TEG
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Re: Nissan Eng. Team Visit: Reservations Closed

Sat Dec 03, 2011 8:54 pm

The biggest amount of activity revolved around the suggestion for a built-in SOC meter.
Clearly they have debated what to do to improve range projection readouts, and weren't initially convinced that an SOC meter would be the right improvement with broad appeal, but plenty with a loud voice made sure their desire to have one was well heard by the right people.

By the way, the GOM/Guess-O-Meter seems to be known primarily as the DTE (Distance To Empty) within Nissan engineering, so if we want to talk about that we might want to use that acronym instead of GOM to be more clear.

They ended up being rather revealing about how the GOM works, and brought home the point that it is extremely difficult to make an accurate range estimator... Even with more driving history available, and better predictive algorithms, they will always lack the the important piece of information in the driver's head of "how I intend to drive this car in the future."

----

Even if they had you enter a planned destination, and they pulled GPS coordinates to model elevation changes they still don't know things like traffic patterns, future temperature, and such. On top of all that, figuring out how the battery will behave isn't a completely exact science. Too many variables going on inside those cells without the ability to monitor everything that is going on. Even the SOC values are somewhat approximated.
Last edited by TEG on Sat Dec 03, 2011 9:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

mdh
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Re: Nissan Eng. Team Visit: Reservations Closed

Sat Dec 03, 2011 9:18 pm

Nice job Today!

TEG
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Re: Nissan Eng. Team Visit: Reservations Closed

Sat Dec 03, 2011 9:25 pm

Apparently the count of LEAFs on site was over 100 !

I didn't spend much time taking pictures, but here are a couple:
Image
Image

Phil never ceases to amaze. He is working on a propane micro-turbine combo mobile fast charge / mobile range extender.
Image

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EVDRIVER
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Re: Nissan Eng. Team Visit: Reservations Closed

Sat Dec 03, 2011 11:26 pm

Great meeting and a definitive no answer regarding an upgrade for a 6.6kw leaf charger on existing LEAFs. But we knew that:)

cwerdna
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etiquette and what we learned?

Sun Dec 04, 2011 1:17 am

Great meeting today!

Unfortunately, I sat in the very back corner and the chief stepped away from the mic when doing some of his SOC explanation so I had hard time hearing. I also didn't have as much context since I don't own a Leaf yet (but have experience w/DTE indicators on 2 ICE Nissans.)

I was a bit surprised by the statement at the beginning that there would be no proceedings from this. I do understand (and agree with) having a more open discussion by disallowing recording devices.

Is it frowned upon/prohibited if we share what we learned? I don't think Nissan would tell us anything that people wouldn't eventually find/figure out anyway. If it's ok, maybe we should have a new thread about what we learned today? There were a lot of conversations w/many different Nissan folks and it was impossible for one person to be involved/listening to them all.

Posting any pics (if any were taken) of slides that said Nissan confidential or esp. the ones that said Nissan strictly confidential might be bad idea though.

'13 blue Leaf SV w/premium package (owned)
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kovalb
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Re: Nissan Eng. Team Visit: Reservations Closed

Sun Dec 04, 2011 7:49 am

I am in Arizona and could not attend - but wish I could. What was the tone of the meeting? Any big announcements? I know very many questions were asked and suggestions made for improving our favorite car. Were any answers forthcoming? Are you now more or less optimistic for the future? :?:
Had six Nissan LEAFs in five years. Hope to get another.
Retired Nissan Employee (NTCNA-AZ). Opinions expressed here are my own.

TNleaf
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Delivery Date: 27 Jul 2011
Leaf Number: 5818

Re: etiquette and what we learned?

Sun Dec 04, 2011 7:51 am

cwerdna wrote:Great meeting today!

I was a bit surprised by the statement at the beginning that there would be no proceedings from this. I do understand (and agree with) having a more open discussion by disallowing recording devices.

Is it frowned upon/prohibited if we share what we learned? I don't think Nissan would tell us anything that people wouldn't eventually find/figure out anyway. If it's ok, maybe we should have a new thread about what we learned today? There were a lot of conversations w/many different Nissan folks and it was impossible for one person to be involved/listening to them all.

Posting any pics (if any were taken) of slides that said Nissan confidential or esp. the ones that said Nissan strictly confidential might be bad idea though.


I was curious if anyone would post notes/highlights from the meeting. I had seriously contemplated getting a last minute flight from TN and taking a few vacation days to come to the meeting but figured the cheaper route was to wait for a re-cap of the event.

So no recording devices, but is anyone planning on posting notes? If not publicly, perhaps in a PM?

Ive read a few comments about the meeting in other threads, (comment about L1 charging and L3 charging) but it'd be nice to have that information in one place.
Res 8/10 | RAQ open 2/11 | EV Project accepted 3/16/11 | DB updated to SLe 3/26/11
Final RAQ->Order 3/27/11 |Est Delivery Wk of 7/29->8/01->8/23->7/28
Blink Installed 7/15
|Delivered 7/27 | VIN 5818
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TEG
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Re: Nissan Eng. Team Visit: Reservations Closed

Sun Dec 04, 2011 8:00 am

Yes, I think it starts to become a bit of gray area when they start to give out some bits of possibly proprietary info.
Still, with the number of attendees, and no NDA involved, I gather it is just up to us to decide what is an appropriate level of dissemination. I took the request for "no recording devices" inside as to mean no pictures of the actual meeting, but clearly some people didn't hear or ignored that request. I think it would be wrong to call it a "private" meeting and not discuss important things that were learned there, but I also think we have to be careful not to discourage Nissan from more sharing.

One thing to keep in mind - Nissan knows a lot more about their products than we ever will, and they are well underway on their next generation of products while we are focused on what we can get now. I heard a lot of post meeting questions along the lines of "Can you retrofit my 2011 LEAF with requested feature X ?"
For the most part, any suggestions or feedback we give to them might help sway some future product directions, but I wouldn't think you should expect them to come back and make many changes to cars already sold.

For those not there, they did throw out a few disclaimers just to make sure we were all on the same page. Along the lines of:
#1: No one should give them any ideas if they expect some compensation for them. We are all there to give free owner feedback and learn what they are willing to tell us about their products that we don't already know.
#2: They cannot encourage any modifications to their vehicles. There are safety, legal, liability and warranty issues to consider. Even some simple things someone might think to change on their car could have ramifications.

As would be expected, they have plenty of their own data on how their products are doing and plenty of internal resources to come up with new ideas, so the chances of these owner's gatherings having a huge impact are perhaps a little slim, but even if one little idea shows merit and makes it through to a better product, it is all worth it.

At the end of the day it is just a social gathering for those who have a particular interest in the LEAF product.
Last edited by TEG on Sun Dec 04, 2011 8:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

TEG
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Re: Nissan Eng. Team Visit: Reservations Closed

Sun Dec 04, 2011 8:31 am

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.

kovalb wrote: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.
Last edited by TEG on Sun Dec 04, 2011 9:23 am, edited 3 times in total.

TEG
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Re: Nissan Eng. Team Visit: Reservations Closed

Sun Dec 04, 2011 8:42 am

kovalb wrote:Are you now more or less optimistic for the future? :?:


...More... They took the time and effort to interact with the LEAF community in a positive way.
They are clearly committed to the product and will be improving it in the future.

They have a commitment to making a wider variety of electric models in large volumes.

The word commitment is key here. They are committed to doing this, not just projecting, targeting, or planning.
This is a NISSAN corporate direction from the top down. No hesitation.
Last edited by TEG on Sun Dec 04, 2011 9:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

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