An independent test of the Nissan LEAF electric car (pictured), suggests the vehicle can suffer significant battery capacity losses – and therefore a substantial reduction in its electric range.
According to Inside EV writer Tony Williams, who is a LEAF owner, there are accelerated losses to the vehicle’s range in hot climates – even though the vehicle has enjoyed much of its sales success in the USA in the likes of Texas and Arizona. He also suggests that its losses are not limited only to extreme heat: with many LEAFs also experiencing losses in relatively moderate temperatures, such as those in California.
He states that when customers have complained so far, Nissan has suggested that a reduction in range is “normal”, irrespective of the extent of that battery capacity loss. Earlier this month, Nissan Executive Vice President Andy Palmer even went as far as to say there is “no problem” with the LEAF battery: and customers’ complaints were the result of instrument issues.
As a consequence, 12 Nissan LEAF vehicles were independently tested in Phoenix earlier this month.
Mr Williams reports that his vehicle tested at around 89 per cent of available battery capacity and drove to 91 per cent of capacity. As a result, he states that Mr Palmer was right with regards to the differences between range performance and the instruments. However, he believes that Mr Palmer was “wrong” about the batteries.
He also highlights Renault-Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn announcing a new battery design for 2013 Nissan LEAF and openly suggests that this may be a “public relations move to deflect from the current battery woes”.
Unfortunately for Mr Williams, finding out how far an electric car will drive until the battery is completely dead (it won't drive any further), is the second best way to age a battery (after heat).
"89 per cent of available battery capacity and drove to 91 per cent of capacity"
Try to keep usage between 80% and 30% for long battery life, that's my recommendation, oh, and don't live somewhere hot!
December 03, 2012