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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: One Day They'll Get it Right...
By Vidmo on 7/19/2012 3:07:06 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
It's heat that kills the battery. Here in Colorado the climate's perfect for battery cars and there's no fear of the engine not starting with an electric in really cold weather =D


When was the last time you could not get your car started in the cold and what was the root cause?

HINT: The battery.

Good luck with that Leaf in the 100+ temps CO has had this summer along with the raging cold it will see this winter. I predict your Leaf battery won't make it to see 2014.


RE: One Day They'll Get it Right...
By toffty on 7/19/2012 3:29:29 PM , Rating: 1
Yes it can get those extremes but not for extended periods of time. Also if the battery does 'die' in 2 years it's still under warrenty.

For your information as well: The battery is made up of 20 or so cells. It'll usually be a cell that goes bad (not the entire battery) so it's not as costly (~$500)


RE: One Day They'll Get it Right...
By Spuke on 7/19/2012 6:18:11 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
For your information as well: The battery is made up of 20 or so cells. It'll usually be a cell that goes bad (not the entire battery) so it's not as costly (~$500)
For your information, they don't replace the cells, they replace the entire pack and only when you experience a certain amount of capacity reduction.


RE: One Day They'll Get it Right...
By toffty on 7/19/2012 3:35:22 PM , Rating: 2
I'll also address your comment about not starting in cold weather. I've seen plenty of ICE vehicles unable to start where I work due to frozen oil in the engine. No chance of that with an electric car. The battery, while it doesn't hold as much in cold weather, has no problem providing the energy needed ;)


RE: One Day They'll Get it Right...
By Vidmo on 7/19/2012 3:57:37 PM , Rating: 2
Wow didn't know you worked in -30F temps. You must work in Gunnison.


By Dr of crap on 7/20/2012 8:23:58 AM , Rating: 3
OK, so the battery powered car is able to "start" for lack of a better term. And you can drive all of what 5, 10 miles at -30°F. Yea then your precious Leaf is standed.
AND here's the best. I've heard you can't tow these things. Anybode else heard that?

So now you have to pay to get it put on a trailer and huled to get it recharged so that you can WAIT FOR SPRING WEATHER to use it - HA!


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