Electric car owners face a bill of up to £19,000 to replace the battery, a report has found.
Only 680 electric cars have been bought so far this year despite 2011 being declared Britain's 'year of the electric car'Photo: ALAMY
8:07AM BST 01 Aug 2011
Figures obtained by The Times discovered that a new battery for the Nissan Leaf, the world’s top-selling electric car, costs more than double past estimates.
The disclosure could mean that the switch from fossil fuels to electric motoring will be much slower than the Government has predicted, the paper said. However, the figures did show that owners of an electric car would save money as the cost of petrol rises.
Only 680 electric cars have been bought so far this year despite 2011 being declared Britain's “year of the electric car”.
The Government has provided £43 million to give 8,600 buyers of electric cars a grant of £5,000 towards the purchase price.
Nissan has admitted that owners of a Leaf, which costs £26,000 after the government grant, may need to replace the battery after a few years, depending on how it has been treated, The Times reported.
The battery’s capacity can decrease significantly if the owner repeatedly uses a fast-charge point.
In the latest episode of Top Gear Jeremy Clarkson was shown running out of power and having to be pushed into the centre of Lincoln, which has no public charging points.
Andy Palmer, Nissan GB’s senior vice-president, told the paper that the lithium ion battery is made up of 48 modules. He said that each would cost £404 to replace, making £19,392 for the entire battery pack. He said that most owners would not need a new battery for at least ten years because electric vehicles should mainly be used for short journeys.