evchels
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Re: Andy Palmer and Chelsea Sexton Discuss the Nissan LEAF

Fri Oct 05, 2012 7:47 am

Hi all,

Thanks for your comments on the video. I knew it wasn't going to be as detailed as some wanted, but I tried to press for as much information as I was reasonably going to get on the spot, while also getting in as many questions as I could in the time we had. As you saw in Jeff's comment, it's already much longer than he imagined! Though I too, told him that the last thing you guys would complain about...

As some have mentioned, there was also the reality that lawyers were only going to let him say so much, especially on camera. As it is, I'm surprised that those who reviewed the video after the fact let it stay intact- though I suspect that Jeff probably has some scars to show for that fight.

I did also send them home with some "homework".

1) projected degradation for AZ at 12,500 miles/year, right off the bat.

2) Battery cost.
As an aside, I too was surprised at Andy's response about not expecting customers to want to replace a whole pack, and we had more discussion about this off-camera. Some of this (and other issues) can be traced to Nissan not understanding their EV customers as well as it should, though this is an industry-wide issue. But at least part of his response was based, imo, in his own engineering bent- that it makes more sense to replace modules than a whole pack. (To which I responded that I'd be happy to start with a price for replacing individual modules!) Some of it may be timing, too- I don't know that they expected they'd never need a retail pack price. For sure, they didn't seem to expect to need one so soon.

3) More warranty specificity and possible revision around capacity and degradation.

4) More information on the variables impacting degradation- e.g., how much freeway driving, fast charges, etc. (I actually really like the web app idea for this.)

I expect the latter two will be longer conversations, and the advisory group may be useful for helping to shape at least #4. Either way, I'll keep on it...

mdh
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Re: Andy Palmer and Chelsea Sexton Discuss the Nissan LEAF

Fri Oct 05, 2012 7:55 am

I think this was a fantastic start reaching out to this pioneering community. We can drive a ton of business for them...


evchels wrote:Hi all,

Thanks for your comments on the video. I knew it wasn't going to be as detailed as some wanted, but I tried to press for as much information as I was reasonably going to get on the spot, while also getting in as many questions as I could in the time we had. As you saw in Jeff's comment, it's already much longer than he imagined! Though I too, told him that the last thing you guys would complain about...

As some have mentioned, there was also the reality that lawyers were only going to let him say so much, especially on camera. As it is, I'm surprised that those who reviewed the video after the fact let it stay intact- though I suspect that Jeff probably has some scars to show for that fight.

I did also send them home with some "homework".

1) projected degradation for AZ at 12,500 miles/year, right off the bat.

2) Battery cost.
As an aside, I too was surprised at Andy's response about not expecting customers to want to replace a whole pack, and we had more discussion about this off-camera. Some of this (and other issues) can be traced to Nissan not understanding their EV customers as well as it should, though this is an industry-wide issue. But at least part of his response was based, imo, in his own engineering bent- that it makes more sense to replace modules than a whole pack. (To which I responded that I'd be happy to start with a price for replacing individual modules!) Some of it may be timing, too- I don't know that they expected they'd never need a retail pack price. For sure, they didn't seem to expect to need one so soon.

3) More warranty specificity and possible revision around capacity and degradation.

4) More information on the variables impacting degradation- e.g., how much freeway driving, fast charges, etc. (I actually really like the web app idea for this.)

I expect the latter two will be longer conversations, and the advisory group may be useful for helping to shape at least #4. Either way, I'll keep on it...

Stoaty
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Re: Andy Palmer and Chelsea Sexton Discuss the Nissan LEAF

Fri Oct 05, 2012 8:00 am

evchels wrote: I did also send them home with some "homework".

1) projected degradation for AZ at 12,500 miles/year, right off the bat.

2) Battery cost.

3) More warranty specificity and possible revision around capacity and degradation.

