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Re: Fenix Power: A new third party battery replacement?

Posted: Tue Aug 04, 2020 8:48 am
by jlv
Isn't it just a used battery that has been pulled from a wrecked LEAF? I'm not sure what was refurbished in the battery.

Re: Fenix Power: A new third party battery replacement?

Posted: Tue Aug 04, 2020 9:33 am
by SageBrush2
jlv wrote:
Tue Aug 04, 2020 8:48 am
Isn't it just a used battery that has been pulled from a wrecked LEAF? I'm not sure what was refurbished in the battery.
As I understand things, the refurbisher buys packs (I'd imagine from wrecks, but the trail is unknown), pulls them apart and tests modules. They then build a pack from similar capacity modules that meets some marketing spec, perform some balancing (if you are lucky) and then it is sold to a company like Fenix, or to installers, or perhaps to private customers.

This approach to refurb'd batteries was tried many times in the Prius used battery market and is generally conceded to be a failure because the battery pack usually lasts 6 - 24 months before failure. That is saying something, since the Prius pack is a lot more forgiving of degradation than a LEAF pack. Compared to the LEAF refurb industry, the Prius refurbs had the distinct advantage of being a relatively simple installation that did not require a garage and lift -- and it still failed due to a combination of poor quality refurbs and overhead costs.

Re: Fenix Power: A new third party battery replacement?

Posted: Wed Aug 05, 2020 2:26 pm
by cwerdna
cwerdna wrote:
Thu Jul 30, 2020 12:56 am
cwerdna wrote:
Sat Jul 04, 2020 1:22 am
https://fenix.systems/news/fenix-news/2 ... rst-flight talks about June 21st and
What’s a flight? And why is boarding ending?

In order to find a good balance between fast delivery and optimized shipping, we are adopting a deployment plan that steps right into a long-term installation cadence. To achieve this, instead of having just one launch, we have 16 launches each year, each launch starts a group of new customers away from battery worries. We’re calling these groups; Flights, and here’s how they will work:

Every flight will last up to 10 weeks, most will be closer to 8.
The first 3 weeks are open for “Boarding”, essentially the sign-up period.
Week 4 batteries begin to ship to installers.
Week 5 installation scheduling begins.
Weeks 6-9 Battery installations.
Weeks 10+ Enjoying that new car feeling all over again!

Since we’re starting in the middle of 2020, our first Flight didn’t start boarding until, the first week of June, week 23, which means we will only have 10 Flights this year. While we already have quite a few of you checked in for Flight 1, boarding for Flight 1 will be closing faster than you think! All of our weeks begin on Monday and end Sunday night, so boarding for our inaugural flight is scheduled to end today, Sunday, June 21st!
It lists 14 areas and if I counted correctly, we should start hearing about installation of "CPO" Leaf batteries beginning the week of July 19th.

Will be interesting to see if anything materializes...
We're almost at the end of July.

Has there been any word of successful installs of used Leaf batteries by this outfit?
https://fenix.systems/blog has an update: https://fenix.systems/news/2020/07/31/s ... motivation supposedly from July 31.

Not surprisingly, it's another nothing burger.
it’s time for the updates I intended to share when I started this post. First, our installation partner contracts will be going out to installers this coming week, and we’ll get back to shipping batteries and scheduling installations very soon. I will be helping out with those installation scheduling calls and look forward to speaking with our CPO customers again.

Re: Fenix Power: A new third party battery replacement?

Posted: Wed Aug 05, 2020 2:38 pm
by SageBrush
cwerdna wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 2:26 pm
Not surprisingly, it's another nothing burger.
Painful to watch.
All this melodrama to just swap in a refurb battery of very dubious value.
Fenix aside, I think it does point out just how difficult the logistics of LEAF battery swaps are. These are big, heavy batteries people are tying to ship; and of course the 'installers' may or may not know what they are doing.

Anyone remember the great Fenix promise of a liquid-cooled, new pack replacement ? That was the only clue I needed to never go near that company.

Re: Fenix Power: A new third party battery replacement?

Posted: Wed Aug 05, 2020 4:20 pm
by coleafrado
I'm pretty sure BigBattery isn't disassembling and refurbishing packs. I could be wrong, but that's my understanding.
SageBrush wrote:
SageBrush2 wrote: As I understand things, the refurbisher buys packs (I'd imagine from wrecks, but the trail is unknown), pulls them apart and tests modules. They then build a pack from similar capacity modules that meets some marketing spec, perform some balancing (if you are lucky) and then it is sold to a company like Fenix, or to installers, or perhaps to private customers.

