LEAF Battery capacity loss and battery life

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

  1. Paul K

    Paul K New Member

    Here in Kingston Ontario we can get the worst of both worlds. Stinking hot for a few weeks in summer and this winter with it's bitter cold. I have a 2016 30kwh Leaf with 26,000K and haven't lost any capacity bars. Most of my travel is urban suburban with some highway round trips to areas not further than 75K from base. I have only fast charged once. It was close to home. I just wanted to see if I knew how to use the charger. Temperatures were fairly cool that day. I went from 28% to 90% in about 25 minutes and went from 4 temp bars to 5. I do use a/c sparingly and rarely drive faster than 105km/hr on the freeway. This past summer I don't think I ever went above 8 bars in the temp. I will watch it more closely this coming summer. As more DCFCs come on line in my service territory I will experiment with them and post the results. I do think that if you live in an area with periods of prolonged high temperatures and you like to drive 75mph with the a/c on then the Leaf is definitely not the car you want.
    Domenick likes this.
  2. jim

    jim Active Member

    I read a rumor the new LEAF with 60 kWh battery will have cooling. Anyone else hear anything about that?
  3. WadeTyhon

    WadeTyhon Active Member

    I have heard this as well! I think it is mostly rumored due to the fact that the new Leaf is likely to have an LG battery pack and most plug-ins with LG packs up to this point have had liquid cooling.

    But I think some blended PHEVs with LG packs do not use liquid cooling. So we will have to see with the leaf.

    But if they do, the Leaf will be officially in the running as an option when my Bolt lease is up. (Of course by then there will be an abundance of choices I hope! )
  4. Andrew Day

    Andrew Day New Member

    Is it beyond the wit of anyone to produce an aftermarket cooling kit for the leaf?
  5. loomis2

    loomis2 Well-Known Member

    We have a 2013 Leaf with around 55,000 miles on it and it has lost 1 capacity bar. We have a battery warranty for 9 years I believe, and I kind of want the battery to start dropping more so I can get the battery replaced within that time. The original hope was that a replacement battery 9 years in the future would go much farther than the one that came with the car when it was new in 2013. However, the plan is in two years to give the car to our daughter who will be 16, so maybe I don't want the car to go that far anyway, right?
  6. Domenick

    Domenick Administrator Staff Member

    That's an idea, but I don't see a very efficient way to do it. I suppose one could engineer routing the A/C to the pack, but that's as good as it could probably get with the way the cells are packaged. That's far less effective than liquid cooling, which the pack would need to be designed for from the get go.

  7. Domenick

    Domenick Administrator Staff Member

    I like that strategy of getting a new pack under warranty somehow. Looking around, I wish the sites selling LEAFs would give a bit more info on how many bars they have. It would be perfect to find a car with some warranty but with a battery that's already eligible for free replacement.
    silversod likes this.
  8. Domenick

    Domenick Administrator Staff Member

    Ok, so, I'm poking around seeing if I can afford a LEAF yet and came across any interesting example of a 2015 for $10,000.

    Now, it had a picture of the instrument cluster, but looking at it, I'm not sure which set of bars indicates battery health. Thought it might be the ones on the left, but 4 bars seems kind of low. Anyone know?

    Leaf bars 2015 model.jpg
  9. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    I think you'd need a lot more than "wit". Waste heat builds up deep inside the battery pack; how could you possibly add something to it that will help with that? You could possibly install a housing around the outside of the pack and some fans for forced-air cooling of the outside of the pack, but at best that's only going to help slightly. For example, the Mitsubishi i-MiEV has forced-air cooling, but I've read it has a problem with battery capacity loss only slightly less bad than the Leaf does. Also, unless you plan on raising the level of the floor or making other extreme modifications, the space available to install a housing around the two parts of the pack is rather restricted, as shown in this diagram:


    The real solution is to pump coolant thru tubes all throughout the pack, and that is simply not possible because the Leaf's pack wasn't designed with spaces for such tubes.
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2018
  10. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    The gauge on the left is the battery temperature gauge, so low is good. It's the one on the right that will be of interest. At the moment it's showing only 57 miles of range, so we will hope that's not fully charged! As I understand it, when a Leaf owner says he has "lost bars" he means the maximum charge level shown on that gauge no longer displays all the bars it did when new. That is, the battery's capacity has been reduced.

