My battery's fine, but I got wondering whether a swap-out with new cells would be cheaper than an entire battery replacement in the future. So, out of sheer curiosity, I emailed Lithium Energy Japan last week for a price on buying 100 brand new LEV50 cells. I expected to hit a brick wall but you never know until you try.
Their initial response was why I wanted them. I explained to replace cells in an electric car (plus have spares). They then emailed back:
We are providing the spare batteries to Mitsubishi Motors Europe to distribute to the end customer in Europe.
I may have to ask you to contact to your vehicle's car dealer for replacing your battery. If they have an enough stock, they will sell you the new batteries.
If not, we will receive the order from Mitsubishi Motors Europe for the spare batteries.
So, I emailed Mitsubishi Slovakia, asking for a price and a part number for the LEV50 cell. They responded the next day that the part number is MZ690402 and it costs €143,81 per cell. But then searching around the net, it looks like that they actually quoted me a lead-acid battery
. I emailed them back to clarify if this is indeed true, but I haven't heard back yet.
In the meantime, I asked Peugeot Slovakia the same question. They responded back that they cannot sell individual cells; they can't even order them themselves. They said the only option was to replace the whole pack at a cost of €18,510. Hehehe, no thanks.
So, the answers appear to be that it's just not possible to buy individual cells from Mitsubishi/Peugeot/Citroen, even though the manufacturer gave me the impression it is possible. Of course, someone in that chain might not have the correct info.
The other alternative is waiting for a third-party battery manufacturer to make similar cells which drop straight in, replacing the old cells, but after searching around the net it seems no company is making those (yet).
When my battery pack does eventually wind down, I'd much prefer to replace it with a new one than throw away the entire car and upgrade. This is both for ecological and sentimental reasons. I just don't want to pay three times more than the car is worth to do it! Oh well, the joy of being pioneers, huh?