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Some automakers are toying with the idea of leasing the batteries of their electric vehicles (EVs) when they sell their wares on the market (Think, for example). Others, like Nissan, have decided that this arrangement is too complicated and just want to sell the batteries outright with the car. However we end up getting our EV batteries, the issue of warranties for these expensive packs is a big, big deal. Joby Lafky, senior director of business development and partnerships for GridPoint, said at a conference in California this week that automakers need to rethink how they warranty the packs because of all the extra wear and tear the batteries will suffer when used to stabilize the grid.
The packs will do this by feeding energy into the smart grid when parked during the day and collecting energy at night when rates are cheaper and that electricity might otherwise be wasted. If this happens a lot, the packs could be depleted before the warranty period is up, and that'll cost automakers a pretty penny. Lafky thinks battery leasing is the way to go because it'll give automakers the chance to re-use (or sell) the battery after it's served its duty in the car. This will also make the cost for the average driver to get into an EV much lower since the battery is the most expensive item in the car. Of course, we know a lot of driver who want nothing to do with leasing anything when it comes to EVs. Not exactly an easy needle to thread.