Are Nissan Leaf Owners Abandoning The EV Already?


With news that harsh hot climates like those found in Arizona may prematurely reduce the battery range of the Nissan Leaf, some owners may be taking drastic measures. As in, selling their first-generation EVs before they lose too much value. Ruh roh.

A cursory glance of Autotrader shows several hundred Nissan Leaf EVs for sale, though how many of these are new versus used is hard to say, as many dealers list new cars as used as well. But if you look at the used prices on some low-mileage vehicles, you can already see that the Leaf is losing value…fast.

In fact, you can pick up a low-mileage Nissan Leaf for less than $25,000, a huge drop from the MSRP of $35,200. Even when you factor in the $7,500 tax credit, that is quite the drop, and some owners in “extreme” weather climates are selling their cars ahead of what may be a coming plummet in value.

IF it turns out that Nissan’s air-cooled battery is losing as much battery life as recent independent tests seem to show, that would be a huge blow to used car values. Plug-in cars contacted several Leaf owners, and anecdotal evidence suggests that many of these buyers are keenly aware of the potential battery problems, though not all of them seem overly concerned.

I hope Nissan comes up with a better response than “This isn’t happening,” otherwise they may leave an extremely sour aftertaste in the mouths of early EV-adopters. This could influence future buying decisions towards more traditional hybrids, and further stoke the idea that EVs just aren’t ready for primetime.

Source: Plug-in Cars

About the Author

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he’s running, because he’s one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.

  • Jason Carpp

    Perhaps Nissan needs to find a better battery, one that can withstand the extreme heat that Arizona is known for. What may work for the Northwest part of the country (Washington, Oregon, Idaho), may not work in the Southwest part of the country (SoCal, Arizona, Utah, etc.).

  • Jcmarching

    This is blown way out of proportion. With all incentives in California, my purchase was effectively about $25,000 new last year. Any new car takes a huge depreciation hit as soon as it rolls off the showroom floor when it becomes “used.” I think it is fair to conclude that drivers who need to regularly take round trips over 73 miles or park in 120 degree ovens should not buy a Leaf just like almost everyone should not buy a Hummer.

    • benny

      how have you found your Nissan Leaf? every car depreciates so i agree with what you are saying, and also before you purchased your Nissan Leaf where did you do your researches for this particular car?

  • Pingback: Are Nissan Leaf Owners Abandoning The EV Already? – Gas 2 | Used Car Search Engine()

  • Allan deLaubenfels

    I ordered a Leaf but declined delivery at the last minute for just the reasons which have developed as problems. My previous experience with EVs alerted me to the possibility. The lack of responsiveness of Nissan to my questions was the “last straw”. I suspect that the lack of aggressiveness of Ford with its new EV may be related to these problems. Toyota has not been enthusiastic about the Lithium Ion batteries and maintains the NiMH batteries for most of its Hybrid cars.

    It is all beginning to make sense now.

    Electric cars will be in the future, but the traction batteries will be different.

    For now, plug in hybrid cars like my Plug in Prius make more sense.

  • Rob

    With the tax credit the MSRP for the leaf is $27,500, I’m not sure what’s normal in the US but here in Australia a car loses about 30% of its value the instant it’s driven off the lot, therefore to me $25,000 for a low mileage car word represent an incredibly good maintenance of value , a typical $27,500 car would almost never sell used for more then $20,000 here.

    • 30% is a bit excessive here, especially considering that Leafs and Volts are, in some markets, in short supply.

      • Rob

        But that’s the point, the article points out that the leaf is selling at a price which is “a huge drop” from the MSRP, whereas in reality it’s oly losing 10% from its MSRP which certainly here would be considered remarkable.

  • Chris Lynt

    I’ve yet to see a rigorous technical evaluation of those Phoenix, AZ vehicles experiencing the alleged battery problems. Are the batteries really loosing capacity prematurely or is there some sensor error? A recent problem with the Leaf charging system occurred for some owner who happened to be using the GE WattStation – one of them actually went out and bought a different charging station. It turned out that the Leaf on-board charger was to blame, apparently damaged while charging during a brown-out condition (power surge could cause a similar problem). Do we know whether folks in AZ may have had a similar issue? Until the suspect batteries are removed from the vehicles and tested, I will remain undecided about whether there was any premature battery capacity loss. Relying on the on-board data when it could be erroneous is not a good way to resolve this. The problem could be as simple as a $10 Hall-effect or other sensor. I do think Nissan could have handled this better. But so could the early-adopters of this technology. I am a Leaf owner, electrical engineer and patent attorney.

  • Pingback: Is Nissan Now Buying Back Range-Losing Leafs Under Arizona Lemon Law? - Gas 2()

  • Trever

    I live in Tucson AZ, and my car is parked in outside in the sun all day “baking” in the AZ sun. I would be willing to be a tester to determine battery life, and the impact the heat has on the batteries if someone would be willing to give me a Leaf.