Nissan Leaf battery degradation data: 24 vs. 30 kWh batteries

Nissan Leaf battery SoH data

In a recent study 283 Nissan Leafs manufactured between 2011 and 2017, had their SoH (State of Health) measured 1.382 times. The data is from 82 Nissan Leafs with 30 kWh batteries and 201 with the 24 kWh variants.

The measurements were made by using a OBD2 scanner with the Leaf Spy app.


The study has some interesting conclusions and I recommend you to read it (only 14 pages), but in this article I’ll focus on one:

  • 30 kWh batteries are more affected by charge/discharge cycles (distance traveled) while 24 kWh versions were more affected by time.


Why are 30 kWh batteries more affected by charge/discharge cycles?

It’s not surprising that the 30 kWh versions suffer more from charge/discharge cycles, since they are more often charged to 100 %. Remember that the option to limit the charge to 80 % was removed when the 2014 model year debuted (to game EPA range ratings). This means that none Nissan Leaf with the 30 kWh battery has this option.

If you want to improve your electric car battery lifespan, you should know that it’s better to charge to 80 % and discharge till 0 % than to charge to 100 % and discharge to 20 %. Nonetheless, if you can use the battery between a SoC (State of Charge) of 80 and 20 % even better… And if you really want to take care of your battery, try to use it only between 70 and 20 %.

Moreover, having the battery sitting at 100 % SoC is worse with the 30 kWh version than it’s in the 24 kWh variants. Because in the same conditions the 30 kWh battery will likely be hotter. In the 24 kWh battery pack, each module has 4 cells, while in the 30 kWh variant there are 8 cells per module. A more dense battery pack will dissipate heat more slowly.


Why are 24 kWh batteries more affected by time?

It’s also not surprising that the 24 kWh versions are more affected by time and older Leafs show much higher degradation levels, since the “lizard” battery only arrived in 2014 with the 2015 Nissan Leaf.

  • 24 kWh battery (model years 2011-2014): higher degradation levels
  • 24 kWh battery (model years 2015-2016): lower degradation levels (“lizard battery”)

While the “lizard” battery cells remained with LMO cathodes, they had the electrolyte improved to be more heat tolerant. Only in 2016, Nissan finally started using NCM cathodes in their battery cells with the introduction of the 30 kWh battery version.


Anyway, I think that this information is important if you plan to buy an used Nissan Leaf. Choose wisely.

Thanks “Leaf Owner” for the heads up!



More info:

Pedro Lima

My interest in electric transportation is mostly political. I’m tired of coups and wars for oil. My expectation is that the adoption of electric transportation will be a factor for peace and democracy all over the world.

52 Responses

  1. Jonas Jovial says:

    The information is useless, because the information given by Leaf Spy does not mean it’s the true. For example, in my case, i have about 38000km, and every time i use 2 or more QC, my SOH rises to 100%. After a few days, it goes to the 96~98%…

    There’s only an effective test that can tell the true: discharge the car until the low battery warning appear and then charge to 100%. Do this always using the same charging current. Whit these values, measure how much energy was needed to charge.

    • Pedro Lima says:

      While SoH isn’t 100 % reliable, I wouldn’t say it’s useless.

    • MNMN says:

      You are right.
      The displayed SOH value is only a calculated value. Not exactly, but can be thought to: Ah”in”/Ah”nominal”.
      If you charge with “granny-cahrger” (10A), the BMS will get miscalibrated.
      If you start using it from edge to edge, then the BMS will “recalibrate”.

      I bought my first leaf in France, and had a trip to Hungary ~2.000kms. It was produced in August 2013, one of the first “Gen2” 24kWh. When I have sit in forst, the SOH was about 90% and the Hx was 88%. After 4 QCs (and depleting the battery 5 times) SOH raised to 100% and the Hx was _above_ 100%. After arriving home, I started to use the granny charger, and after 4 months, the SOH and Hx was both ~91%.

