LEAF Battery capacity loss and battery life

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

  1. 30kWh_Leaf

    30kWh_Leaf New Member

    My understanding is that sales staff do now tell prospective buyers about the charging situation. If one doesn't want to do more than say 200 miles in one day, the car is absolutely delightful. The ASA ruling will refer to the advertising from later in the year than what I saw before I bought.

    Many people will be perfectly happy with the vehicle, but, anybody who wants an electric replacement for a fossil burner will be disappointed. There's a Youtube video of a German chap who drove at motorway speed in 25C heat and the car choked off his first charge due to the high battery temperature caused by the higher speed.
    Domenick likes this.
  2. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    No surprise at all that a Nissan rep, either at the corporate level or the dealership level, would tell you he hasn't heard anything about a better car coming along. Auto makers and auto dealers want you to buy one of their cars now, not wait for a better one in a year or two. It's the same reason auto makers typically delay any official reveal of a new model until only 3 months or so before sales start.

  3. 30kWh_Leaf

    30kWh_Leaf New Member

    Except that I've already bought the car and found it to be not as advertised.
  4. Paul K

    Paul K Active Member

    It is indeed unfortunate the sales people don't take the lead and ask people how they plan on using an EV. Selling somebody goods or services that won't meet their expectations is a well known sales and public relations disaster. No one can afford unhappy customers. Here in Kingston Ontario the salesman (who is a decent chap all round) began extolling the virtues of the public chargers that were becoming available. I set him straight on that. I think it is a fairly common experience that the savvy EV shopper knows more about the product than the sales staff. This should not be.

    That being said, it is also very beneficial to do lots of reading and research before committing to a major purchase. The is a wealth of information out there on the internet if you know how to search. INSIDE EVS is an absolute gold mine of helpful information. I believe that if you had seen my thread "managing with tms" beforehand you would not have made the purchase. There is also the "rapidgate" thread in the Leaf forum which clearly addresses this issue.
  5. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    So is there any consensus about Rapidgage on the Leaf forum? Is it true that, as Nissan has claimed, it's only a calibration issue? Or are people reporting premature battery capacity loss measured and verified by testing meters and other methods not dependent on the car's software?

    I haven't seen any follow-up on that in any reporting here on InsideEVs, and would like to know your take on this.

  6. Paul K

    Paul K Active Member

    I don't visit the dedicated Leaf forum that much. Too cluttered. You're addressing 2 different issues here. The calibration issue was with the 30kwh Leafs like I had. The GOM used to drop much faster than the actual kms driven then would slow down and they eventually came close together at low charge. The GOM also suggested that I had had a range loss of about 10% over 2 years and 36,000km but I hadn't notice any difficult reaching the same old places. I never got the recalibration done before trading in.

    Rapid gate applies to the new 2018 Leafs like I have now. As we know now, fast charging really heats up the battery. Once the battery approaches the critical zone the software really throttles back the fast charging. This is not a software bug. It is intentional to protect the battery. This would make long distance highway travel involving more than one DCFC rather cumbersome. Overall the range gain of the 40kwh seems to be much more than the 33% I expected so in my case it has really cut down on the times I have to take my 19 yr old Saturn out to play. Hope that clears things up a bit.
    Domenick likes this.
  7. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    Seems pretty clear, then, that it really was a calibration issue, at least for your Leaf.

    Re "Rapidgate": So then, the term doesn't refer to rapid loss of capacity, but rather the issue of the battery heating up (or possibly overheating) when fast-charging?

    Thanks for taking the time to write that detailed response!
  8. Kenneth Bokor

    Kenneth Bokor Active Member

    Agree with Paul K. Nissan sales needs to do a better job of qualifying the prospective buyer by understanding their particular driving needs. If they need longer range driving more often, then the throttling feature needs to be explained in that context - the car will do dozens of fast charging stops successively if you really need it to, however the time to charge will take longer since the charge rate is lowered to as low as 14kw or so.

    Remember, Rapidgate is IMO not the correct way to view this way the 2018 Leaf operates. The lack of info up front by Nissan sales is what is the real issue here, not the fact that Nissan purposefully designed and built this version with the same battery BMS as the previous models, albeit with new chemistry to make them more resistant to heat damage. Couple this new chemistry with the throttling, and you will get more protection of the battery cells therefore limiting any premature degradation and damages.

    So back to positioning the 40kWh Leaf with a prospective buyer upfront is critical to them making an informed decision. Paul you made a decision it seems without all the info you needed to form a decision with, so in looking back it seems you would not have chosen the 40kWh Leaf knowing about these inherent features of this car.

