GRA
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Re: GCC: Nissan shifting EV focus to affordability instead of range

Wed Apr 25, 2018 7:05 pm

LeftieBiker wrote:
Which assumes that 8 bars represents 65% on the 30kWh LEAF now, and that Nissan doesn't choose to reduce it in the future. The first seems questionable given some of the owner reports of when the 9th bar drops, and the last, given Nissan's unwillingness to provide a capacity warranty with a defined hard value as well as their past behavior is not something many informed buyers would trust.


This may surprise some here, but few people want to buy or lease a car with a 107 mile range, have that range immediately start to drop, have to wait roughly two years (or three, or four) for it to lose enough capacity for a warranty replacement (all the while losing more and more range), and then find that not only does the replacement pack behave exactly the same way, but that it may be made from used cells with 80% the capacity of the original. I think that more people would remain happy with their Leaf if it had an advertised 83 mile range, and 5 years later could still go 70+ miles.

I've always been a big fan of battery leasing. Not only does it drop the up front price of the car, which is one of the main barriers to BEV adoption, but you could also do it so that you get the same guaranteed capacity for as long as you lease it. Most current battery leases just guarantee some lower % (Smart uses 80%) of original before replacement, but I'd like to see if there would be many takers with a lower fixed value that would never decline. First gen Volt owners have had a pack that acts very similarly, and you just don't hear them bitching about degradation.

This would require carrying around extra battery with hidden capacity, which would increase the rental price and decrease the efficiency, but it would simplify sales no end. People wouldn't need to be told to allow for degradation, and it would reduce disappointment if they've calculated wrong; just like an ICE, the range (capacity) you start with is the capacity you end with - when it falls below that, you take the car in and they swap the pack for you. Repeat as needed. For a commute car, having a guaranteed capacity is probably more valuable than starting with more and having it constantly decline. I wonder too if customers would prefer that capacity be guaranteed regardless of conditions, simplifying things even more by not having to factor temperature effects on capacity into whether or not you can make it to work and back.. After all, the amount of energy my gas tank can hold doesn't change with the temperature (well, it does, but so minimally it can be and is ignored).

Battery rental also allows upgrades (or downgrades) in capacity as tech evolves or your needs change; you pay more or less depending on the capacity you choose. The downside is that it would be brand-specific, barring an agreement among manufacturers to adopt standardized packs, and they've had enough trouble agreeing on standardized connectors.
Guy [I have lots of experience designing/selling off-grid AE systems, some using EVs but don't own one. Local trips are by foot, bike and/or rapid transit].

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LeftieBiker
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Re: GCC: Nissan shifting EV focus to affordability instead of range

Wed Apr 25, 2018 8:21 pm

I don't disagree with the above, but I think that it makes much more sense to either understate the capacity and range when new, or to set a high threshold for replacement - say 90%, than to carry a second pack.
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SageBrush
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Re: GCC: Nissan shifting EV focus to affordability instead of range

Thu Apr 26, 2018 8:03 am

GRA wrote:
LeftieBiker wrote:
Which assumes that 8 bars represents 65% on the 30kWh LEAF now, and that Nissan doesn't choose to reduce it in the future. The first seems questionable given some of the owner reports of when the 9th bar drops, and the last, given Nissan's unwillingness to provide a capacity warranty with a defined hard value as well as their past behavior is not something many informed buyers would trust.


This may surprise some here, but few people want to buy or lease a car with a 107 mile range, have that range immediately start to drop, have to wait roughly two years (or three, or four) for it to lose enough capacity for a warranty replacement (all the while losing more and more range), and then find that not only does the replacement pack behave exactly the same way, but that it may be made from used cells with 80% the capacity of the original. I think that more people would remain happy with their Leaf if it had an advertised 83 mile range, and 5 years later could still go 70+ miles.

I've always been a big fan of battery leasing. Not only does it drop the up front price of the car, which is one of the main barriers to BEV adoption, but you could also do it so that you get the same guaranteed capacity for as long as you lease it. Most current battery leases just guarantee some lower % (Smart uses 80%) of original before replacement, but I'd like to see if there would be many takers with a lower fixed value that would never decline. First gen Volt owners have had a pack that acts very similarly, and you just don't hear them bitching about degradation.

This would require carrying around extra battery with hidden capacity, which would increase the rental price and decrease the efficiency, but it would simplify sales no end. People wouldn't need to be told to allow for degradation, and it would reduce disappointment if they've calculated wrong; just like an ICE, the range (capacity) you start with is the capacity you end with - when it falls below that, you take the car in and they swap the pack for you. Repeat as needed. For a commute car, having a guaranteed capacity is probably more valuable than starting with more and having it constantly decline. I wonder too if customers would prefer that capacity be guaranteed regardless of conditions, simplifying things even more by not having to factor temperature effects on capacity into whether or not you can make it to work and back.. After all, the amount of energy my gas tank can hold doesn't change with the temperature (well, it does, but so minimally it can be and is ignored).

Battery rental also allows upgrades (or downgrades) in capacity as tech evolves or your needs change; you pay more or less depending on the capacity you choose. The downside is that it would be brand-specific, barring an agreement among manufacturers to adopt standardized packs, and they've had enough trouble agreeing on standardized connectors.

One small problem -- the price
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Bought off-lease Jan 2017 from N. California
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IssacZachary
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Re: GCC: Nissan shifting EV focus to affordability instead of range

Thu Apr 26, 2018 7:03 pm

Messing with some numbers the other day, I discovered that in the ICE world there have been some cars that have notable reoccurring transmission or engine problems. Yet even after the warranty expires with having to pay to fix these defects from time to time, the overall cost to own and operate such cars was still much cheaper than a lot of the better built cars out there.