      An other fact (much more interesting):
      Here in Budapest we have a small taxi-fleet, of Leaf-s. 10pcs Visia 24kWh, produced in 2015-2016.
      Recently a driver had “measured” each one with LeafSpy.
      The most shocking result: after 105,756 kms and 2,234 QCs (and 75 L1/L2), SOH=93,31%, Hx=91,66%.
      Two thousand QC session.
      The others are mainly the same. (The lowest mileage was 75k km and the lowest SOH was 89%)

      I think, this fact simply annihilates the above “study”.

    • MNMN says:

      I just wanted to show, that the SOH value depend very much on the mode of use, so if I don’t compare these habits, then my results will be worthless.

      And an other data:
      I bought a 30kWh Leaf (prod. date 2017.02) also in France, it was about SOH=96%, Hx95%. I have subscribed to LeafSpy as a beta-tester, and I received an update just when I was driving the new car. After that (and some QCs), SOH jumped to 102%, Hx=104%.

    • Ritxi says:

      Leaf’s SOH is reliable. But for this it has to be well calibrated: The value of SOH, with mild temperatures and after several full loads and deep discharges (good calibration) is very reliable.

  2. Sapcmc says:

    Good those batteries come with an 8 years warranty. The 24kWh had 5 years warranty only.

  3. FF2170 says:

    Can you show us the same data for Tesla EVs?

  4. Dmitry Pelegov says:

    Very interesting data. I don’t remember exactly, but Tesla data are looking much more optimistic. And module design resulting in poorer heat management is not the only reason. I would say that in Panasonic cell MNC material can be of the higher quality. So maybe AESC (is the name still AESC?) needs better quality control…
    It could be one more reason to switch to LG Chem

  5. Henrik Towman says:

    Interesting reading but some info is wrong:
    Both 24/30kwh batteries have 4 cells/module.
    You have the alternative to set 80% charge limit also for 2014> cars: in Navi (for hi spec Teknas) or in combimeter (for Low spec Visias).
    (at least for Europe market) /: Henrik

  6. Magnus H says:

    How do the bars shown in the display correspond to SOH for the 24/30 Leafs?

  7. James says:

    Is the SOH calculated by the BMS or by leaf spy itself.
    That rate of capacity loss on the 30kWh leafs seems alarmingly quick
    Makes me think something hasn’t been correctly tuned for the larger pack

  8. Marcel Guldemond says:

    Woah, this is kind of alarming. Glad I leased my 2017 Leaf instead of buying it. I got Leaf Spy in December, and it’s shown around 86% SOH fairly consistently since then, with battery temperatures between -10C and 5C. The alarming part of that is that is that the Leaf had 2500km on it in December, and now has 4500km on it, so it’s barely been used.

    Range available seems to be what one would expect, although it’s hard to tell because it’s winter here in Ottawa, so it’s mostly been city driving with the heater on, and snow tires on it. Temperatures take ~10-15% off the range, the snow tires take another 5-10%, and of course, the heater takes some too.

    Maybe I need to recalibrate the BMS somehow? I’m hoping that LeafSpy isn’t compensating for battery temperatures when it calculates the SOH.

    • MNMN says:

      SOH is calculated by the BMS, not by LeafSpy.
      Here in (the sometimes warm) Europe, we see, that during winter, when it’s cold, then the BMS calculates differently, compared to a warmer day. My car had “almost constant” SOH during the cold, but when the battery temperature got above 12 deg Celsius, then it falled 3% (Between when I stopped the car at the evening, and when I started it next morning. Without charging at that night.)
      So the temperature is definietly taken into account, and not only a simple multiplier.

    • Marcel Guldemond says:

      Interesting MNMN. I’m going to eventually try to recalibrate the BMS according to what I read on some forum, which would be running it down to turtle mode, then charging to 100%.

      As well, I’ll see what it says when the temperatures around here finally get up to 15C.

