kovalb wrote:What was the tone of the meeting?
This was not a typical BayLEAFs meeting - the tone was trying hard to be organized and respectful where the usual meetings tend to be a bit less organized and a bit more chaotic (but still highly functional.)
Congrats / kudos to the local organizers who "pulled it off" keeping things on schedule and on track.
We had a large room full of passionate people with various ideas they wanted to share, and questions they wanted to ask, so the presenters had to exert a little effort to keep things moving along in a controlled fashion.
Clearly they couldn't cover every topic of interest in one meeting like that, so there is hope that maybe something like this could happen again someday. I would say the overall tone was "professional", even though most (if not all?) of the people weren't being paid to be there, and many of the organizers have limited experience doing this sort of thing.
Any big announcements? I know very many questions were asked and suggestions made for improving our favorite car.
No big announcements. This wasn't a press event. The SF bay area has a lot of engineering and technical talent, and a good portion of the audience viewed this as a chance to meet the lead engineer of the LEAF and share a bit of our enthusiasm, questions and comments. From my perspective, the meeting focused primarily on two technical areas:
#1: Improvements to the DTE and better battery monitoring.
#2: Improvements to charging (both vehicle components, and infrastructure roll-out.)
The message was clearly delivered and received that some owners want an SOC meter.
I would characterize the response as "OK, we hear you, and we are working on improvements in this area."
(In other words, no specific commitments, but it is clear that they know it is an area where we want them to make it better.)
The message was also clearly delivered that some owners want a more flexible portable EVSE. The aftermarket upgrade product available now fills a need, but even they (EVSEupgrade) would like to see Nissan offer a factory USA 240V EVSE with adapters to things like dryer plugs, and campground / RV plugs as I don't think they want to be in the business of hand modifying these things at huge volumes. ( Hopefully future models will include a portable EVSE that could do 6.6kW from a NEMA 14-50. )
I think it is likely that the 2013 Model year LEAF will likely have some improvements.
Some things I would expect to see would include:
6.6kW charger standard on-board. A different design that could NOT be retrofitted to older cars.
Improvements to the dashboard and NAV system operations.
Improvements to the climate control system.
I suspect that there are many others, but those are the only ones I think are likely / semi-confirmed.
Also, I think they probably have prototypes of 2013 models under test right now.
Something else I took away - the LEAF is just the first product of a whole line of electric vehicles that will be coming out. So the NISSAN staff that was there are thinking above and way beyond just the LEAF itself.