LEAF Battery capacity loss and battery life

Discussion in 'LEAF' started by jim, Dec 14, 2017.

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  1. jim

    jim Active Member

    Nissan is one of the only plugin automakers with no Thermal management. This has caused thousands of battery pack in the Southern USA to lose too much capacity to be usable by most people. Even in cooler areas the batteries lose capacity much faster than any other electric vehicles. In fact a few hybrid companies learned that they at least needed to add fans to blow air over the packs for much longer life. (The Prius added fans in the 2004 model and got 10x longer battery life).

    Why hasn't Nissan learned this ? A group of LEAF owners (including me) meet with Andy Palmer when he was a head of the LEAF program at Nissan. Many owners explained that they loved their LEAF but the batteries were losing 10-20% of their capacity each Summer. He said they will never have cooling. He used to work in Air Conditioning and it would be too prone to leaks and failure.

    Until this has been corrected I will never own or lease another Nissan.
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  3. Domenick

    Domenick Administrator Staff Member

    Interesting that Andy is now head of Aston Martin and they have an electric coming out eventually. I would bet a small amount of money (or bottlecaps) that it will have a heated/cooled battery.

    With regards to Nissan, they seem content to continue with their pack design as is. Obviously they have better chemistry than they used to, but I get the impression some people are still having capacity loss issues. Seems odd that it's not every car, though, which you'd think would be the case if the problem was fundamentally one of temperature control.
  4. jim

    jim Active Member

    Domenick, Maybe I wasn't clear trying to be nice to Nissan. They all have failed in the HEAT. DC Fast Charging makes it even faster loss. A few of our friends and members of our Phoenix Electric Auto Association are on their 3rd battery pack. The new chemistry has not helped much at all. With the KIA SOUL EV's all 10 that I know of have had the batty pack fail with 20-30% drop after 2 to 3 years. Most of the LEAF failures have been under warranty capacity guide numbers but a few haven't.
    Also with Austin Martin and Any Palmer is will be very interesting to see how they handle the battery cooling. With the LEAF I had suggested a simple fan for air cooling from the small solar panel on the back roof. It would be the only vehicle with Solar cooling. Well at least muffin fan like air movement which can help a lot. They never implemented it. With it's sealed case it might not give much cooling with a fan.
    On the other hand Tesla, Chevy and FORD all use liquid cooling and they have amazing battery life and low capacity loss. That seems to be the only method that works. Chemistry or fans just can't cut it in the HEAT. I'd love to check our a Hyundai (sister company) IONIQ 100% Electric but they are in very short supply and Arizona is no longer a CARB Clean Car state thanks to our AZDEQ, Dept of Environmental Quality.
  5. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    I'm sure Nissan understands perfectly well what the problem is, altho they don't want to admit it. I remember when the Leaf was new, and Nissan claimed that the reported cases of premature capacity loss were not real; that it was just a problem with the sensor or the gauge that measured or displayed the pack's capacity! I rate that whopper at four Pinocchios...

    Nissan apparently has decided not to spend any money improving the Leaf's powertrain so they can keep the car cheaper than any other highway capable PEV (Plug-in EV) sold in first-world countries. I have to admit that Nissan is doing well at capturing the bottom end of the market. Of course the car is also rapidly becoming obsolete as newer and better PEVs are coming out every year, so this is short-term thinking on Nissan's part.

    Did he say that with a straight face?

    This is why I'll never be a business executive. The job requires that you lie to people right to their face.
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2017
    jim likes this.
  6. SilverNewt

    SilverNewt New Member

    I've found that the capacity loss in my 2012 Nissan Leaf very closely matches the Battery Aging Model at ElectricVehicleWiki.com. I'm near Boston, MA, USA. That model forecasts end of usable life (70% of original capacity) at 7.8 years. That's Autumn 2019 for me. The model estimates that San Francisco cars will age like mine, cars further south in California will age faster. If people choose to junk the cars rather than replace the battery then there will be no demand for replacement batteries. I wonder if the tsunami of California owners replacing their batteries will a) materialize, and b) make Nissan rethink battery conditioning.
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  8. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    Well, one problem is that no auto maker, including Nissan, wants to sell you something to upgrade your old car; they want to sell you a new car instead. (Tesla is offering a battery pack upgrade for the original Roadster, but I think most of us will agree that Tesla doesn't act like an ordinary auto maker!)