This approach to refurb'd batteries was tried many times in the Prius used battery market and is generally conceded to be a failure because the battery pack usually lasts 6 - 24 months before failure. That is saying something, since the Prius pack is a lot more forgiving of degradation than a LEAF pack. Compared to the LEAF refurb industry, the Prius refurbs had the distinct advantage of being a relatively simple installation that did not require a garage and lift -- and it still failed due to a combination of poor quality refurbs and overhead costs.
This strikes me as misinformation. I don't really get why there are two SageBrush accounts, either :idea:

I wouldn't mix up the two markets. Prius batteries (the kind that get 'rebuilt' and a 1-year warranty) are NiMH, not lithium-ion, and are about 1/20th the size of the Leaf pack. They wear out much faster than BEV packs, owing to the number of cycles they're put through (most old ones are around 40-60% health), and they're not "more forgiving" to degradation. It's just that the failure is concealed by the magic ability of the Prius to burn more gas. At a certain point, the car stops going into reverse and then fails to crank altogether.

Re: Fenix Power: A new third party battery replacement?

Posted: Wed Aug 05, 2020 4:29 pm
by SageBrush
coleafrado wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 4:20 pm
Prius batteries (the kind that get 'rebuilt' and a 1-year warranty) are NiMH, not lithium-ion, and are about 1/20th the size of the Leaf pack. They wear out much faster than BEV packs, owing to the number of cycles they're put through (most old ones are around 40-60% health), and they're not "more forgiving" to degradation.
The Prius battery degrades slowly because Toyota restricts it to the ~ middle 60% SoC and it has air cooling. Real air cooling, through the pack.
When I said forgiving, I was referring to the fact that hybrid performance is not impaired or noticeable to the driver until degradation is way past 50%.

Feel free to not believe me about these LEAF refurb packs. If they ever get installed, we'll have owner experience soon enough

---
If Nissan would sell 40 kWh packs to anybody at a reasonable price this entire attempt to give old LEAFs a second life would look very different. As it is, there are not enough healthy 30 or 40 kWh salvage packs to meet demand or the volume a business needs so we are left with sad attempts at picking apart old bones to make frankenstein packs.

Our time and money would be much better spent by pressing Nissan to sell 40 kWh packs for 3rd party installation.

Re: Fenix Power: A new third party battery replacement?

Posted: Wed Aug 05, 2020 8:54 pm
by RonSwanson
cwerdna wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 2:26 pm
Not surprisingly, it's another nothing burger.
Their updates are so painful to read. I've never seen someone say so much but not actually say anything.

Re: Fenix Power: A new third party battery replacement?

Posted: Wed Aug 05, 2020 9:07 pm
by cwerdna
RonSwanson wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 8:54 pm
cwerdna wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 2:26 pm
Not surprisingly, it's another nothing burger.
Their updates are so painful to read. I've never seen someone say so much but not actually say anything.
Indeed. There seems to be a lot of talk but little in the way of results/follow through. Was hoping to actually see some results.

At this pace, I wouldn't be surprised if their thermally-managed battery as a service w/more than 24 kWh of capacity blah blah never ships. It may become completely irreverent with an insufficient market if they ever complete development and testing.

Anyone who can afford to trade up to another EV, switch to a PHEV or back to an ICEV can do so. There are lots of new and used EV/PHEVs available now. Those who can't for some reason and are holding out for their vaporware... well, they're taking a hell of a risk, IMHO.

Re: Fenix Power: A new third party battery replacement?

Posted: Thu Aug 06, 2020 6:45 am
by SageBrush
cwerdna wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 9:07 pm
At this pace, I wouldn't be surprised if their thermally-managed battery as a service w/more than 24 kWh of capacity blah blah never ships.
Yep -- bags of hyperbole and hot air.

However, I think they are settling down to be resellers of refurb batteries. Whether their finance and 'warranty' arrangements attract customers remains to be seen. My interest in the company is pretty negligible and I would never do business with them but I wish them luck in developing a 3rd party installer network. I haven't gotten the impression that they have much technical expertise to speak of outside of keeping their name in social media, but perhaps they will learn enough to educate installers.

Clearly the company is hoping that their warranty costs will be low enough to be profitable but in my opinion that is not going to happen. The costs of getting a LEAF to an installer to take down the battery, replace the worst modules and reinstall is just prohibitively expensive, and I do not expect module replacements to last. I'll guess 6 months until the two bar loss clause gets invoked again. Even Fenix seems to know this, judging by their 6 month warranty of a refurb pack

Re: Fenix Power: A new third party battery replacement?

Posted: Thu Aug 06, 2020 5:49 pm
by cwerdna
A peek at some customer/potential customer posts at https://www.facebook.com/groups/FenixPowerCoForum/ isn't too promising either.