    Domenick likes this.
  11. loomis2

    loomis2 Well-Known Member

    There are two columns of bars on the right that go 12 bars high. The wide bars that go from blue to white where it shows 87 miles to empty is your current battery capacity. It is pretty high with only the top bar missing. As you drive the car and the battery gets depleted those bars disappear until you charge the car again, just like the Clarity.

    The smaller bars along the right edge with a 1 at the top and a 0 at the bottom with the two red bars show the battery health. It has all 12 bars showing, which is perfect. Over time those bars will disappear and they don't ever come back. Our 2013 lost its first bar last year at around 45,000 miles and now only shows 11 bars. So there is nothing wrong with this battery gauge. I hope that all made sense.
    Marcel_g, Pushmi-Pullyu and Domenick like this.
  12. Domenick

    Domenick Administrator Staff Member

    Thanks for that, it made total sense. I've got it now. The outer stack of bars on the right of the display. The photo in my post only shows 57 miles, so I gather it's just not charged up all the way.
  13. loomis2

    loomis2 Well-Known Member

    Correct. If it was, the other stack of bars next to it would be up all the way, too.
  14. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    Thank you for explaining! :)

    It's good to know you can see just by looking at the gauge if the car has lost capacity. Until you explained that, I thought you had to charge it up to see if a Leaf has lost battery capacity, and how much.
  15. Martin Williams

    Martin Williams Active Member

    Is the loss due to storage at elevated temperatures or use at high temperatures or both?
  16. loomis2

    loomis2 Well-Known Member

    Probably a combination of a lot of factors. I have never had the opportunity to use one of the super fast chargers, just my 240 volt charger in the garage, but that would stress the batteries as well. We have had our car almost five years now. I was expecting to lose that first bar sooner than I did based on what I read online. Southern Ohio is probably a good climate for electric car batteries in general.
    Marcel_g likes this.
  17. Martin Williams

    Martin Williams Active Member

    OK thanks for that. I am thinking that keeping the battery cool during charging or use is no great deal, but it would be a different matter if you had to keep it cool whilst it was parked. This I guess would apply to any car using lithium ion batteries, not just the leaf as refrigeration would imply a pretty constant drain.
  18. jim

    jim Active Member

    Some new COOL LEAF information.
    I've heard now that Nissan sold the battery part of their LEAF they will use LG and they always have cooling.

    Late 2018, when the new long-range version shows up (can LG Chem, the new supplier, cram 60 kWh into the old platform?). That can add the “wow” factor that the 40 kWh version misses, as the larger battery will allow Bolt/Tesla range levels (225–245 miles EPA). Additionally, the TMS that comes with LG technology will not only increase consumer confidence, but finally open the door to those much anticipated 150 kW fast chargers.
  19. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    I've heard that next year, Nissan will be offering two battery sizes for the Leaf, and that the larger will have a liquid cooling system, but the smaller still won't.

    But both of these "I've heard" items are just rumors. Let's wait until Nissan officially announces that any version of the Leaf will have an active TMS (Thermal Management System), before we assert that as fact.
  20. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    One of those factors is high humidity during charging, especially the combination of a hot battery and high humidity. I'm rather far from understanding just why that is, but apparently adverse chemical changes can happen inside the battery pack under those conditions. Perhaps it's something like rusting/corroding?

    Anyway, that explains why premature Leaf battery aging is a problem in some parts of Florida, despite the fact that it seldom gets very hot there.

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