Over 8,200 people have made online reservations in the past month for the upcoming Nissan Leaf EV, and for good reason. Set to be released this year, the $33,000 vehicle is the early adopter’s dream. It’s the first affordable all-electric vehicle from a major auto manufacturer. Nissan’s secret behind the Leaf’s reasonable price is a super cheap battery pack.
While most lithium-ion batteries cost $1000 to $1,200 per kWh, the Leaf’s 24-kWh battery pack costs just $9,000 to produce, or $375 per kWh, according to a report in the Times of London. In comparison, the Chevy Volt battery pack reportedly costs $600 per kWh, and even the U.S. Advanced Battery Consortium only has a goal of producing batteries at $400 per kWh by mid-decade.
According to auto blogger Edward Niedermeyer at TheTruthAboutCars, it was only about six months ago that GM claimed that it could get lithium-ion prices down to $500/kWh by the Spring of 2011.
At the time, Ford said the cheapest Li-ion packs it could find were in the $700/kWh range.
If the report is correct, Nissan could revolutionize the battery industry – assuming it will share its technology with other automakers.
We’ve been tracking the progress of the Leaf since news of its development first debuted. Read the progress timeline in these posts: