If you have a new account but are having problems posting or verifying your account, please email us on [email protected] for help. Thanks :)
Hello all! Please ensure that you are posting a new thread or question in the appropriate forum. The Feedback forum is overwhelmed with questions that are having to be moved elsewhere. If you need help to verify your account contact [email protected]
Please note that it is not permitted to have referral links posted in your signature. Keep these links contained in the appropriate forum. Thank you.

EVs with upgradeable batteries?

  • 05-11-2021 2:32am
    Registered Users Posts: 793 ✭✭✭


    Do any EVs officially support battery upgrades?

    It's well known that lithium batteries have a limited life, while the rest of the EV is likely to have a greater life than an ICE vehicle. Of course a battery can be replaced like-for-like, but technology marches on. If one gets, say, a 2014 Renault Zoe, why has one got to be limited to 2012 battery technology even as one has to pay for replacing a battery soon enough anyway? (I would not expect a lithium battery to last much longer than 7 years?)

    I have read some materials about unofficial upgrades for the Nissan Leaf . But this is a custom modification, and I'd be wary of all the insurance and service problems one gets with custom modifications; besides one of the options eats into boot space.

    So, are there any EV models that have a formally-supported approach to putting in an up-to-date battery a few years down the line?


  • Moderators Posts: 12,334 ✭✭✭✭Black_Knight

    Well you're in luck if your battery doesn't last more than 7 years, because most if not all battery warranties are 8 years, so manufacturers are banking on them lasting longer than 8 years. Not sure where you're getting your info from but I don't think it's entirely true.

    The are some independent "mechanics" week have replaced original 2012 leaf cars with newer bigger leaf battery packs. Costly though. 5k+ iirc

  • Registered Users Posts: 920 ✭✭✭sh81722

    The original 2011-2013 LEAF with the LMO pack was an outlier that most likely requires a new pack within 8 years. No other car that I know of suffers from this including the later 24 kWh LEAFs. Well, dare I say, most of the early Tesla Model S got a battery replacement within the first 8 years but that was some design fault in the pack itself and it appears, again, that none of the newer cars require route battery pack replacements. The packs will most likely just last for the lifetime of the car.

    We had two LEAFs, a 2015 and a 2018, and both of them had some reported degradation (about 8 percent in 3 years) but it didn't show in the actual attainable range and even the reported degradation just stopped and actually started to go back up on the 2018 in the 3rd year.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,535 ✭✭✭celtic_oz

    By the end of 2022, NIO will build 20 Power Swap stations in Norway, covering Norway's five largest cities and their main roads. The first integrated station of battery charging and swapping in Norway will be up and running at the end of October '21.

    Chinese EV company Nio will start sales in five more European countries in 2021 following its launch in Norway this year.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,422 ✭✭✭zg3409

    Tesla will increase your battery size if you pay extra through software lock (certain models with typically the 'smaller' battery but that in fact have bigger battery inside.)

    In real terms batter degredation is not a big problem on liquid cooled batteries, typically you might need to replace one or two cells at high mileage. In terms of swapping old battery for newer one it would typically be better to sell car to someone that needs less range, but in reality new cars have massive range.

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 18,431 Mod ✭✭✭✭slave1

    Replacing cells is a complex operation, mostly because of the compromise you make to the sealing of the battery pack as there are any amount of seals you need to break.

    Swapping a battery is a matter of minutes, Tesla have demonstrated a full battery swap at 7/8minutes in the past, literally a high power connection and then just bolts

  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 10,356 ✭✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin

    The whole battery swap thing comes and goes but never seems to gain much traction

    Manufacturers don't want it because they'd rather sell you a new car which is worth more. Beyond a like for like battery change under warranty it seems pretty rare

    Tesla had a demo years ago where they'd swap out the battery on a Model S instead of recharging. The truth is that the mechanics of the operation means it would take longer than the 15-20 mins most charging stops last

    Then there's the whole liability issue. What happens when you swap out your pristine battery for one that's seen 300,000km and is degraded. You get into a situation of battery rentals, which by itself is a total scam.

    The older Renault Zoes were sold on a battery rental basis, which has proven a serious money maker for Renault since hardly any of the batteries failed and even when you sell the car, the battery rental agreement goes to the new owner

    "The internet never fails to misremember" - Sebastian Ruiz, aka Frost

  • Registered Users Posts: 793 ✭✭✭MichaelR

    Yay! This is kinda my dream concept (second preference; first preference is a plug-in series hybrid like the BMW i3 Rex).

    On the other hand this is very much not my dream class of car; I prefer something smaller, easier to drive and especially to park (in current EV terms, Zoe-like; I kinda liked Renaults's old battery-rental approach).

    This seems like a tendency - both of my "good EV ideas" are no longer on the market...

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,054 ✭✭✭silver_sky

    Unofficially Nissan Leaf & Renault Zoe older models can take the later (although not latest in case of Zoe) batteries. Official battery swaps - none currently available here.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,422 ✭✭✭zg3409

    If the range if your EV drops over the years to the point where it no longer does your commute or say you change jobs and need a longer range the best thing to do is sell your car to someone who needs the shorter range and you buy a car with a longer range. The range drop off over the years is actually quite small particularly with modern liquid cooled batteries. There is also a hidden reserve in most batteries so actual capacity is higher than useable. Some Tesla even have the longer range battery software limited to the shorter range, so they can continue to eat into the reserve over the years ensuring replacing a battery due to natural degredation is very unlikely.

  • Registered Users Posts: 940 ✭✭✭oinkely

    well, 7 years from a battery would be pretty bad I would think. Our 132 Leaf is at 83% and still more than covers our daily needs. Battery can be upgraded to the 30 or 40 pack with one social enterprise in Ireland at present, and a range extender pack can be added in the boot too if wanted. Our 2012 citroen c-zero is also showing little degradation too. Also does the daily driving needed. Not sure that it can be upgraded or replaced but I'm hoping for a good few more years of tootling around in this one. It hits 10 years old in January and i'd be hoping for it to carry on with it's current battery for at least another 5 years.

  • Advertisement