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

Fri Oct 05, 2012 9:30 am

I personally am not very happy with Andy Palmer's response to Chelsea Sexton's questions.
I cannot believe Nissan would not anticipate that an individual (who purchased the LEAF) would interested in purchasing a replacement battery to renew the range and usefulness of the vehicle.

A possible reason could be that Nissan believed the battery would basically last the life of the vehicle at most degrading 70% after 10 years under the most stressful conditions. Nissan may have not anticipated the effects on temperature on the battery degradation in AZ and are now scrambling to address this serious issue which will affect the product life of the Leaf.

I purchased my Leaf and have lost two bars after about 18 months with 16,000 miles on my odometer.
Since Nissan cannot provide the replacement cost of a battery, I will have to now start the formal complaint process to initiate the Nissan buy back process. I believe this a prudent move for individuals who purchased LEAFs.

Another comment is that I question the statistic of 7500 average miles per year for AZ LEAFs. Most people I meet use their Leaf (instead of their ICE) as much as possible and are driving at least 1000 miles per month. Could this be 7500 miles per calendar year. The average mileage for 2011 would be relatively low.
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adric22
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Re: Andy Palmer and Chelsea Sexton Discuss the Nissan LEAF

Fri Oct 05, 2012 9:41 am

Oh, something I wanted to mention. In the interview he said in regard to the price that they were working towards cost reduction because they didn't expect the government subsidies to be around for long. So lets assume for a moment that they do manage to reach a point where they can sell the car for $7,500 less than they do now while still having a profit margin. That would be an MSRP of around $27,000 with no subsidy. How would this affect sales?
  • On one hand the cost of the vehicle "looks" a lot less, creating less "sticker shock" to uninformed consumers.
  • This would also benefit customers who do not qualify for the full tax rebate.
  • It would also help lowering monthly payments of traditional 5-year car loans since the customer would not need to wait until tax-time to get the refund and benefit from the subsidy.
  • It would be less confusing.
  • it would give the EV-haters less to complain about.
  • It would make the lease less attractive.
All in all, I think it would be a good thing and that sales would likely increase in this event, even though the cost to the consumer really won't have changed much.
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klapauzius
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Re: Andy Palmer and Chelsea Sexton Discuss the Nissan LEAF

Fri Oct 05, 2012 9:52 am

drees wrote: Mark Perry stated exactly that a number of times - if you find capacity low at some point you'd be able to "refresh" your pack by replacing the weakest ones and get a good bump in capacity.
Has anyone done that yet? I would think the Arizona Leafs would be a great testbed for that hypothesis, as they represent a time-accelerated sample of what is going to happen to all Leaf batteries eventually.

Why was this not presented as an option for the Arizona cases? My guess is, because it is not working. That would have been such a nice solution for the conundrum, swap out a part for $600 and buy another year solace from concerned owners...

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

Fri Oct 05, 2012 9:55 am

edatoakrun wrote:
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.
Me too, although I leased because I knew that the current Leaf had the 3.3 kW charger and other cars had 6.6 kW, so I figured it was only a matter of time before the Leaf had 6.6 kW, which is going to be the case in the 2013 MY. I was also suprised at how many purchased, but I took it as a reassuring sign of their confidence in the car.

On the larger scale, I think the thermal issues at hand are the not-unexpected growing pains of getting used to the capabilities of a new way of driving. Palmer talking about the non-linear behavior of battery life brings up the key issue, I think, and that is the mismatch between the way the battery is going to behave and the gauge we use to measure it. We perceive the 12 segment battery health gauge as being linear because we are surrounded by linear gauges in our daily lives. The gas gauge on an ICE car certainly is linear, and it's what we're used to. So, we see one bar missing and we say precisely one twelfth of the battery capacity is gone. But, remember that the battery is a non-linear chemical system, not a linear mechanical system, so it looses more capacity early on, then the rate of loss decreases and stablizes. Has Nissan programmed in the initial non-linear behaviour of the battery to the 12 segment health gauge? I would hope so, but , if not, that might help explain part of the problem.

