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Re: Meeting with Nissan, Phoenix, Jan 8, 2013, 6pm, drinks p

Posted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 10:18 am
by myleaf
Weatherman wrote:
myleaf wrote: It was mentioned that the LEAF battery is air cooled -- similar to liquid cooling. An example mentioned is that the human body is air cooled.
Bad example. Our bodies are cooled mostly by evaporation of water. Vastly more effective than simple air cooling.
I know - Just capturing what I heard

Re: Meeting with Nissan, Phoenix, Jan 8, 2013, 6pm, drinks p

Posted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 10:37 am
by Ingineer
RegGuheert wrote:Thanks for all the pics, Phil!

I have a couple of questions about the 2013 LEAF:

- What happened to the ultracapacitor? I thought it was required to hold up the 12V long enough to provide assist for braking. Did anyone spot it?
- What did you think of the convenience charger? Is it the model you expected that cannot be upgraded?
They have redesigned the braking system, it looks to have a hydraulic accumulator now, so it may not need the ultracapacitor. It could also be moved somewhere else instead, and they wouldn't let me stat taking the car apart.

As for the EVSE, it's a new design by Panasonic, so until I can get one for analysis, I won't know it's upgrade potential. Parts for 2013's are not yet available.

-Phil

Re: Meeting with Nissan, Phoenix, Jan 8, 2013, 6pm, drinks p

Posted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 10:46 am
by Ingineer
EricBayArea wrote:I hope that some, if not all, of the software updates they showed (remote temp set, auto 80% for timer override, SOC%, Google search, etc.) will be available to 2011/2012 owners as a free software update. Not to mention a replacement climate head unit with AC & Heat buttons. They should take every opportunity to give back to the beta testers that got them to this point.
Don't expect any updates to older Leafs, especially not the climate control. I already gave them a chance on the climate control, they had the cars in for update about 7 months after I let the chief vehicle engineer and Mark Perry know (he actually admitted that he hated this problem himself), and they did not fix it. So then I released my version.

I specifically requested from Andy the SoC update be retroactively applied to the CM (combination Meter) firmware for the update they are doing this spring, as I know they are going to update the code in this system. We'll see what happens. I personally don't expect it to happen, but I'd love to be wrong!

-Phil

Re: Meeting with Nissan, Phoenix, Jan 8, 2013, 6pm, drinks p

Posted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:18 pm
by leafkabob
mwalsh wrote:
Volusiano wrote: I thought that this should have been the HEART of the discussion, the PRIMARY reason for them to come all the way out to Phoenix, to address and discuss the issue of how to make it right directly with the actual people who are affected and are living day to day with the issue.

Call me an old skeptic. But while meeting with Phoenix owners and listening to their concerns may have been on the agenda, I think the primary reason for the event was to release details of the 2013 LEAF. No coincidence, methinks, that it was decided to advance release to the press too, a couple of weeks ahead of scheduled. Reason? Well just check the web - gazillions of posts about the 2013 specs and just 2 (that I've found) about the meeting with Phoenix owners (which would have been a big-deal normally). Well played, Nissan.
Whether they intended for it play out like this or not, it appears to have done so. It seems to me that even within this thread a larger percentage of posts are about the 2013 specs, rather than the primary focus of the Town Hall meeting.

Re: Meeting with Nissan, Phoenix, Jan 8, 2013, 6pm, drinks p

Posted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:21 pm
by leafkabob
Volusiano wrote:
leafkabob wrote:2. Nissan has no intention (at this point at least) of going to a fluid cooling system for the battery. When more than one person suggested that such a system would solve the problem, Andy was pretty clear in stating that "there are many ways to dissipate heat, and fluid is only one of them." He really doesn't think it is the way to go. He also said they have no "Dubai Leaf," or any plans for a "desert version."
I remember Andy said something to the effect that the LEAF battery uses air cooling to dissipate the heat. I think it's misleading to even say this because it may lead people to incorrectly think that there's "forced" air cooling by fan in the LEAF. Fan-forced air cooling in the LEAF battery is not even there as far as I can tell. The only heat dissipation on the LEAF battery is simply through direct thermal transfer between the battery packs through the battery outer shell casing.
leafkabob wrote:In spite of all of that, I was encouraged by the meeting. I believe Andy is sincere and felt he was honest with his responses. It would have been pretty easy to avoid coming to Phoenix or to have someone else do it instead. Billy and Jeff also struck me as sincere and genuinely interested in resolving our issues. Unfortunately I just don't think they really get what our issue is.
I on the other hand think they really do get what our issue is but are not genuinely interested in resolving our issue. They never once during the 1.5 hour town hall asked what the audience thinks it would take to resolve the issue to the audience's satisfaction. I thought that this should have been the HEART of the discussion, the PRIMARY reason for them to come all the way out to Phoenix, to address and discuss the issue of how to make it right directly with the actual people who are affected and are living day to day with the issue.

Even if they don't have a technical solution, like TMS or new heat-resistant chemistry, there are other non-technical solutions that they can still come up with to remedy the issue if they really want to. A better-than-9-bar warranty specifically just for hot climate 2011 and 2012 owners would be a good start.
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.