    Currently, there are few models for BEV buyers to choose from, so Nissan can capture some of the market by default. As the number of options grows, I think we'll see the Leaf's market share shrink to the point that Nissan will finally retire the model.

    On the other hand, there's an argument to be made that lease holders don't care if a Leaf's battery pack ages prematurely or not, so perhaps Leaf sales will continue for several years as mostly a leased car. Eventually, though, as the tech for to fast-charging and eventually ultra-fast-charging BEVs is improved, and without the Leaf being able to dissipate heat during fast-charging, the model is going to become so obsolete that few would seriously consider buying it.

  9. This is a worrying feature about the battery degradation on the Nissan leaf, It seems the cooler areas of the world are not exempt from some form of range loss too. It's not very reassuring, I've been saving for a few years now to get into electric vehicles and I really wanted my next car to be a used Gen 1 Leaf, but I'm in two minds whether to buy one now:confused:.

    I need to make up my mind in the next few months as my ICE car needs more money spending on it than it is worth to keep it on the road, Or do I buy another ICE car or gamble on a Leaf? First world problems eh! :eek:
  10. jim

    jim Active Member

    I'd buy a Chevy Spark ev . They are a little smaller but they go further on a kWh of ekectric. Their battery seems to hold up the best of any EV we have ownered. It also has a Fast charge port option so get that option. It charges faster to 100% than any electric.
    silversod likes this.
  11. Rory Conaway

    Rory Conaway New Member

    My 2017 Leaf with the 30Kwh battery lost a capacity bar at 8 months and 8800 miles. It's kind of like Nissan says yes, we know the we sold you a battery that stinks but it has to stink a lot more before we replace it and it's your loss until it gets worse. This is basically them knowing they are selling you junk and you have to live with it. Sorry, this is my second Leaf and the 24Kwh one we had lasted 25K miles before losing it's first cell. Since Nissan says they won't do anything like cancel my lease, fix, or replace the car, I've filed with the Attorney General consumer fraud division in Arizona. This is fraud, plain and simple. I'm also going to file federally with the NHSTA that Nissan is defrauding it's customers to see what they know and after that, I'm going after them personally. I'm sure some law firm might want to do a class action based on the number of people I've talked to that are having the same problem and Nissan is doing nothing about it.
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  13. jim

    jim Active Member

    Rory, The Arizona Attorney General doesn't do a lot or get involved. When I had a 2011 LEAF I also filed a complaint with the BBB and directly with Nissan. I documented everything. After I had the car 2 years they bought it back in full. The BBB also doesn't do anything but having that complaint on record with the case number was more documentation.
    Nissan seems to ignore the failing batteries since in cooler areas they do a little better and people don't know that is not normal to have it loss capacity. I didn't know how much better until I got a Chevy SPARK EV, a FORD FOCUS EV and a TESLA S all with liquid cooling. In any HOT place it's a World of difference.
    Keep after them . Now that the 2018 has V2G Vehicle To GRID they will have to make a better liquid cooled system. As you know they sold their battery division.
  14. Rory Conaway

    Rory Conaway New Member

    The AG office is only the start. I've asked them to talk to some AG's in other states just to see how many complaints have been filed. I'll give them a couple weeks and then hound them a little more. After that, my attorney is getting involved and then the costs are going up. The Leaf clearly falls under the Lemon Law if nothing else in Arizona but after the last lawsuit against Nissan that created the existing warranty, they are now open to additional lawsuits if they knowingly sold a battery they knew was going to fail in hot climates. If they just want to cancel my lease, I'm gone. If not, just because of the fraud and principal involved, I'm going to make sure everyone knows Nissan is an untrustworthy company and they shouldn't do business with them in addition to going after them legally. What's good is that social media is a great way to spread the word about unscrupulous business practices by car manufacturers and the Leaf in a hot climate is definitely unscrupulous.