4) More information on the variables impacting degradation- e.g., how much freeway driving, fast charges, etc. (I actually really like the web app idea for this.)
Hi Chelsea, I thought the video was a good start to providing more info. This homework is excellent. There is one question missing, though:

5) When is Nissan going to start marketing the car with more specific information, not just giving those of us on the forum that info? I imagine it is particularly galling for those in Arizona to see the Leaf marketed in exactly the same way in Arizona after all of the info about lost capacity. It seems to me that when you are in a hole, the first thing to do is to stop digging.
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DaveinOlyWA
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Re: Andy Palmer and Chelsea Sexton Discuss the Nissan LEAF

Fri Oct 05, 2012 8:03 am

surfingslovak wrote:
EricH wrote: Has this been documented one way or the other?
If I remember correctly, on occasion I would notice some missing trips in CarWings. There were reports of discrepancies between total recorded mileage on the odometer and in CarWings. Either way, it's relatively easy to confirm this behavior.
Carwings (i think) requires the additional permissions since its accessed thru public networks and can be hacked despite being password protected and so on.

Nissan's intranet where our data is stored is not publicly accessible (as easily as Carwings..nothing is perfectly safe) and i am sure that Nissan is tracking that information. now whether is transmitted thru Carwings directly to Nissan or if just stored and collected during the required annual battery checks, I dont know.

but if Nissan is not collecting that information in one way or another, they have made a great mistake
2011 SL; 44,598 mi, 87% SOH. 2013 S; 44,840 mi, 91% SOH. 2016 S30; 29,413 mi, 99% SOH. 2018 S; 25,185 mi, SOH 92.23%. 2019 S Plus; 16,686 mi, 91.51% SOH
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OrientExpress
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Re: Andy Palmer and Chelsea Sexton Discuss the Nissan LEAF

Fri Oct 05, 2012 8:17 am

On the topic of Lease v. Buy

I was as surprised as Nissan was of the large number of individuals that bought this 1st generation car rather than leasing it. To me it seemed illogical that anyone would buy into a first generation highly complex electronic product that had no track record like the LEAF, knowing full well, that it would be superseded by future generations that were cheaper, better, etc.,

Now granted, that bet has worked out for the vast majority of buyers, but still, if you want to get in on the leading edge of a new high-priced product category, leasing is the norm for any sort of evolving technology. I know that is not much of a consolation for those of you that did buy your LEAFs, but still there is nothing holding you back from selling or trading your LEAF at some point when you feel it makes sense to jump to the latest version.

Essentially the LEAF 1 is the equivalent of the original iPhone. It is a perfectly fine product that worked as design, but was quickly superseded by better and cheaper technology.

On the topic of upgrades

The number one ask by buyers of high tech products is if there is an upgrade path for that product. And most high tech products have a modular approach to them that in theory would allow for more current module to be used at a point in the future.

But in reality, when it comes to actually upgrading a product, time and time again, the actual take rate for that upgrade is incredibly low simply because technology advances and cost reductions simply made moving to the technology duJour more appealing than upgrading.

If you survey the automotive landscape, I don't think you will be hard pressed to find any manufacturer that offers any sort of upgrade for any automobile today. It just does not make business sense in most cases.

But with that said, if Nissan chooses not offer some sort of "rejuvenation" program for LEAFs down the line, that simply represents a business opportunity for a 3rd party to fill that niche need. I firmly believe that someone will offer solution in the next 2 ~3 years. This one is another "Be patient and stay tuned" item.
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DaveinOlyWA
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Re: Andy Palmer and Chelsea Sexton Discuss the Nissan LEAF

Fri Oct 05, 2012 8:23 am

walterbays wrote:
Randy wrote:But because the battery is expensive, and the fact that the price is going to take some time to arrive at tells me that the Nissan cost of the pack is high and they have to determine whether they're going to try and sell it at a profit (and make it even higher priced), sell it at cost, or take a loss when selling a few of them to us owners...

