The drive to get more people buying electric cars
Electric car drivers' £19K bill for new battery
The drive to get more people buying electric cars has suffered another setback following the revelation that a new replacement battery may cost up to £19,000.
A lithium ion battery made up of 48 modules, each costing £404 to replace, is required for the world's best-selling electric car, the Nissan Leaf. This would mean a full battery pack would cost £19,392.
According to Andy Palmer, Nissan's senior vice-president in the UK, the battery could last ten years providing the driver makes relatively short journeys each day, reports the Times.
However, the battery may need replacing much sooner if drivers frequently use a "fast-charge point", which takes three hours, as opposed to a standard 13 amp socket that takes 11 hours for a full charge. Driving in extremely hot or cold weather would also significantly reduce battery life.
Nissan only recommends the car, which costs £26,000 after government subsidy, for those who drive less than 200 miles a day. It could be ideal for a third of all UK drivers, who are estimated to drive less than 80 miles each day.
It follows a row between Nissan and the BBC motoring show Top Gear, which showed host Jeremy Clarkson running out of power in his Nissan Leaf during a journey from London to Lincolnshire. Clarkson and co-host James May had to push the car into Lincoln, where there were no public charging points.
Nissan accused the programme of deliberately running down the battery prior to the journey. But the show's executive producer, Andy Wilman, disputed the claims on his blog, insisting that the battery was "the Achilles heel of the whole package".