InsideEVs Posts Results from LEAF Range Tests
The Nissan LEAF, which launched in the US back in December 2010, was touted as a breakthrough electric vehicle, but many automotive enthusiasts immediately expressed concerns over Nissan's decision to deploy a lithium-ion powered vehicle without liquid cooling. Several experts believed that air cooling would be insufficient in areas of the country affected by wide swings in temperature. In fact, most thought that only those who resided in regions where temps remained relatively stable would see air cooling as sufficient, while the rest of the US would soon come to understand why liquid cooling is the preferred method.
Liquid cooling controls the temps of the battery pack more precisely than air cooling and, by doing so, limits battery degradation. Is air cooling not up to the task?
An exhaustive test, recently conducted by InsideEVs Tony Williams, seems to prove that either air cooling or Nissan's battery chemistry is inadequate. Williams is a two-time Nissan LEAF owner, but not entirely by choice. Williams traded in his first faulty LEAF for another LEAF, which is also losing capacity at a rapid rate.
InsideEVs provides full details, but we'll sum up the tests results by quoting Williams:
“My car, Black782, tested at about 89% of available battery capacity, and drove to 91% of available capacity. That’s within 2% between the two figures and a reasonable error. Other cars had HUGE differences between the instruments and the actual range performance. So, Andy Palmer was right… they have poor instruments. But, he was wrong about the batteries. It was sheer stupidity to tell this group of owners that the batteries are ok...I tell everybody now that it’s a fantastic car with one fatal flaw.”
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