Solution for the problem of few Gen 1 Leaf (ZE0 and AZE0) made in the early days should not only lies with the effort of a few who import batteries and sell genuinely and the ones who strive to build a new.
But the sad situation is we are surrounded by rogues and con artists.
Added to the woes, there is an undue panic fueled by the ones who fish in the troubled waters. There are two types of people, buying and selling guys who wants spread fear psychosis and the once who wants to make undue profit off illegal imports. The learned owners do have a solution within, this is to explore
There are many discussions initiated on EV Club, Leaf owners groups and other forums too on battery degradation and the ailing resale values. Many responded logically, majority keep repeating the same. There are local solutions and hoax as well in troubled (rather panicked) waters. But we are neglecting the fact that these is a massive opportunity that we miss badly.
We are not needing HV batteries as its hyped, as the need is limited only Less than 50 cars dropped below the range of 50 out of approx UIO of 5,000 Leafs. And they are the people who speak aloud for obvious reasons.
Another 500 joined the bandwagon of battery hunt due to undue panic. Like the ones having 6 bars and a range up to 100 km, which is triple the average daily Sri Lankan usage. Some opted doing the math, as troubled owners.
I propose differently, for the very few cars affected with battery and for the ones who panicked as its nearing the range needed for daily errands. Let’s get their with some facts, which many misses.
Dropping resale value is obvious as the even a new EVB attracts a cost atop 1/3 of the overall car value. And we bought 2013 JDM G grade of 4.2M JPY (LKR 5.2M) after a one years depreciation circa LKR 2.8M. That is a 45% depreciation.
Now the battery costs, brand new 24 kWh pack is 650,000 JPY which is 1.1M LKR sans freight and duty. Now don’t be up in arms saying you get me that battery, the topic here is a different one. Still the country gets a couple of used batteries a month, amidst all legal and logistical barriers which is a great thing done by some.
This is the focus of this post. We bought AZE0 Leaf for less than 3M and now with a range of less than 50 KM few are at half of it. I repeat the number of such cars are less than 50. Yet none off the road, due to a failed battery.
There is a massive error anyways in the way we calculate our resale values as we simply get the difference between buying and selling. God knows where we factor the costs on Capital, Fuel, Maintenance, Statuary which should be part of cost per km and resale values. I have done the math for over 5 years and posted earlier.
The country has almost a million cars, at least half of that are over 1.5M LKR in value, that is a big number of 500,000. Last year country has added 80,000 new cars and another 138,000 used cars changed hands with the country. (Source: Department of Motor Traffic) . Now, within this 138,000 at more than half to be over 1.5M LKR in value (based on above equation and Ikman.lk tops with Toyota) so the prospective market for the ZEO, AZEO Leaf.
The average daily driving distance in USA, UK and Australia lies within 30 Km a day! We assume ours will be the same or lesser being a small country, sorry our govt has no need of this vital data for Sri Lanka.
Now, let’s assume within above 138,000 used cars gets transferred in a year at least half of the owners are below average daily usage of 30 Kms. And half of that are above LKR 1.5 M in value. This derives a market size of 34,500 recorded used car sales a year. Leaf is well within this segment in both price and size, with an edge of being Japanese and least cost per kilometer! Why we cannot grasp this massive market, but cry for battery instead?
Why not switch?
This always puzzles me. True the range drops over time, and if the range is not adequate for daily / weekly needs why not we sell the car, put some money down and buy a Leaf with a higher range instead.
And don’t forget hiring a car or Van is a cheaper option once you do the math with ownership cost per km / per head.
We know its hard or virtually impossible to switch from EV to ICE, but not to worry, we have enough options, whilst it’s getting better and wider with both range and availability.
Two for the road.
One; This is not to say that there is no solution for replacement batteries but for now.
Two; Don’t forget to follow the best practices in usage and charging until then, the very reason for some to exceed 100,000 kms with 100k per charge still remains and a one exceeded 200,000 kms, and keep running with enough range remains!
Okay, all these are options for the concerned. But what if one really needs a replacement battery, say in a case of the usage is limited to 20 Kms. For now the best solution will be replacing with a used battery. There are statuary and legal barrier for now. In fact it seems barriers have created a black market, as a repercussion of the import restrictions.
Here is our proposal to legalize and facilitate the EVB imports with no/minimum impact to the society or the environment. : EVB IMPORTATION