Yes, LEAF battery degradation is something that many are watching closely. For many, the < 100 mile rage is already cutting it close, so when the range drops 20%+ you will start to hear more and more about LEAF owners having to give up on their LEAF due to dwindling range. I haven't heard of any LEAF owners getting a battery pack replacement yet, but I bet that is coming.
In terms of LEAF problems, I think blown tires, and slow repairs are some of the bigger concerns.
Apparently the OEM tires are a bit on the fragile side. (So far, no problems with mine though.)
The most active LEAF topics tend to be about lack of charging infrastructure.
(Including broken EVSEs, ICEd charge spots, etc.)
Some reasons why sales might increase:
* More range?
* Improved styling?
* Improved performance?
* Lower price?
* More robust advertising?
* More public J1772+CHAdeMO?
* 6.6kW charger, and wireless/inductive charging option?
* Gas prices go up?
I expect at least some of the above...
Missed one - supply - At the very least the Volt has more than nearly 3x the inventory on the lots in comparison. Nissan has been claiming that battery production is the limiting factor with only one plant in Japan supplying the world with batteries for the LEAF as well as Renault products. Supply is limited enough that Renault is getting batteries from LG when they'd rather be getting them from their partner Nissan/AESC.
Aside from that, I hope that all of the mentioned changes occur - but I suspect it will be more along the lines of minor tweaks kind of like the 2013 Volt.
IMO biggest limitations are price and range, especially once you factor in 20-30% battery degradation after 5-10 years.
In case anyone missed it, a LEAF owner has been doing a "BC to BC" (Baja California to British Columbia / Mexico to Canada) run in their LEAF this past week:
My Nissan Leaf Forum View topic - Mexico to Canada via Electric Highway June 12-20, 2012
His 'adventure' has shown that the trip is possible, although not easy, and also time consuming.
Also, we are learning that frequent QC (multiple times per day) really does make the battery pack hot.
Nissan has been giving mixed messages about multiple QC per day sessions, but from what I am reading, I would not want to do it myself.
The CHAdeMO QC Highway through Oregon and Washington still doesn't make the LEAF into a great road-trip car...
Another article that notes the LEAF battery's susceptibility to heat, in this case early results from cars in AZ:
GreenCarReports - More Nissan LEAF Battery Loss, Nissan Doesn't Blink
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