Nissan has started a new program in Japan, allowing Leaf owners to exchange their old batteries for refurbished ones.
The program, set to start in May this year, is designed to lower battery replacement costs, and help electric vehicles maintain their value on the used car market.
Initially, you’ll be able to fit a refurbished 24kWh battery for ¥300,000 ($3,650). The range will be expanded to include new 24kWh ($7950), 30kWh ($9780) and 40kWh ($10,020) options after launch.
Nissan has developed the battery replacement scheme using the battery refurbishment capabilities of 4R Energy Corporation, a company created in conjunction with Sumitomo.
Eventually, the joint venture is designed to “enhance the electric-car ownership experience, which in turn with help promote their use, ultimately contributing to lower CO2 emissions”.
The news comes on the back of Nissan’s M.O.V.E 2022 program, which lays out a plan to sell 1 million electrified – both pure-EV and E-Power hybrid – vehicles annually by the end of the 2022 financial year.
This isn’t the first scheme designed to give old batteries a new lease on life, although it’s the first to slot them back into the car.
Nissan and BMW both offer ‘second-life’ lithium-ion batteries as home storage, where the less strenuous charge and discharge cycles mean ageing batteries are less of a problem.