    So if anyone wants to join me in pursuing Nissan for selling them a defective 30Kwh battery, my email is rory@triadwireless.net. I'm building a list so let me know.
  15. jim

    jim Active Member

    Rory, great I will pass this information on to the over 100 member of our local Phoenix Electric Auto Association non profit 501C3 group and will talk about it at our next monthly meeting. I would hope Nissan wants to truly fix this problem they have had from day one. We meet with their past head of the entire program Andy Palmer and,head of sales Billy Hayes right here in Scottsdale but they failed to fix it,with their lizard pack battery chemistry change in 2013.
    I also have a KIA SOUL EV that has,air cooling. All 10 of them in this,area have had failed batteries. I have a case open with them right now,too.
    Jim stack, president Phoenixeaa.com
  16. Rory Conaway

    Rory Conaway New Member

    Jim, if your group is in Phoenix and you are looking for members, I'd like to be join. I'm also an engineer who owns a technical company so I might be able to contribute. My email is rory@triadwireless.net.
  17. jim

    jim Active Member

    Rory, I just posted this issue on our facebook page. Drop into any one of our free monthly meeting. We have some LEAF owners on their 3 battery pack. Other have failed but no within the limits of the poor capacity warranty. This is a big issue we have been after since 2011. I had told the Nissan Engineers to watch for this when they first showed them to us in 2010 at Cardinal stadium on a drive and ride they had. They have been replacing batteries ever since but won't admit that it's a real problem. https://www.facebook.com/PhoenixEAA/
  18. jim

    jim Active Member

    FYI Your email gave me a failure message when I tried it. rory@triadwireless.net
  19. jim

    jim Active Member

    until that email gets corrected I used info@triadwireless.net instead. That seemed ok with no fail message.
    All the other people trying to report their battery problems to you will fail on the other rory email.
  20. Sadly we only got the petrol version of the Chevrolet Spark here in the UK:( Unless I can pick up an older Gen l leaf at a cheap price where if it was to go belly up and I wouldn't lose a lot of money I think I will be delaying my getting an EV until such times I feel confident about buying one.
  21. Rory Conaway

    Rory Conaway New Member

    Our second bar just died at 10,400 miles on the 2017 Leaf with 30Kwh battery. I'm asking for Lemon Law status with our AG at this time and to just get Nissan to cancel the lease. Too bad for Nissan. We were considering buying 4 of their work vans this year for my company.
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  22. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    You live in the Phoenix area?

    I was shocked when I first saw a report (back in... was it 2011?) that Nissan was selling the Leaf in the Phoenix area. Why did they ever send the car to Nissan dealers there? That was just asking for Lemon Law returns, and asking for a black eye for Nissan's reputation.

    And so far as I know, Nissan is still selling them there! There are plenty of examples of stupidity exhibited by upper management in large corporations. This may not be quite as stupid a marketing decision as "New Coke" or the Edsel... but I don't think it's that far from it, either.

    silversod and jim like this.
  23. jim

    jim Active Member

    PushPull=your are right. They fail a lot here in the (South all over the USA)!!! . We were just the 1st to notice in the Phoenix aereas. I showed their engineers how the pavement get to over 140-180F and we park all day in the Sun while at work. For some who don't have it fail with 4 bars lost in the required miles and years it's a $5-6K battery that starts losing capacity as soon as it's HOT.
    Someone posted that the 2019 LEAF 200+ 60kWH will have liquid cooling. That will be great.
    FYI Air Cooling like the KIA SOUL EV and I think Hyundai IONIQ have also fails. So far only liquid cooled like the Chevy SPARK,VOLT,BOLT, FORD FOCUS EV and Tesla all have works. They have amazing battery life that should be 20-30 years from what we have seen so far.
    silversod likes this.

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