If Nissan could do that, make the overall cost to own and operate the car much lower than cars like Tesla or Bolt, even with having to change the battery after the warranty expires, that would make sense to me. But as it stands now, after the battery warranty expires, if I live in a hot climate and have to change a $6,000 every 3 years that doesn't make any sense. That means saving up $2,000 per year, or about $180 per month just for batteries.

But if they could work the price of that same battery down to $1,000, I wouldn't care about having to change it every 3 years. I could live with that.

Or, what would be the same, if I could lease the battery for a low price of $50 or less per month, that would be ok too.
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SageBrush
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Re: GCC: Nissan shifting EV focus to affordability instead of range

Thu Apr 26, 2018 7:49 pm

IssacZachary wrote:Or, what would be the same, if I could lease the battery for a low price of $50 or less per month, that would be ok too.

The same would be ~ $30 a month
2013 LEAF 'S' Model with QC & rear-view camera
Bought off-lease Jan 2017 from N. California
Car is now enjoying an easy life in Colorado
3/2018: 58 Ahr, 28k miles
-----
2018 Tesla Model 3 LR, Delivered 6/2018

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IssacZachary
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Re: GCC: Nissan shifting EV focus to affordability instead of range

Thu Apr 26, 2018 8:00 pm

SageBrush wrote:
IssacZachary wrote:Or, what would be the same, if I could lease the battery for a low price of $50 or less per month, that would be ok too.

The same would be ~ $30 a month

I know that. But $50 or less would do it for me. In other words $30 per month would be fine. $40 ok. But I wouldn't want to spend more than $50 per month.
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smkettner
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Re: GCC: Nissan shifting EV focus to affordability instead of range

Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:11 pm

I see no shift in focus. Nissan LEAF has focused on low cost from the beginning. I expect Nissan to continue this approach.
1 bar lost at 21,451 miles, 16 months.
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SageBrush
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Re: GCC: Nissan shifting EV focus to affordability instead of range

Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:13 pm

IssacZachary wrote:
SageBrush wrote:
IssacZachary wrote:Or, what would be the same, if I could lease the battery for a low price of $50 or less per month, that would be ok too.

The same would be ~ $30 a month

I know that. But $50 or less would do it for me. In other words $30 per month would be fine. $40 ok. But I wouldn't want to spend more than $50 per month.

Then shouldn't you be willing to spend $1800 every 3 years ? Just save $50 a month into a piggy bank

By the way, $1800 for a 30 kWh pack is $60 a kWh retail. That is years and years away
2013 LEAF 'S' Model with QC & rear-view camera
Bought off-lease Jan 2017 from N. California
Car is now enjoying an easy life in Colorado
3/2018: 58 Ahr, 28k miles
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IssacZachary
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Re: GCC: Nissan shifting EV focus to affordability instead of range

Fri Apr 27, 2018 12:17 am

SageBrush wrote:Then shouldn't you be willing to spend $1800 every 3 years ? Just save $50 a month into a piggy bank

That's easier said than done. On the other hand, Pa always said it's better to save up than go into debt. :D

SageBrush wrote:By the way, $1800 for a 30 kWh pack is $60 a kWh retail. That is years and years away

True, unless like many have said, if you could extend the life of the battery.

If done correctly, the "30kWh battery" would start out with 42kWh but be limited to only 30kWh until it hits 70% of it's capacity and is considered end of life. It would reach that point after 12 years or 150,000 miles and either cost $6000 outright or could be leased at $50 per month, although you could be charged extra miles for more than 12,000 miles per year during the lease. I think that would be possible in the near future, or at least it's a goal. If possible it would work out to $142 per kWh.

If Nissan can't extend battery life then prices need to come down to where it's $60 per kWh. But it would seem easier to extend the battery life than to lower the price. I read somewhere that those that own Leafs in cold regions can expect their batteries to last as many as 10 years. Sounds like a well designed TMS would fix that for all regions.

But on the other hand you have to wonder why Nissan hasn't done a TMS in a Leaf yet? Is it cheaper to replace those batteries under warranty than to put thermal management systems in new Leafs? If that's the case, that would either mean those batteries are much cheaper to build than Nissan leads us to believe or they made a bad business decision to not include TMS. But if the former is the case, the possibility of getting cheap batteries in our own hands may be closer than we think.

Unless the battery degradation problem isn't as bad as many believe except in hot areas. That would mean that for most of us living outside out Phoenix may see more than 8 years on our batteries.

Anyhow, that's my dos centavos.
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SageBrush
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Re: GCC: Nissan shifting EV focus to affordability instead of range

Fri Apr 27, 2018 1:31 am

IssacZachary wrote:If done correctly, the "30kWh battery" would start out with 42kWh but be limited to only 30kWh until it hits 70% of it's capacity and is considered end of life. It would reach that point after 12 years or 150,000 miles.

If a 30 kWh pack reaches 70% (21 kWh) after 3 years, then a 42 kWh pack reaches the same 21 kWh in about 3*42/30 = 4.2 years all else being equal.

Though perhaps with Nissan engineering at the helm the 42 kWh pack degrades faster.
2013 LEAF 'S' Model with QC & rear-view camera
Bought off-lease Jan 2017 from N. California
Car is now enjoying an easy life in Colorado
3/2018: 58 Ahr, 28k miles
-----
2018 Tesla Model 3 LR, Delivered 6/2018

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