradation – it seems like Nissan have improved a whole lot in this area. Thanks for the mention of EVs Enhanced too, I’ll be sure to check them out – that’s an interesting (and fairly cost effective) service.

  8. Thank you for the article. What if all the leaf owners got together and tried to get a company to produce an aftermarket 40 Kwh like the British company Muxsan (I will try to post a link, don’t know if this comment will let me)
    Plus Dr. Goodenough (honest), the original inventor of the lithium battery has created another generation, solid state, without the dendrites that can cause the explosions, with three times the energy density, (I will try to post a link). It can also use Sodium apparently. This tech should be our focus and breakthrough, I believe. Let me know how I can help. (Source:

    “Nobel prize winning inventor of the lithium-ion battery has his eyes set on the next big breakthrough in energy storage” – Dr. Goodenough, University of Texas.

    He did this new one in 2017, it’s time to get it out there.

    • Thanks Kevin, I have added a link to now. Dr. Goodenough and others certainly seem to be pushing ahead with some nice battery developments – hopefully in ‘a few’ years (or a decade?!) we’ll be looking back at current lithium-ion batteries and thinking that they seem dated.

      There are some afermarket Leaf batteries available, some of which are available in the UK, but a mix of supply-chain problems and general shortages seems to be an issue. Either way, I’m all for new ways that Leaf drivers can get better batteries – 60 mile ranges in degraded decade-only batteries isn’t great.

  9. Magnificent car, but batteries are realy à problem. I dont’ want to sell my nissan leaf, because I am hoping that one day the new batteries will appear and the troubles linked with that will be forgotten. I need à car with 200 km range in all conditions. Even nissan + doesn’t give that performance in a low temperatures. For me huge deception! Nissan can do better than that. All the best to you all.


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