    • MNMN says:

      If the first “recalibration” fails, try it again, but do the charging with QC (and not at home). If you have time, then let it go above 80% (SOC). Then charge it to 100% at home, and let the balancing periods to happen.
      The ambient (outer) temperature is not too important. If all the temp sensors inside the pack show values above 5 deg Celsius, then you can charge without risk.

      • Marcel Guldemond says:

        Thanks MNMN. I’m not sure when I’m going to have time to retry. When the car was showing it was charged to 100%, Leafspy showed 24.3kwh capacity, which is 87% of the 28kwh that’s supposed to be there when new. Battery temperature was ~14C, so that should go up a bit when it’s warmer, but not much, maybe 25kwh.

        I first got LeafSpy at 2500km/4 months, and it already showed SOH at 86%, and stayed at 86% until I tried recalibrating. I ran it down to Turtle mode, then charged to 100% on L1. It’s now reading SOH 88%, at 5500km and 8 months, which is still a low outlier on this chart.

        I’ve only had this car over the winter, so no excessive heat, and I’ve rarely charged above 80% or gone below 30%. Only 2 DCFC sessions. One up to 50%, and another at 22KW up to 90%, both in below freezing temperatures.

        Glad it’s a lease, but that was the plan anyway. When the lease is up, there will be a bunch of better longer range options.

    • Marcel says:

      For future reference, my 2017 Leaf is at 14000km (still pretty low), last time I checked LeafSpy it showed 94% SOH and Hx=81.74%. Fully charged it showed 26.4kwh. It’s now 21 months old.

  9. Nero says:

    I have 155000km (97000 miles) done in my e-NV200, in 23 months.
    SoH at 88, Hx at 83.7%. Battery capacity left – 18.3kWh.
    Battery rarely ever gets higher than 6 temperature bars, but e-NV200 has active cooling

    • MNMN says:

      That’s great (in my opinion).
      Can you tell us, how many QCs and L1/L2 charging sessions were made till now?

  10. FF2170 says:

    In case you have not seen this, Jeff Dahn was able to double the life of EV batteries:

    • FF2170 says:

      It is pretty remarkable to think (soon) future EV batteries will last 15-20 years, without too much chemistry change. Scientists will most likely improve that as well.

  11. sola says:

    “It’s also not surprising that the 24 kWh versions are more affected by time and older Leafs show much higher degradation levels, since the “lizard” battery only arrived in 2014 ”

    @Pedro Lima
    This makes no sense. Lizzard batteries should show much “lower” degradation levels, not “higher”.

    It would be really great to see a separate diagram for the 24 kWh “Lizzard” batteries (2014+) because I suspect, they would show much better values than the older ones.

    • Pedro Lima says:

      That’s exactly what I meant, but looks like I wasn’t clear. I’ll rephrase that part to make it more clear 🙂

      24 kWh battery (model years 2011-2014): have higher degradation levels
      24 kWh battery (model years 2015-2016): have lower degradation levels (“lizard battery”)

      This is why the study says that the 24 kWh batteries are more affected by time, since older Leafs didn’t had “lizard” batteries.

      • Michael Cerkowski says:

        In characterizing Leaf batteries, you are omitting the good “intermediate” battery chemistry, which I have dubbed the “Wolf Pack.” (I also dubbed the early, bad, fast-degrading chemistry the “Canary Pack.”) Beginning in April of 2013, and until the introduction of the “Lizard Pack” around June of 2014, North American Leafs used a better chemistry that, while not as heat-tolerant as the Lizard pack, holds up very well in mild to slightly warm climates. It is, in fact, almost indistinguishable from the Lizard chemistry in mild climates; there are still Leafs built between 4/2013 and 6/2014 with 12 capacity bars, with most still showing 11 bars.

  12. Kevin C says:

    Any updates? If the plotted line continued for 3 more months (Mar->Apr->May->Jun) it’d be at 80% by now. Is that what actually happened?

    If, as some suggest, this is just Leaf Spy being unable to “interpret” the health of the 30kWh batteries, then at some point the intepretation curve and people’s actual experience will diverge more clearly.