Why else would it take so long to arrive at a price?
I can "answer" that with pure conjecture:

A few years ago car makers looked at the economics of producing EV's. Most of them decided they couldn't make money at it and at best started programs to build a handful of CARB compliance cars. Nissan decided they could make money if several trends were favorable. They set out to try to influence those trends, and to produce the first mass market affordable EV. It was a "bet the company" move that, if successful, would catapult Nissan ahead of Toyota and their hybrid technology.

One big trend they bet on was the decline of battery cost per kWh. Remember when Leaf launched all the discussion about the price, wondering whether they were losing money on each car, and the surprise at how low Leaf's $/kWh figure was compared to other batteries? Getting the net cost down requires the Tennessee plant, economies of scale, and improved chemistry. It also requires secondary use markets, and raw materials recycling for higher trade-in value of the old battery. Economies of scale depend obviously on lots of EV's being sold. But also, only if lots of EV's are sold and are perceived to be increasing in volume, do the investments in improved chemistry research get made, do the deals with electric utilities for secondary storage use get signed, and do the lithium recycling plants get built and scaled up.

So they start out losing money on every car, but don't talk about it. They talk confidently about the line being profitable - thinking of 5 years or 10 years with increasing volumes and falling costs. They know many batteries will be replaced in 10 years and some will even be replaced in 5 years. But they're confident that by that time the costs will have fallen sufficiently, and they plan to set a trade-in price on a remanufactured battery some time between 5 and 10 years from launch.

Then some batteries in Arizona begin degrading faster than they imagined, and customers want to know the cost of new batteries now so we'll have an idea about depreciation of our investments. What can they say? If they use today's actual cost it will drive customers away. If they use the 2021 projected cost a bunch of people will want to trade batteries early to restore minor loss of capacity.

Perhaps they'll end up offering in effect to convert some battery purchases to leases. You pay so much per month, based on the age and mileage of your car, to guarantee a future remanufactured battery to replace your original capacity. The replacement battery would be available sometime between 2016 and 2021 depending on mileage and tested capacity. You might get it sooner if capacity tests abnormally low sooner, with warranty coverage offsetting some of the cost. The lease terms would let people calculate an equivalent retail price of a replacement battery with trade-in. That price would probably be close to Nissan's projected price in that year. But Nissan wouldn't have committed to sell them at that price, nor even to sell them at all. If a new chemistry gave 10% higher kWh per pound Nissan might lower their lease price for new customers going forward. If a major deal fell through with a utility that had planned to reuse old Leaf batteries, Nissan might raise their lease price.

Whether or not they do that for the majority of Leaf owners, they might offer similar deals to the customers worst affected by capacity loss. They'd guarantee restoration of capacity when really needed at a known price. And I wouldn't be surprised if a condition of the deal were to sign a non-disclosure agreement so that the rest of us don't know the price.

Walter, i think you are probably on the right track

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2011 SL; 44,598 mi, 87% SOH. 2013 S; 44,840 mi, 91% SOH. 2016 S30; 29,413 mi, 99% SOH. 2018 S; 25,185 mi, SOH 92.23%. 2019 S Plus; 16,686 mi, 91.51% SOH
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Stanton
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Re: Andy Palmer and Chelsea Sexton Discuss the Nissan LEAF

Fri Oct 05, 2012 8:42 am

timhebb wrote: How could Nissan have failed to consider any customer demand for battery replacement, but apparently gave some thought to a pack upgrade path? Or, was Andy just smoothly improvising in response to the upgrade question?
Simple: the battery pack is DESIGNED for modular replacement. If I have a failure early on (definitely under warranty), standard procedure would be to replace only the failed module(s). If there are failures down the road (maybe under warranty), I may be more included to UPGRADE the entire pack depending on technology advancements, cost, etc. This question comes up a lot with EVs, and anyone who doesn't recognize this fundamental paradigm shift with respect to ICE cars shouldn't be buying a BEV.
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Re: Andy Palmer and Chelsea Sexton Discuss the Nissan LEAF