Re: Meeting with Nissan, Phoenix, Jan 8, 2013, 6pm, drinks p

Posted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:25 pm
by Volusiano
leafkabob wrote:
mwalsh wrote:
Volusiano wrote: I thought that this should have been the HEART of the discussion, the PRIMARY reason for them to come all the way out to Phoenix, to address and discuss the issue of how to make it right directly with the actual people who are affected and are living day to day with the issue.
Call me an old skeptic. But while meeting with Phoenix owners and listening to their concerns may have been on the agenda, I think the primary reason for the event was to release details of the 2013 LEAF. No coincidence, methinks, that it was decided to advance release to the press too, a couple of weeks ahead of scheduled. Reason? Well just check the web - gazillions of posts about the 2013 specs and just 2 (that I've found) about the meeting with Phoenix owners (which would have been a big-deal normally). Well played, Nissan.
Whether they intended for it play out like this or not, it appears to have done so. It seems to me that even within this thread a larger percentage of posts are about the 2013 specs, rather than the primary focus of the Town Hall meeting.
It wouldn't surprise me if the main travel expense justification they used for this town hall was for the 2013 release tour, and not for "coming out specifically just to listen to AZ owners' concerns".

Re: Meeting with Nissan, Phoenix, Jan 8, 2013, 6pm, drinks p

Posted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:32 pm
by DarkDave
brg2290 wrote:Phil, just curious, why do you think the emergency brake change? Is the foot actuation mechanical...and less expensive? Was this a cost cutting measure? Or have there been problems with the original?

Also, thanks to all who attended and represented the Leaf ownership community. Your advocacy benefits us all, both in direct conversation with Nissan, and through the dissemination of info. here.

Gary
My bet is that part of the reason for changing the parking brake pedal was to move the brake from the rear to the front wheels to make room for the inductive charger on future MY Leafs. I didn't take a look under the 2013 to see if it's true or not, but on 2011/2012 the brake actuator takes up room where the inductive charger would probably be. I agree it would also reduce the costs to change from an electronically activated brake to a foot and cable powered brake for the front wheels.

Re: Meeting with Nissan, Phoenix, Jan 8, 2013, 6pm, drinks p

Posted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:57 pm
by evchels
thankyouOB wrote:any word from the Chels on last night?
Sorry for the delay; I'm still on the road. Been reading the threads on my phone, but find it too hard to compose a meaningful response that way.

Re video- last I heard, the goal was to get it posted by Friday. Haven't heard anything to suggest that it will be edited, other than perhaps to divide into segments for length. Tim G is on it though.

I think the event went fairly well on balance, though my expectations and goals for the evening were somewhat layered. I knew all of those questions weren't going to get answered, and speculated about that here. We will keep working to get more answers, and to post those we have here. But I too, wanted to see them give a battery price (so did they; Andy was particularly frustrated ahead of time, knowing he wouldn't be able to) and a narrower time frame than "Spring"- so am not glossing over the fact that even while it was a genuine effort and generally successful event, I had also hoped for more content in certain spots.

Regarding the format and the use of the question list, it wasn't intentionally dismissed. As Jeff commented, the goal of the first 3 questions/topics (which I picked, for better or worse) was to at least get a few of the burning topics out on the table, based on suggestions here. Even once I knew there would be no battery price, I still thought it better to get that out of the way rather than have those who were there be waiting to hear it. There were sub-questions and points that they tried to work in too, though some were answered more indirectly. For example, Andy tried to explain a few times that if they rehab a battery pack under warranty, the goal wasn't going to be to get it to "bare minimum" they could get away with (i.e., 71%) but rather to ensure the vehicle wouldn't have to come back for this issue again- both for customer service reasons as well as it not being economically advantageous for Nissan either. But both because there is some subjectivity to how exactly one pack might be repaired vs another (based on what exactly is wrong in the first place) and because the "fine print" hasn't been spelled out yet, he didn't give a number- and may not.

In some ways I think this was a good thing, as frustrating as it may have been for a few of you. Personally, I'd hoped that the attendees would come away with a better impression of Andy and some of the others on the team than you've had, after the chance to meet and talk with them directly rather than rely on reported quotes and videos. But I also think they needed just as much to see you all and hear about your experiences as "real people" instead of a case # or screen name here. The frustration yes, but also to see the passion that they don't get from reading this list. I think they were even a little nervous about coming to talk to you after reading some of the angrier posts here, but that it was useful - and maybe even a bit of a surprise for them - to hear even the most frustrated among you say "but I still really LOVE my LEAF" or (paraphrasing) "we really want to see you succeed with this program and want to see/help you do right by us so you can". I hope that new perspective about you as customers and as a community will actually help them better craft the details of the warranty terms in the first place, as well as revisit the "what else" conversation. I have certainly given them that homework.

I apologize too, to anyone who didn't get to ask a question- we went a few minutes past the scheduled time, but wanted to be respectful of it being a "school night", etc., as well. But the guys stayed and talked to anyone who wanted to until the hotel insisted we let them close the room, and a few even migrated to the lobby. There are always more questions than time though, and we'll keep at it.

We really wanted to create more of an interactive session, which is part of the reason why they didn't just read through the question list you all helped me create as if a monologue. In hindsight though, I'd have tweaked the plan a little. We'd intended to solicit more input than ended up happening- but I also think it was important for some of the "venting" and re-asking of questions to occur, as it emphasized certain points. It may have been helpful for me to help moderate with Jeff so I could help dig into certain questions and topics, I don't know.

In any case, I really appreciate everyone who came out- this was only the first of what needs to be many conversations, but I hope you agree that it was worth the effort.

Re: Meeting with Nissan, Phoenix, Jan 8, 2013, 6pm, drinks p

Posted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 1:05 pm
by evchels
leafkabob wrote: 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.
Nah, I promise that it wasn't nearly that orchestrated and that they've been both reading and hearing from me that they haven't "solved the problem", at least from a customer service perspective. But there was both a desire to let the group ask the questions they wanted, and I think they got a little flustered in the middle and just went with what was happening. They're human too. :)

Re: Meeting with Nissan, Phoenix, Jan 8, 2013, 6pm, drinks p

Posted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 1:10 pm
by shrink
leafkabob wrote: 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.