I absolutely agree with your point about not asking the audience for input. I still think that the reason that didn't occur to them is because they think they have solved the problem.
Exactly and well said. BTW, congrats on your big day today!
I was there, too, and was very unsatisfied. The best part was seeing fellow owners again and reconnecting. That was a lot of fun and I think we have a small, but great EV community.
I do give Nissan credit for reaching out and holding the meeting; however, as leafkabob said, it seems Nissan thinks the warranty is the solution, but in reality the warranty is not enough for Phoenix area (and other hot climate) owners. I also don't think the 2013 "unveiling" was a distraction. I think it was a genuinely nice gesture to us locally to give us a first look, but one that has become a distraction to our issues.
I made a few notes during the meeting, but did not have a chance to present them since so many people were chomping at the bit:
1) One of the first things Andy said was that they never replaced a LEAF battery pack. That's incorrect. One of the members here had a battery pack replaced last year after losing one capacity bar. I don't think Andy was lying. I honestly think he didn't know. Regardless, his statement was inaccurate.
2) Andy mentioned several times that the LEAF is air cooled and he was skeptical of the benefit of liquid cooling. He was asked several times and in several different ways how much cooling would take place if the ambient air is 115 degrees and the pavement is 140 degrees. He was evasive each time and did not respond directly. I wish we had a chance to keep pressing him on this point. One audience member wisely invited them back to Phoenix on 7/31/2013 to experience the desert heat for themselves. I wanted to ask:
a) If you are adamant air cooling is so effective, why are capacity bars dropping so quickly and so frequently in Phoenix versus cooler parts of the country and world?
b) A typical Phoenix afternoon in July and August exceeds 100 and sometimes 110 degrees. Considering long-term battery health and capacity, would you recommend Quick charging in that environment? Wouldn't a liquid-cooled battery be better for this battery chemistry, especially during quick charging in a high ambient temperatures?
3) RE: Quick Charging - were you aware that no Nissan dealerships locally have a Quick Charger, but two Toyota and one Ford dealership in Phoenix metro have QC's? Why don't Nissan dealerships have QC's?
4) How much battery capacity or range of capacity does each capacity bar represent? We really need to know this, especially since they are basing the warranty of these pessimistic capacity bars.
5) It was mentioned several times that battery degradation is most rapid initially or in the first year. How much battery capacity can Phoenix area drivers expected after 1 and 2 years? How much degradation would be considered "normal?" Can a Phoenix LEAF driver make a 25-mile roundtrip commute in the winter or summer after 2 years? If not, what will you do to help that owner?
6) Will the LEAF be sold with a hot-climate disclaimer informing prospective buyers that capacity loss may be greater in such climates?
7) Do you really expect Phoenix area drivers to drive only 7500 miles per year, when you have also said the LEAFs you examined in 7/2012 were high mileage due, in part, to Phoenix urban sprawl? If so, will you be offering reduced lease rates to Phoenix area drivers based on 7500 miles per year?
Again, I applaud the outreach, but I think most left feeling very unsatisfied and unheard. I look back with no regrets and nothing but relief that I sold my 2011 LEAF with one missing capacity bar back in June 2012. It saved me a lot of stress and hassle.
So far, I am very happy with my Volt - and the 2012 LEAF we have in the household on a 2-year lease is okay for now, but at this time and as long as I live in Phoenix, I have no intention of buying another LEAF or EV without a TMS (or a better heat resistant chemistry).
IMO no one in Phoenix should buy a LEAF, but consider a lease at 2-year max, as well as the Focus EV and Volt.
As a Volt owner and now part-time LEAF driver, I can still strongly endorse the Volt. I do not recommend the LEAF in Phoenix.