A longtime Nissan Leaf owner and electric car enthusiast from Australia is looking to purchase a Tesla Model 3 for his next vehicle, following an unpleasant experience surrounding his present EV and a painfully large invoice for a battery replacement.
Canberra engineer Phillip Carlson has been a supporter of electric cars for a long time. This is why in August 2012, he took delivery of a first-generation 24 kWh Nissan Leaf, which he purchased for AU$53,500 (around $35,800). He enjoyed the vehicle and its electric propulsion, though he noticed that he was not getting the range advertised by the Japanese carmaker. Such was expected during winters, but even with regular use, it proved difficult to hit the vehicle’s rated 135 km (84 miles) of range.
Carlson submitted a series of complaints about his vehicle to his dealership over the Leaf’s warranty period, though he was periodically informed that there was nothing wrong with his car. Still, the range issues remained. By 2017, five years after the vehicle was bought, the Leaf was struggling to reach 60 km (37 miles) per charge. The EV enthusiast persisted in his complaints, and earlier this year, it appeared that the dealership finally looked into the issue seriously. “That was the first time they bothered looking at it after I complained so much,” he said in a statement to The Daily Mail Australia.
As it turned out, Carlson’s Leaf actually needed a battery replacement. The Nissan dealership then opted to address the issue, but for a very hefty price. The electric car advocate received an invoice for AU$33,385 (around $22,300) for a full battery replacement for his 7-year-old Leaf. The charge was quite cruel, especially since a 24 kWh first-generation Leaf could be acquired for just about AU$12,000 (around $8,000) in the second-hand Australian auto market.
In a statement to the Australian publication, a Nissan spokesperson stated that it is currently working with the Leaf owner to resolve his vehicle’s issues. As for Carlson, he believes that he should not be charged since his Leaf’s problems were not his fault. The EV enthusiast argued that much of his vehicle’s battery issues were due to Nissan’s design, which lacks ample cooling systems.
Yet, despite his unpleasant experience with his Leaf, Carlson stated that he has no intention of buying a non-electric vehicle. The engineer noted that his next car will definitely be all-electric — it just won’t be a Leaf. Instead, he is looking to purchase a Tesla Model 3, which has more range and has ample cooling for its hefty battery pack. Carlson is also more optimistic about Tesla as the company has extensive experience with electric cars and how they are evaluated and handled.
“Given my time again I’d prefer to hold off buying the Nissan and buy the new Tesla Model 3. Much better range, better support and built by a company that seems to actually care about customers and design their batteries to be (liquid)-cooled. That was the biggest problem with Nissan, even the new model Nissan Leaf still doesn’t water cool the battery,” Carlson said.
Nissan’s treatment of his vehicle’s issues might have been a nightmare, but ultimately, Carlson still considers the small, humble Leaf as a “fantastic” car. “Even as terrible as Nissan has treated me, the Nissan Leaf is still a fantastic car; it’s just that I can’t drive it very far anymore. Just to be clear, I am still a fan of electric vehicles but Nissan has done a terrible thing here,” he said.
H/T Glen Keating.