Chevy Volt's Liquid Cooled Battery vs Nissan Leaf's Air Cooled Battery: 2 Systems
Chevy's liquid cooled batteries are always preferred for optimum thermal management. This makes many Volt and Bolt owners very satisfied. It also gives their car a good resale value. But Chevy and Nissan have two different battery cooling systems.
Nissan Leaf's air cooled battery has a reduced weight and reduced complexity. Some Nissan Leaf owners say that they like the reduced complexity and reduced weight of an air cooled battery.
Pros and Cons of The 2 Battery Cooling Systems
This issue came to the fore of public discussion after BBC reported that Nissan Leaf owners claim charging times and range are misleading.
"My 2012 Volt (see Torque News 2013 Volt review) did not have any measurable battery capacity loss and my 2015 E-Golf with an air cooled battery is still providing the same range when it was new. I have never used the fast DC capability of the E-Golf. Granted the Leaf may have battery thermal issues, I am not willing to reject air cooling technology. We need to consider thermal management parameters, battery chemistry options and operating conditions," writes one Volt owner, named Douglas in GM Electric Vehicle Owners Group on Facebook.
Some other members in that group say that Nissan did a lousy job with their first models. People may now be afraid to buy a Leaf now unless Nissan quickly finds a way to address the battery cooling issue not only for the upcoming Nissan Leaf models, but also for the existing models giving the owners some incentives.
Ivan Jue, a Leaf owner and a former Torque News contributor writes "It’s really too bad, because our 2011 Nisan Leaf was actually a pretty decent, reliable car. Family liked it, and it had good interior room (and could sit 5). If the battery held up, we would have kept it. But losing 20% capacity in 30 months and no news of any remedy from Nissan (at the time) forced us to sell it. Good thing we did, as resale really tanked once news came out about the battery."
Nissan Leaf is a good car, but I want to give a ton of respect to GM engineers that worked on the Volt's and Bolt's batteries.
In defense of Nissan Leaf, I want to say that a LEAF could still be a good buy and do alright (especially if just a lease), and if some basic principles are followed when charging, driving, and parking it. There are some tips in this video near the end (from 3:58). Keep an eye on your battery temperature.
Here is what to look for when buying a used Nissan Leaf. If you want to buy a Nissan Leaf or Chevy Bolt/Volt check out how the battery of each vehicle is cooled.
Although both Chevy and Nissan have two different battery cooling systems for their Bolt, Volt and Leaf EVs, you still have to make your own decisions based on your budget, needs and driving habits.
Which of these two battery cooling systems do you prefer? Please, share your thoughts in the comment's section below for discussion.