Fri Oct 05, 2012 9:09 am

Stanton wrote:
timhebb wrote: How could Nissan have failed to consider any customer demand for battery replacement, but apparently gave some thought to a pack upgrade path? Or, was Andy just smoothly improvising in response to the upgrade question?
Simple: the battery pack is DESIGNED for modular replacement. If I have a failure early on (definitely under warranty), standard procedure would be to replace only the failed module(s). If there are failures down the road (maybe under warranty), I may be more included to UPGRADE the entire pack depending on technology advancements, cost, etc. This question comes up a lot with EVs, and anyone who doesn't recognize this fundamental paradigm shift with respect to ICE cars shouldn't be buying a BEV.

with a 150,000 unit auto plant and a 200,000 battery plant, sounds like they do have the supply line in place (or getting there)

problem with module failure is it is simply pull out the bad, replace with good. degradation is (if the pack is working as designed) is reduced capacity equally among all modules which is entire pack replacement.

now up to now; battery pack supplies have been constrained. the TN plant (which is supposedly been churning out packs for a month or so now) should allow a free flow of packs here soon.

the question of the day; have asked it several times and i am guessing (or hoping!) that i missed the answer yet but how is that battery plant ramp up doing?

anyone have some info on that?? Gary Hill!!! you were just there touring. how many cars were parked in front of the battery plant??

any trucks loading/unloading? plant sounds? metal clanging? anything yet?
2011 SL; 44,598 mi, 87% SOH. 2013 S; 44,840 mi, 91% SOH. 2016 S30; 29,413 mi, 99% SOH. 2018 S; 25,185 mi, SOH 92.23%. 2019 S Plus; 16,686 mi, 91.51% SOH
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edatoakrun
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Re: Andy Palmer and Chelsea Sexton Discuss the Nissan LEAF

Fri Oct 05, 2012 9:12 am

OrientExpress wrote:On the topic of Lease v. Buy

I was as surprised as Nissan was of the large number of individuals that bought this 1st generation car rather than leasing it. To me it seemed illogical that anyone would buy into a first generation highly complex electronic product that had no track record like the LEAF, knowing full well, that it would be superseded by future generations that were cheaper, better, etc...
Speaking for myself, I leased, in no small part, due to uncertainty as to how The LEAF could handle a rural mountainous region with few public charging opportunities. When I discovered how well my LEAF handled this challenge, I bought simply because the lease rate offered by Nissan was just too high. With the current low lease rates and high residuals, I would probably lease, if I were making the same choice today.

I also figured that, while the LEAF is an excellent low-cost "family truckster", my ideal BEV for longer-range would be something Esflow-sized, with considerably longer freeway range (Maybe even with enough range to reach the ~200 miles North and South, to the nearest DC's, where they are today) So I figured within three years, if better BEVs were available, I'd still keep the LEAF as a second BEV, for larger passenger loads and cargo duties, as it would still be worth much more to me than my ~$15k lease residual.

Well, halfway through my original 36 month lease, I don't see any BEV coming to market in that time frame, that seems to be a much better match for my "ideal" BEV, than my 2011 LEAF. So, while that's a little disappointing, I am still satisfied with my purchase decision.
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mksE55
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Re: Andy Palmer and Chelsea Sexton Discuss the Nissan LEAF

Fri Oct 05, 2012 9:21 am

Thanks Chelsea ,

I think you did a good job and he did avoid the answer on a few of your questions. I think when the advisory board meets ( hope soon) they can put the collective pressure to get answers , rather than leaving you to be the heavy. I see no benefit to brow beating someone. Either they have the answer or they dont and move on. But it would not look good if you are meeting to go over questions and he states I dont have an answer for any of them. Still waiting to see if Nissan does right by its customers.
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