Here's a question: When I cut grass with my lead-acid battery powered mower, and it runs out of juice, if I try to restart it, it will run for a few seconds then die. But, if I let it sit for 20 minutes, I can ususally get another 10 minutes of run time. This is non-linear behavior. I've had ICE cars in which the battery dies while cranking the engine. I've let it sit for 15 minutes, and I can get some more cranks out of it, again, non-linear.

Knowing full well the Leaf battery is a completely different chemistry, has anyone run a Leaf to empty and let it sit for 20 or 30 minutes? Can you then get a another couple of miles?
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Re: Andy Palmer and Chelsea Sexton Discuss the Nissan LEAF

Fri Oct 05, 2012 10:29 am

That was an interesting interview. I was flabbergasted at Andy Palmer's suggestion that Nissan was surprised at the interest in replacing battery packs. Am I the only one who keeps cars for 20+ years and figured that the battery pack would have to be replaced periodically to keep the range useful? I really wish I had seen that video before I bought my car and I would have leased—despite the loss of my state tax credit—as so many here have been gloating about doing. Oh well, I am enjoying driving the car and, barring a deer collision, hope to continue to do so for years to come.

I remain skeptical that the degradation profile will level off as much as they keep stating. As the capacity decreases, charging cycles and charging depth will have to increase to allow for useful range. And that is supposed to be bad for capacity. And so it goes.
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myleaf
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Re: Andy Palmer and Chelsea Sexton Discuss the Nissan LEAF

Fri Oct 05, 2012 10:36 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.,

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.
I purchased instead of leasing, because I do not mind owning vehicles for 10+ years. The 2011 had the features that were sufficient for my needs. I did not see a need for a faster charger, etc. I charge mainly on my L2 at home. But one of the main reasons behind purchasing instead of leasing was my understanding at the time of purchase that the range would be 70% after 10 years, which would work for my normal daily commute. If I had known that after 5 years I can expect 76% capacity driving 7500 miles per year and 50%?? after 10 years driving 12000 miles/year , I would have not purchased the LEAF, but purchased another vehicle suitable for the AZ climate and my "above average" annual mileage of 12,000 miles per year.
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Re: Andy Palmer and Chelsea Sexton Discuss the Nissan LEAF

Fri Oct 05, 2012 10:43 am

Stoaty wrote: 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.
Absolutely. I forgot to mention this aspect above, but have been hammering it in a broader context with folks at Nissan and the industry in general. More realistic range information to begin with (I commented to one Nissan exec yesterday that "any statement remotely close to '100 miles per charge' needs to be abolished from your company, your people, and all LEAF marketing.") climate-based expectations as appropriate, etc.

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Re: Andy Palmer and Chelsea Sexton Discuss the Nissan LEAF

Fri Oct 05, 2012 10:49 am

Maybe my question is a dumb one, but if Nissan has preferred that people would lease the LEAF instead of buying it, then why didn't they just offer the lease option only and not offer any buy option?

Or at least make the lease term a lot more attractive than the buy term.
Last edited by Volusiano on Fri Oct 05, 2012 10:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Andy Palmer and Chelsea Sexton Discuss the Nissan LEAF

Fri Oct 05, 2012 10:50 am

evchels wrote:... I commented to one Nissan exec yesterday that "any statement remotely close to '100 miles per charge' needs to be abolished from your company, your people, and all LEAF marketing."
:!: Thank YOU :!:
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Re: Andy Palmer and Chelsea Sexton Discuss the Nissan LEAF

Fri Oct 05, 2012 10:51 am

Volusiano wrote:Maybe my question is a dumb one, but if Nissan has preferred that people would lease the LEAF instead of buying it, then why didn't they just offer the lease option only and not offer any buy option?

Or at least make the lease term a lot more attractive than the buy term.
Well the answer to the first part is easy...the distrust built into the community over lease practices.
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