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RegGuheert
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How should Nissan respond to dropping capacity?

Mon May 21, 2012 8:23 am

Let me preface this post by saying that I think the LEAF is any outstanding automobile and a remarkable piece of engineering. We love out LEAF and we expect to get many, many trouble-free years out it! My comments below are all intended to help the LEAF to maintain the excellent image that Nissan has managed to build for that car.

Several LEAF owners in and around Phoenix have reported that their LEAF has removed a segment from the dashboard display indicating that 15% of their battery capacity is now gone after approximately one year of ownership. The charging and driving behavior of these individuals appears to vary from extremely harsh (frequent 100% charging and full-throttle acceleration) to extremely gentle (rarely charge to 100% and high-efficiency driving). But the result is the same: their LEAF battery capacity is now less than 85% of what it was when they purchased the car. Unfortunately, to my knowledge Nissan has not communicated to anyone that it was possible to lose 15% of the battery capacity within the first year of ownership.

This situation is CLEARLY not covered by Nissan's Li-ion battery warranty, as they expressly do not warranty capacity of the LEAF battery. One could argue that LEAF owners should simply drive until the battery will no longer properly propel the car and then have Nissan replace it under warranty. Unfortunately, that is not workable for many as the range of the car will likely get too low to fulfill the car's intended mission.

So what should be done about this? I feel that Nissan should take the financial risk for all of the LEAFs sold into areas where the climate is hotter than some set of criteria that only they can determine based on this first year of data they have collected on the LEAF. They can do this by offering (not forcing) to buy back all of the LEAFs in the affected areas and allow their customers to retain the cars by instead signing a lease agreement for two more years. Nissan should also stop selling LEAFs in the affected areas and instead should only offer leases until more data can be gathered and Nissan can clearly communicate to prospective buyers what the experience has been from several years of actual experience in that area.

This might sound like a drastic step, but I feel that the reputation of the LEAF, of Nissan, and of EVs in general may be irreparably tarnished if this issue is not immediately addressed. I would like nothing better than to be proven wrong about the magnitude of this issue, but the experience of LEAF owners in Phoenix is so far from what I consider to be reasonable expectations that I feel Nissan must address it now.

Edit: Desensationalized title.

[MOD NOTE: Tweaked title after thread merge -drees]
Last edited by DaveEV on Wed Jul 18, 2012 12:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Reason: Tweaked title after thread merge -drees
RegGuheert
2011 Leaf SL Demo vehicle
10K mi. on 041413; 20K mi. (55.7Ah) on 080714; 30K mi. (52.0Ah) on 123015; 40K mi. (49.8Ah) on 020817; 50K mi. (47.2Ah) on 120717; 60K mi. (43.66Ah) on 091918.
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garygid
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Re: Nissan should IMMEDIATELY stop selling LEAFs in Phoenix

Mon May 21, 2012 8:29 am

By "several", do you mean 1, or 2?

How many others in AZ have not yet had (visible) capacity problems?

What part of "expected loss of capacity" did you
not understand when you bought your car?

Should Nissan also stop selling in very cold areas, and take
back the roughly 1000 that they have sold in Norway?

Or, stop selling to those who might drive agressively, or
those who might Quick Charge, or park outside?

I expect that hot and cold weather experiences will help
improve EVs and Batteries of the future.

If one cannot take being on the "leading edge", a very new,
innovative vehicle design might not be right for that person?
Last edited by garygid on Mon May 21, 2012 8:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
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RegGuheert
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Re: Nissan should IMMEDIATELY stop selling LEAFs in Phoenix

Mon May 21, 2012 8:38 am

garygid wrote:By "several", do you mean ONE, or TWO?
FIVE. With one more about to cross that threshold.
garygid wrote:What part of "expected loss of capacity" did you
not understand when you bought your car?
The part about losing 15% in one year. I'm sorry, but that is so far from anything reasonable or what Nissan has communicated that something needs to be done. We might as well start the discussion now.
garygid wrote:Should Nissan also stop selling in very cold areas, and take back the roughly 1000 that they have sold in Norway?
No. Loss of capacity due to cold weather is not permanent (to my knowledge). In fact, I think many in Norway will experience the longest battery lives of any Nissan LEAFs.
RegGuheert
2011 Leaf SL Demo vehicle
10K mi. on 041413; 20K mi. (55.7Ah) on 080714; 30K mi. (52.0Ah) on 123015; 40K mi. (49.8Ah) on 020817; 50K mi. (47.2Ah) on 120717; 60K mi. (43.66Ah) on 091918.
Enphase Inverter Measured MTBF: M190, M215, M250, S280

Jagular
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Re: Nissan should IMMEDIATELY stop selling LEAFs in Phoenix

Mon May 21, 2012 8:40 am

garygid wrote:By "several", do you mean ONE, or TWO?