    Also, has Leaf Spy itself had any insights into how Leaf Spy performs with 30kWh batteries?

  13. Marcel Guldemond says:

    Hey Pedro, have you seen this update yet?

    The same group that produced the chart showing the discrepancy between 24 and 30 kwh models has now tested to see what happens after Nissan’s software update. In short, with the software corrected, the 30 kwh battery now degrades at the same rate as the 24kwh model because the battery controller was mis-calculating battery health.

    I got the update on my 2017 Leaf, and it went from SOH 86% in the winter at 2500km, to SOH 89% in the spring after recalibrating (running down to turtle, then charging to 100%), to SOH 95% after getting the update.

    • Richard P says:

      What does a company do if you can claim warranty when the battery gets down to 70%?
      Well, it adjusts the meter which tells you that you have that claim.
      “Well, sir, you have 70%? Oh no, sorry, you need a software update. It is 80% now, see?”

    • Pedro Lima says:

      Thanks, I’ll check it out if this is a real fix or just a way for Nissan to hide battery degradation and avoid warranty claims.

      • Richard P says:

        Pedro Lima, and you think that Nissan will give a honest response? C’mon.
        The only true test is to charge the battery to full, go to a motorway on an early morning and drive at a constant speed (let’s say at 90 or 100 km/h) down to low SOC.

  14. Stan says:

    Just bought Nissan Leaf S 2015 with level 2 port. Anyone would suggest what/where to perches leave 2 charger

  15. Joseph says:

    new to this forum. I have a 2013 leaf sv. Bought it used almost 2 years ago with 32,000 miles and 11 bars. It has 51,000 miles now and just lost it’s second bar. It doesn’t have quick charger. I charge on a level 2 at home and a level 1 at work. Most days I charge it to 80% and drive it down to 15% or so before recharging. I’ve thought about getting something like leaf spy but not sure if there is any value in doing that. I plan to drive it until I buy a new or refabricated battery for it in a few years, then keep on driving it. I live 20 miles from town so it works out great for me.

  16. Yanni says:

    Hi! Am in the market for a used LEAF and wanted to make sure that I understand all the issues re: battery life and degradation and etc…

    This is very a informative thread!

    What kind of advice do you’all have for me?

    Ideally, I’d like to buy an older LEAF (because that’s in my price range!) but wanted to know if there was a way to see if it had had the battery replaced to a “Generation 2” version with the improved temperature management system.

    1: does this sound like a good idea, or am I focusing on the wrong thing?
    2: how can I find out if an older car (or any car) has a Gen 1 or Gen 2 battery?
    3: When I’m looking at a car, other than having it fully charge and then looking at the bars and the expected range, what else can I look at to see what kind of shape the battery is in?

    • Marcel Guldemond says:

      Hi Yanni,

      1. if a limited range fits your normal driving habits, then yes, it might be a good idea.
      2. As far as I know, the build date is the way to tell if it has an updated battery chemistry for the 24kwh version. I think April 2013 is the transition date. All 30kwh models have the updated chemistry.
      3. the expected range is tricky for battery health, because the computer is guessing based on the most recent driving that was done. The best way to tell is to get an ODB-II adapter and LeafSpy app for your phone, you plug that into the car and check the state of health.
      One thing to verify on the 30kwh Leaf is whether it’s had a software update that came out this summer. The car’s computer was miscalculating the state of health, making it look worse than it was.

      One thing that some people do is buy a used Leaf that’s just about to need it’s battery replaced under warranty, so they can get a cheap EV and then get it replaced by Nissan.

      • Yanni says:

        Thanks Marcel-

        I am probably overthinking this, especially as there is so much unknown in *any* used vehicle.

        I did, however, find out something new today!

        Anyone can call the Nissan LEAF customer service number 877-644-2738 and press 1 for english and then 4 for *some other choice* and ask questions about a particular car (YOU MUST HAVE THE VIN!).

