Nissan publishes open letter to Leaf owners over battery capacity loss
Yesterday was National Plug-in Day (NPID), a nationwide celebration of electric vehicles organized by Plug-in America, the Electric Auto Association and the Sierra Club. On the eve of NPID, or more succinctly, on the eve of thousands of Nissan Leaf owners gathering face-face across the country, Nissan released an open letter concerning the battery capacity loss issue that is worrying Leaf owners. The latest letter is again an attempt to quell the fears of Leaf owners, but it appears that Leaf owners are starting to have a deaf ear for Nissan's communications on this matter.
The issue is that some Nissan Leaf owners are noticing diminished battery capacity. This lost capacity is measured in one of two ways: 1) when the Leaf is fully charged, the dashboard State of Charge will show fewer "bars" of capacity; 2) 3rd party instrumentation gauges which display battery charge in GID's. Diminished battery capacity generally means the Leaf has a shorter driving range, making it less useful as a car. Primarily the affected Leaf's are in hot climates like the Phoenix area, leading many to think the cause of battery capacity loss is the heat and blaming Nissan's choice to not have a cooling system. Nissan, in their responses in June, last week, and below, are focusing on the Phoenix and Arizona based Leaf owners. Not liking Nissan's responses, a large group of Nissan Leaf owners staged a massive test of Leaf battery capacity in Phoenix a bit over a week ago, and managed to measure some of the capacity loss. In the meantime, Coda Automotive is making the case for the thermal management system their engineers chose to use.
Nissan's latest letter (replicated below) reveals more about the company's investigation than had been revealed last week, but "more" is a relative term because there are many details left wanting.
When Nissan says "You are truly our best ambassadors to the next generation of passionate EV drivers," we should think back to July when it was beginning to sink in that Nissan Leaf sales this year were starting to be dismal. At that time loyal Leaf owners were brainstorming Nissan Leaf marketing ideas on the MyNissanLeaf forum. Today the MNL forum has a lot of worry about this battery capacity loss issue.