Any thought that GM and Nissan don't take their developing electric car rivalry seriously should now be a thing of the past. At Plugin 2010, GM and Nissan are showing that what one does related to their upcoming plug-ins, the other seems to be aggressively mirroring. After the announcement this morning that the Volt will be available for the same lease price as the LEAF, Nissan came out with the announcement that the LEAF will have the same battery warranty as the Volt at 8 years or 100,000 miles.
Saying that recent surveys Nissan conducted made it very clear that potential LEAF owners would be extremely disappointed if the Nissan LEAF battery warranty was any less than 8 years or 100,000 miles, Carlos Tavares, Executive Vice President of Nissan's North American Operations, was clear that consumer satisfaction is the most important piece of the puzzle for Nissan.
All along there has been much written about the differences between the Chevy Volt's liquid cooled battery and the LEAF's air cooled battery, with most saying that the air cooled batteries will degrade faster than the liquid cooled. The conventional wisdom was that Nissan would come out with a shorter battery warranty than the Volt. Well, now there seems to be no reason to worry if your LEAF's battery will conk out before the Volt's.
There are clearly more questions to be asked, such as "What conditions would qualify the LEAF battery for a repair or replacement under warranty?", but the information I've provided is all that was available at the time of publishing. We'll bring you more details as they become available over the course of the day.
Update: During a Q&A session Mr. Tavares told me that Nissan is not yet ready to release details on what might qualify a LEAF for either battery reconditioning or replacement—for instance, what percentage loss in capacity over what timeframe—but that they would be making an announcement closer to launch.