        For example, the c.service person can tell you what generation and how many kWh the current battery has in that particular vehicle. If it’s the original battery, they’ll know. If it’s an older car and has had the battery replaced through a warranty issue, they’ll know because it would have had to been done at a dealer.

        So now as I conduct my search, if I find a car I like I know that (M-F 8am – 8pm EST) I can call and get info on exactly the battery in that particular car. I only want the new chemistry, and a 30 kWh battery would be great too (as they only degrade…so why not start big?).

        As far as I have been able to determine, used car batteries are either Generation 1 or 2, and beyond that, they are either 24kWh or 30 kWh.
        I think this will help alleviate a lot of my concerns…
        Thanks again for your info. I’ll have to see if anyone i know has that spy thing and cables to use it.

  17. Robert Sharpe says:

    Thanks for a great article.

    I am selling my 2011 Nissan Leaf that has done 94,000 miles and lost 3 bars and trying to find data to help potential purchasers have confidence in how long it could be expected to last.

    As it is one of the oldest examples available there are not going to be many older examples that can be referred to. Therefore the only alternative is to approximately represent the future performance is to use high mileage vehicle examples. (I am an electronics engineer and know about shelf and cycle life, but this is just an approximation).

    It would be really good if you could publish a graph of “SOH -v- mileage”

    Given that I am selling my vehicle now, it would be great if the SOH-v-mileage was available as soon as possible.


  18. eric says:

    You got to seperate 24 kwh batt lizard from the older version.

    You got to delete the 5% best batt and 5% worst batt to normalize your data and get a more REAL view of the effect

    If you want to increase Knowledge of the community give us acces to the source data files, I’m pretty sure we can get more from them

  19. Akpp1 says:

    An interesting point is that for most manufacturers it is difficult to obtain information on the degradation of the battery or on the mileage of the car on one charge. I am glad that at least someone gives this information. Let the source is not one hundred percent reliable.

  20. Anders says:

    My 2014 Zoe with 60000km to it shows up as 98% SoH with the CanZE app. Basically no degradation, is that realistic? The rest of the numbers in the app are consistent with the 98%. I’m surprised to hear such low SoH numbers from the Leaf!

    • Lars says:

      Maybe the chemistry of the ZOE is better?
      Maybe the fact that the ZOE has air cooling of the battery and the Leaf does not have any cooling is the reason?
      You don’t write which model of ZOE you have and how fast the charging is, but the current ZOE charges with up to 22 kW, the Leaf with up to 50 kW?
      Maybe the reason is the user, you just use your car more battery friendly.

    • amissionleaf says:

      what is your charging pattern?

  21. Beshad says:

    Just couple weeks ago I bought a 2014 Leaf with 12 bars, 30,000km and an advertised SOH of 90%. after three weeks of ownership the LeafSpy shows a 84.02% SOH. still having the 12 bars. car displays about 500 QC’s in LeafSpy but since i have owned it i only used the L1 granny charger at home, to 80% and never below 30%. i also did the leafSpy in winter with temperature around 4 degree Celsius. is there any logical explanation for the discrepancy between what dealership advertised SOH and the SOH number that i am getting? i.e. low temp or using the slow charger?

    • Marcel says:

      I do know it fluctuates a bit, but that seems like a really big drop for a short time.

      It’ll drop the first bar around 80%, and then the next bars happen every 8% drop after that again. 500 QCs seems like a lot too, the car might’ve been primarily QC’ed over its life, and possibly topped up to 100% too often.

      There might also be a thing where the Leaf doesn’t update the SOH when it’s cold in the winter, but I’m not entirely sure about the details of that.

      You’ll probably be able to find much better answers on the mynissanleaf forums. Lots of noise to weed through on the posts there, but a lot of useful info as well.

    • Ivan says:

      That’s relly big drop. Actually the biggest problem of battary that you could not know what heppen before with it? but you face the consequences of not coorect using.

  22. Tallak Tveide says:

    I was missing two bars on my Leaf 30 kWh. After changing to high efficiency tyres, Im right back at twelve bars… software glitch?

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