    However, for the vast majority of people looking to get into EV ownership that won't want or need to take this Leaf past a single or two rapid charges, it is a perfectly capable car at a good price. I for one, knew about these Leaf features before I purchased and still did purchase, and am very happy with my decision.

    Others may not be so happy, but the majority are. This is proven by continued good sales of the 40kWh Leaf.

    Remember, because it's not good for your use case does not mean it is not a good car for others.
  9. Paul K

    Paul K Active Member

    Eh what??? Where did you get the idea that I wouldn't have chosen the 40kwh Leaf? I don't travel long distances and find public charging to unreliable to travel outside the cars round trip range. The move from 30kwh to 40 has increased my range almost 50%. I opted for the budget "S" trim this time around and naturally the manufacturer has to "punish" you a bit leaving out some nice to have features but all around I am delighted with this car. And if anyone asks me what kind of electric car I drive I can say I have a model S.............Leaf that is!
  10. Kenneth Bokor

    Kenneth Bokor Active Member

    Sorry Paul I thought something else it seems. Glad you like it!
  11. Roy2001

    Roy2001 Member

    Considering battery capacity loss, winter temperature, heating, highway range loss, I would say the EPA range should be cut by 50% for actual usage during extreme condition.
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2018
  12. Stephen Hodges

    Stephen Hodges New Member

  13. Paul K

    Paul K Active Member

    50% may be a little extreme. I take my vehicles best summer range under "moderate" driving speeds and knock off 40% at -30degC. My 2016 would drop from 190km to 110km. Not sure what's going to happen with the 2018 but the GOM seems to suggest that I'm easily good for 220km at 105km/hr with the heater at lowest setting. This is spot on as my best GOM range calculation this summer on a full charge was 300km +/- a few.
  14. Yow! I keep thinking "range loss in cold temps" means 30degF/0degC. If temps rarely drop to 10F/-10C where I live, will I notice a range drop?
  15. Paul K

    Paul K Active Member

    Yes you will. Range loss starts kicking in as you go below freezing. Haven't had my 2018 long enough to give for sure figures but driving at -3degC with the heater on produces as range loss of about 15%. If you can forgo the heater when it's sunny and dry and just use the seat and steering wheel heaters you should be seeing a range loss of 8-10%. So at -10c you will definitely see a loss but it shouldn't be too serious. I will have more accurate figures as we go through the winter.
    Mike L likes this.
  16. Kenneth Bokor

    Kenneth Bokor Active Member

    Actually range loss starts as the temps cool. even around 10 degrees C or so. As Paul states, the colder the more loss. At -10C, the heater is on and the colder battery provides me with a loss of more then 8-10% - more like 25-30%. If doing a straight highway run at 105kph at -10C, then on a full charge I would be best to get 1750-190kms out of that. If you can get more, I don't know how. The more dense air, heater use - even minimum, will drop range down. You need to understand these experiences in order to make a better informed decision.

    MikeL, with your temps rarely dropping down to -10C, you should get better range overall.

    Oh and don't rely on the GOM...get Leaf Spy Pro. With these colder temps and up and down changes, sometime the GOM is way off what LSP is.
  17. Jack Ng

    Jack Ng New Member

    Sharing my story on rapid battery capacity loss. Currently driving a 2016 Leaf w/ 30kwH battery purchased on Jan 2017. Currently at 39K miles and already lost 3rd bars (at 38K) with battery SOH at 68.7% (19.3kwH at full charge). It looks like I should qualify for the battery replacement somewhere within a year or so. I remember reading some fine print somewhere that you can't drive the car more than 10K a year for them honor the warranty? Anyone else remember seeing that or have any insight on it? A little nervous that they will not honor the warranty once I hit that 4th bar!! Any advice to give to make the claim progress go smoothly in the near future?

    Domenick likes this.
  18. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    That can't possibly be true. Heck, the average American driver drives about 14,000 miles per year. There's no way that any major auto maker could get away with putting such an absurd restriction on its warranty.

    Let us please keep in mind that not everything we read is true -- especially not on the internet. We should always exercise critical thinking about what we read.

    Kenneth Bokor likes this.
  19. Domenick

    Domenick Administrator Staff Member

    That's a pretty significant loss. Surprised it isn't warrantable now.
  20. Paul K

    Paul K Active Member

    The Nissan battery is warranted for 8 years or 100,000 miles which ever comes first. It applies to any battery that has lost more than 3 capacity bars. BUT (and it's a really big but) Nissan can elect to repair the existing pack to a minimum of 9 capacity bars are return it to the car. I'm not saying they would, but they could restore a pack to 9 bars and be in compliance with the warranty.

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