UK-based news outlet The Times (sub. req.) is reporting that the cost to replace the 24-kWh lithium-ion battery pack that provides the go-juice for the Nissan Leaf is a staggering £19,392 ($31,753 U.S. at the current exchange rate).
The Times arrived at this figure after Andy Palmer, Nissan Great Britain senior vice-president, reportedly told the news outlet that replacing a single module in the Leaf's 48-module battery pack would cost £404 $(662 U.S.). Palmer supposedly told The Times that the Leaf isn't likely to need a replacement battery for at least ten years because electric vehicles are typically used for short trips. Seems rather odd that Palmer would make such a statement, doesn't it?
The Times' report seems rife with inaccurate assumptions. For example, who says that the cost of the Leaf's battery pack is simply the cost per module ($662) times the total number of modules (48)? Aside from some Nissan employees, no one knows the actual cost of the Leaf's battery, but we can't imagine that a new pack in the UK costs almost as much as a 2011 Leaf costs in the U.S. (which is $32,780). In any case, Nissan sounds confident that the pack will outlast the car, so the exact numbers may be moot, anyway.