LEAF Battery capacity loss and battery life

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

  1. Domenick

    Domenick Administrator Staff Member

  2. Lucy

    Lucy New Member

    I have a 2011 Nissan Leaf purchased with 12500km and 12 capacity bars. 2 days after buying it lost a bar and dropped to 11. Today it lost another bar and now down to 10. It's only done 16000km. Is this expected? I only charge to 80%. 100% on days I need to. Drive in ECO mode 90% of the time etc.
  3. Domenick

    Domenick Administrator Staff Member

    If you recently bought a 2011 LEAF with 12 bars, it's not surprising that it lost a bar. The 2nd bar might give some pause, though, depending on the length of time from losing the first.

    Still, from what I understand, the speed at which you lose bars won't be uniform. It may take a long time to lose the next, depending on environmental conditions and your charging patterns. Are you in a hot part of the country?

    The thing that seems to degrade the LEAF battery the most is heat. So, if you live in Phoenix it will degrade faster than if you live in Washington state. Or, if you use ChaDemo fast charging a lot, as opposed to charging at home. Out of an abundance of caution, one of our members here (@Lou Grinzo) I think charged his on a 110-volt circuit to keep the heat down during charging.

    As far as I know, driving in ECO mode won't extend the life of the battery. It supposed to just help get the most miles per charge.
  4. Lucy

    Lucy New Member

    Thank you for your quick reply. I live in New Zealand and the temp averages 20C. Lately it's been low teens and my temp bar only has 4 bars when usually it has 5. Heat isn't an issue with my battery. The SOH is 77.69% and AHr 50.96. It seems to lose .2% of SOH every 3 days or so. Only had 13 QCs too. I really hope it is a long time until I lose another bar. We are coming into winter here and the temp very rarely goes above 22C at the most.
  5. Domenick

    Domenick Administrator Staff Member

    I can't predict the future, but I think you should be ok. Certainly the climate where you are is pretty LEAF battery friendly. Time can also be a factor in lithium battery degradation, but I'm sure others probably have a better knowledge of exactly how much and what to expect.

    I would consider joining this Facebook group of New Zealand Nissan Leaf owners and asking what their experiences have been. As I understand it, LEAFs in New Zealand are generally bought used by way of Japan, and may be slightly different from the ones built in England and the U.S.

    Please let us know how things go, if you can.
  6. loomis2

    loomis2 Active Member

    There is no way any 2011 Leaf anywhere still has 12 bars. There is a trick dealers do where they reset the computer which brings the display back to full bars so the battery looks in better shape than it really is. Then someone buys it and it loses three or four bars very fast. I don't know where you bought it but whoever you bought it from was trying to pull a fast one. It may not drop any more bars as the computer has had time to readjust itself. If the range works for you then you will probably be fine but I have read a lot of stories just like yours from people buying used Leafs.
  7. Paul K

    Paul K New Member

    I note that even with the mileage showing, it still has all the capacity bars.
  8. Paul K

    Paul K New Member

    Ssssshhhhhhhh! Don't tell my car. It's a 30kwh 2016 now at 30,000KM. Still have all my capacity bars. And with the temperature now going
    a little above freezing I seem to have all of my range back even with the winter tires.
  9. Domenick

    Domenick Administrator Staff Member

    Hopefully the cooler weather up there will help keep things under control.
  10. Paul K

    Paul K New Member

    Should have put this post here instead of 2018 reviews. On the first hot day this year I drove my 2016 30kwh Leaf as fast as I dared on the freeway to see if I could raised the battery temp. Started out with 5 bars and still only at 5 when I reach my client. BUT after almost 2 hours at client's when I returned to the car there were now 6 bars showing. It looks like the wind underneath the car while moving managed to maintain the temperature but once the car was parked the remaining heat in the cells had no way to vent. Similar to ICE engines when you shut them off right after leaving the highway. The coolant temp really goes up.

    So I can see where this would be a problem on a high speed freeway run where one exits to top up at a DCFC. The residual heat build up plus the heat of charging would add up in a hurry I think. This is not my typical situation however and I still have all 12 SOH bars showing and with the warmer temps and the winter tires off I seem to have all my original range. (a tad over 200K around town and 160 to 170K at "moderate" highway speeds).

    I didn't pay much attention to temp bars the previous two summers but will watch them more carefully this year as the dog days of summer settle in and will report my findings. That is unless the 2018 I have placed a deposit on comes in.
    Domenick likes this.
  11. Domenick

    Domenick Administrator Staff Member

    I hadn't thought of that , but it makes sense. It's like a traditional engine. It will stay (relatively) cool, but when you turn it off, the heat continues to build with no coolant circulating and the fan turns off.
  12. buddyO

    buddyO New Member

    I had a 2013 Leaf (24kWh) that never lost a bar in 3 years. Loved it so much, I bought a 2016 (30kWh) and after 18K miles and 22 months, I'm down 3 bars. Only charges to 75-ish miles range. Took it to my dealer to check it out and like nothing was wrong, with a chipper voice, my service rep said, "Hey, everything checks out fine. You're good to pick up the Leaf." My response, "But what about the battery degradation?" He replies, "Nissan won't do anything until it's down 4 bars. You just have to tough it out." Really?? Nissan, through FB, said to message them directly with info, which I did. No response. I am now going to make it my mission to publicize this problem and Nissan's lack of abiltiy to address it and make good. It is a documented fact that Nissan knows about the problem. Nissan called me after my tweets and FB posts but reiterated that it the warranty is invoked when 4 bars are lost. I am so frustrated!!!

    I'm in San Diego, but it has not been that hot, so that shouldn't be an issue.
  13. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    This unfortunately seems to be typical; there doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to why some Leafs experience little if any battery pack degradation, and others experience a significant amount. In your case I presume you had the same driving and charging pattern for both cars, so that's probably not the cause.

    Unfortunately there is some evidence that the 30 kWh Leaf's battery pack degrades significantly faster than the older 24 kWh packs, so sadly your experience probably isn't unusual. :(

    See: "Nissan LEAF 30-kWh Battery Degrades More Rapidly Than 24-kWh Pack"

    I don't know that it's as cut-and-dried as that article indicates; the trend shown in the article may be biased by a small sample size.

    But it certainly is a troubling issue.

  14. buddyO

    buddyO New Member

    I had posted that article to Nissan's FB page and referred to it while speaking with them, but they said that their warranty comes into effect when it hits four bars. Obviously, they don't consider this a defect. What's so frustrating is that they touted the greater range over my last Leaf and now a full charge yields fewer miles than that 2013 Leaf got after 3 years of use.

    I am trying to get Nissan to do something, but I imagine their logic is, "If I fix his, I'll have to fix all the others and that's too much money and bad publicity." I don't understand why their competitors haven't used this to move people to their cars.
  15. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    It looks to me like many or perhaps even most Leaf "owners" (or lessees) are aware of the issue, or at least those informed enough to post about it on Internet forums are. A very common comment is "Well, that's why I'm just leasing the Leaf. If the battery pack goes bad, I can just trade it in." From what I've read, the vast majority of Leaf sales are leases.

    I admit I don't understand how that works for Nissan; a customer leasing a Leaf for only 2-3 years, and then Nissan has to sell it as a used car at a ruinous discount. Used Leafs are very cheap. How can Nissan make a profit that way?

    And yet, logically they must be making a profit, or they wouldn't sell so many of them worldwide.

    Color me confused! o_O


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