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The problem is likely Nissan's air cooling system used for the Leaf's battery

The Nissan Leaf is a top player in the electric vehicle (EV) industry, but one major issue that sometimes plagues these vehicles is the battery -- and the Leaf's battey seems to be taking a lot of heat.

Leaf owners in Arizona have recently complained that their EVs are losing significant capacity in the desert's hot heat. In fact, Arizona Leaf drivers Scott Yarosh and Mason Convey have both testified to this claim.

"When I first purchased the vehicle, I could drive to and from work on a single charge, approximately 90 miles round trip," said Yarosh. "[Now] I can drive approximately 44 miles on this without having to stop and charge."

Both owners said they've lost about 30 percent of their battery capacity since purchasing their vehicles. Even when their batteries are fully charged, two to three of the 12 lights on their battery capacity gauge are out.

Both owners are very meticulous about how they care for their Leafs. There is absolutely no sign of abuse, as both were able to produce dealership service records with high marks.

"We want to learn more about what's going on, but it's something we've just been made aware of, and we don't have any conclusions yet," said Perry.

The problem is likely Nissan's air cooling system used for the Leaf's battery. Tesla CEO Elon Musk even predicted that Nissan's cooling system would fail the Leaf at some point back in August of 2010.

Musk said that Nissan's Leaf employed a cheaper air cooling system that would make its battery temperatures jump "all over the place," where cold temperatures would degrade the battery while hot temperatures would shut it down. Tesla, on the other hand, uses a high-end liquid heating/cooling thermal management solution.

But for those who are still avid Leaf fans, there's great news if you live in California or Washington. Dealerships in these two states are cutting about $5,000 off the price tag for a new 2012 Nissan Leaf. The MSRP is usually $37,250, but with the $7,500 federal tax credit, the $2,500 California clean-vehicle purchase rebate, and now the additional $5,000 off, the price for a brand-new 2012 Leaf is only about $23,000.

Sources: CBS 5, Green Car Reports

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RE: What a deal!
By toffty on 7/19/2012 12:37:36 PM , Rating: 2
Been driving my Leaf for 6 months now and still loving it (I'm in Colorado).

I have driving 100 miles in a day and still had energy left and at 2 cent / mile it only cost me $2.

Actually it was free since I have solar panels on my house's roof which makes enough electricity to offset and make money powering both my house and car.

So, sure, I can't drive to the next state with the Leaf; but I didn't when I had a gas car so no big deal. Honestly if I did have to, i'd just rent a car for the day which still saves me money overall since I won't have to pay for either the millage (from service or depreciation of vehicle value) or the rest of the year's gas - I'm still saving 4x the money compared to my Prius on gas (Prius was 8 cents / mile fyi)

RE: What a deal!
By Breathless on 7/19/2012 12:55:59 PM , Rating: 2
But how much did your solar roof cost you?

RE: What a deal!
By toffty on 7/19/2012 2:13:00 PM , Rating: 1
20k after fed rebate -- thanks! -- but i had it installed prior to owning the car so the savings is only another benefit!

I wish they'd require all new houses to have at least 2 kw solar arrays. It'd only add about $8k to the price and the US would be much better off energy wise.

And yes I know if it's cloudy there won't be as much (it's actually suprising how much I still produce on cloudy days though) but as more energy is from individual points, power companies would become power storage companies instead of power making companies.

RE: What a deal!
By lexluthermiester on 7/23/2012 11:27:02 PM , Rating: 2
And solar cell technology is constantly evolving. The panels on your roof, if made with todays tech, would likely produce 2.4 kw for the same or less price. There are some that have higher conversion ratings, but are very expensive. Still, solar panels as standard equipment on homes is simply a grand idea. And best of all the source of energy is totally free and always on!

RE: What a deal!
By nolisi on 7/19/2012 1:06:30 PM , Rating: 2
Assuming a 10k miles/year average, your 2 cents a mile ends up costing you $200/year while it costs a car that averages 30 MPG $1166 assuming a $3.50/gal price (which I think is best case scenario for most of the country (~$1333/year @ $4).

I drive an Escape hybrid myself and don't feel like I've traded anything for the extra price I paid (I would've paid a few thousand less for a v6 Escape). I've had it for 3 years and as of right now I don't see anything in any class that I would want to take on a new car payment for. I am considering the BMW 3 series hybrid when it comes next year, or possibly waiting a year longer for the Tesla Model X (although right now, I'm more inclined to take the 3 series depending on the mileage figures). I'll probably wait to see what the X looks like at release, because I'm having a hard time letting go of the utility of my FEH, and I average 3-4 MPG better than EPA city estimates. In other words- I'm very happy with this car.

The honest truth is that I would like to buy an EV now, but the leaf would be too crippling for *my* driving pattern. I travel >150 mi round trip frequently enough that the hassle of renting would negate the savings. Forget long trips, I'm having a hard time seeing one as practical until I can do a full days driving and make it back home on a single charge (which is why I'm staring at the Model X).

I'm glad this works for you though.

RE: What a deal!
By Spuke on 7/19/2012 2:49:18 PM , Rating: 2
The owners I know get about 90 miles. And they're driving pretty slow to get that too. What's your average speed?

"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007

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