What part of "expected loss of capacity" did you
not understand when you bought your car?

Should Nissan also stop selling in very cold areas, and take
back the roughly 1000 that they have sold in Norway?
I agree. By definition, if you buy or lease a Leaf you are an early adopter of new technology and the larger the dataset the larger the edge cases and that's how technology gets better; the edge cases are the more interesting data points. It sounds as though Nissan is in this for the long haul and are not playing the safe game.
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etracing
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Re: Nissan should IMMEDIATELY stop selling LEAFs in Phoenix

Mon May 21, 2012 8:55 am

I love my LEAF, but I would not buy a motorcycle to ride in Alaska winters.

Batteries like to be warm, not HOT.

IMHO, I think Nissan should be at the front door to investigate
the issue to see if it is a battery or sensor problem. Not sure if stopping all sales is warranted.

Too many questions to troubleshoot first.
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Re: Nissan should IMMEDIATELY stop selling LEAFs in Phoenix

Mon May 21, 2012 9:14 am

I agree with the ban, just send them down to Miami :)

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RegGuheert
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Re: Nissan should IMMEDIATELY stop selling LEAFs in Phoenix

Mon May 21, 2012 9:18 am

garygid wrote:If one cannot take being on the "leading edge", a very new, innovative vehicle design might not be right for that person?
I will say that is PRECISELY the reason for my post, Gary!

Nissan is currently building two large LEAF and two large battery factories right now. It seems that Nissan, GM and Toyota have worked their way through a large portion of the EV early adopter crowd. If they ONLY want to address the needs of those of us who want to be on the bleeding edge, then they should stop their construction projects. Otherwise, they will need to show that it is Nissan, and not their customers, who will take the brunt of the impact from these large capacity drops.
RegGuheert
2011 Leaf SL Demo vehicle
10K mi. on 041413; 20K mi. (55.7Ah) on 080714; 30K mi. (52.0Ah) on 123015; 40K mi. (49.8Ah) on 020817; 50K mi. (47.2Ah) on 120717; 60K mi. (43.66Ah) on 091918.
Enphase Inverter Measured MTBF: M190, M215, M250, S280

thankyouOB
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Re: Nissan should IMMEDIATELY stop selling LEAFs in Phoenix

Mon May 21, 2012 9:29 am

i sympathize.
i live in an ideal climate for a test-model Leaf; along socal coast.
I dont have the heater issues except rarely, and the climate is temperate in the extreme; never too hot or cold.

It was a big factor in taking the leap to buy a new model car. I have not done that before, always waiting till the bugs got ironed out on major changes in cars. Of course, these days, those changes come faster and so avoiding -- until the second or third year -- a new tranny or engine line in a car class is harder.

That said, I was very eager to get an EV and am very happy with it. I am pretty unclear on whether I would have bought one if I lived in a hotter or colder climate.
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TickTock
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Re: Nissan should IMMEDIATELY stop selling LEAFs in Phoenix

Mon May 21, 2012 9:33 am

I wonder how many people in PHX would agree. :) I, for one, don't and you would have to pry my Leaf from my dead fingers despite all the growing pains associated with the technology.

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RegGuheert
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Re: Nissan should IMMEDIATELY stop selling LEAFs in Phoenix

Mon May 21, 2012 9:42 am

TickTock wrote:I wonder how many people in PHX would agree. :) I, for one, don't and you would have to pry my Leaf from my dead fingers despite all the growing pains associated with the technology.
O.K. But as I said, they should not (and cannot) force you to convert to a lease.

The point is that not everyone will be so understanding, both within Phoenix and elsewhere.

It is difficult throwing off even inaccurate perceptions of EVs. Nissan can SAY that the batteries will not continue to lose 15% of their original capacity each year in Phoenix, but what evidence have they provided to support those claims? Frankly, since they never claimed that some customers WOULD see 15% capacity loss in the first year, their credibility needs a boost on this issue right about now.
RegGuheert
2011 Leaf SL Demo vehicle
10K mi. on 041413; 20K mi. (55.7Ah) on 080714; 30K mi. (52.0Ah) on 123015; 40K mi. (49.8Ah) on 020817; 50K mi. (47.2Ah) on 120717; 60K mi. (43.66Ah) on 091918.
Enphase Inverter Measured MTBF: M190, M215, M250, S280

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