DaveinOlyWA wrote:well thinking of your EV as throwaway is on you. It has value to someone but not to you. Now evaluating low resale as throwaway is a good argument but the reality is low resale applies to everything that is 7 years old.
Okay, it's true that practically every used car has at least some value, even if it's just for the scrap metal. However, unless it's been in a wreck, a six or seven year old vehicle should still have plenty of functional value. Our 2011 LEAF still has functional value to us, but it is severely compromised relative to what I'd consider pretty reasonable expectations. I'm only mentioning the low resale value in making the point that I cannot justify spending $5k out of my own pocket on a replacement "24 kWh" battery.
Others have sidestepped the problem of rapid battery degradation by leasing and/or by trading their LEAFs for newer models. That's fine for them, but we're good with holding onto cars for ten years or longer, and it's perfectly reasonable for us to expect some minimal standard of safety performance, particularly during the 8 year / 100k mile battery warranty period.
To initiate a claim, I'm thinking I'll start with Nissan's (877) NO-GAS-EV number. Taking the car to the dealer (a real pain due to the car's condition) seems sort of pointless unless they're willing to try reproducing our driving conditions. Down in the flatlands, they'll probably say that the car behaves within spec (that is, for a car missing three capacity bars).
DaveinOlyWA wrote:But your elevation challenges makes it a safety hazard imm. Range is not good but a lot of people less on a regular basis.
When we purchased the LEAF in April 2011, Nissan did warn us in writing that the battery might lose plus or minus 20% of its capacity in five years. Given our cool microclimate and the benefits of cool temperatures for battery longevity, I was expecting that we'd be on the low end of this, and we instead exceeded 20% loss. (Our LEAF is still on the low end of capacity loss relative to other cars in California, of course.)
But my primary concern at this time isn't the range loss, it's the unsafe braking performance on long descents, which itself represents a defect in the battery system.
Abasile: I'm willing to join you on this topic. Even though I live on the flats, my original 2011 battery has nearly zero regen when cold (it's just starting for this winter, essentially anything under 50 F) unless I'm driving less than 35 mph and have less than 50% SOC. Range is not a problem since my commute is 8 mi RT and our community is pretty small. However, the lack of regen (especially for the unobservant masses) make it difficult to gauge stopping distances without using the friction brakes. My hypermileing skills are suffering greatly.
With an especially cold battery and/or high state of charge, any BEV will have limits on regenerative braking. This is characteristic of the technology, at least as it exists today for all known BEVs, and should not itself be considered a "defect". Just as ICE cars have their particular quirks and limitations, this is a BEV-specific behavior pattern that drivers need to be prepared for.
The issue for my family is that, with the LEAF, it's no longer feasible for us to mitigate the issue of limited regen as necessary to drive a well-traveled California state highway.
When our LEAF was much newer, it was sufficient for me to avoid charging it to a high SOC; I'd simply unplug it an hour or so before reaching 80%. To help raise the battery temperature during the winter, I'd also charge the LEAF shortly prior to departure. Now, we find regen seriously limited even at low SOCs and even at moderate (like 50F) battery temperatures.
With our 2012 Tesla Model S, we can mitigate the problem of limited regen by doing the same things, but there's also a thermal management system for the battery pack. When I pre-heat the Model S during the winter, the battery pack heater also comes on. Plenty of Tesla owners live in mountainous areas (including in our mountain range), yet regen doesn't generally seem to be a problem.