TEG
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Re: Nissan Eng. Team Visit: Reservations Closed

Sun Dec 04, 2011 8:50 am

One other thought - in terms of owner feedback to Nissan - I think they value specific examples of specific situations that happened that they can work to improve. They are flooded with unqualified, unproven, sometimes "pie in the sky" ideas and those don't get nearly as much consideration as a specific story of something that happened to an owner. Somewhat along the lines of "We have to justify everything we do, and everything we do has to be done to solve a specific problem."

To go along with that, I got the impression that they have been seriously looking into the questions brought up about oddities with low speed braking behavior. Also, anytime someone gets in a situation where they run out of charge and have to be towed they would want to know why that happened.

oakwcj
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Re: Nissan Eng. Team Visit: Reservations Closed

Sun Dec 04, 2011 8:54 am

The tone of the meeting was extremely positive. The Chief Vehicle Engineer called it a great first birthday party for the LEAF and he and the other members of the Nissan contingent were clearly heartened by the level of enthusiasm displayed by the group. Mr. and Mrs. Gascant, Kim, Waidy, Phil, and the other organizers did a terrific job in putting the meeting together.

It wasn't until after the meeting that I hit upon the proper metaphor to describe what ails the GOM, aka DTE meter: it's bipolar. When the LEAF is headed uphill, it grows depressed and overly pessimistic about its future range. It sheds miles in a frantic and demented manner. But, when it's going downhill, the DTE experiences a sense of euphoria, and believes that it can go for miles and miles and miles, and becomes completely disconnected from reality. This behavior is particularly ironic in a machine powered by lithium.

The most impressive visual in the CVE's presentation showed the LEAF driving on water. Or, more precisely, through a road flooded by 750 mm [30"] of water. It was astonishing to see the water level rise above the top of the charging port while the car plowed blithely through the waves, seemingly unaffected by the deluge.
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TomT
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Re: Nissan Eng. Team Visit: Reservations Closed

Sun Dec 04, 2011 9:09 am

Actually, that would be what is known as Reverse Bipolar, but I love it!!!
oakwcj wrote:It wasn't until after the meeting that I hit upon the proper metaphor to describe what ails the GOM, aka DTE meter: it's bipolar. When the LEAF is headed uphill, it grows depressed and overly pessimistic about its future range. It sheds miles in a frantic and demented manner. But, when it's going downhill, the DTE experiences a sense of euphoria, and believes that it can go for miles and miles and miles, and becomes completely disconnected from reality. This behavior is particularly ironic in a machine powered by lithium.
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TEG
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Re: Nissan Eng. Team Visit: Reservations Closed

Sun Dec 04, 2011 9:12 am

oakwcj wrote:The most impressive visual in the CVE's presentation showed the LEAF driving on water. Or, more precisely, through a road flooded by 750 mm [30"] of water. It was astonishing to see the water level rise above the top of the charging port while the car plowed blithely through the waves, seemingly unaffected by the deluge.
They were showing some clips from this video:
http://youtu.be/xxL4LVgdP7E?t=25s" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

thankyouOB
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Re: Nissan Eng. Team Visit: Reservations Closed

Sun Dec 04, 2011 9:59 am

I find quite silly (annoying and unproductive) the idea that you can or would try to keep secret stuff Nissan staff told to 100 people in a room, when those listeners are not part of the Nissan organization and have no institutional restrictions on them.
It would serve the community best, in my view, to share as much of the non-pictorial information as possible.
But you guys (I assume mostly guys) were there and I hope you see the benefit in giving the rest of us a full report.
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as ever,
Last edited by thankyouOB on Sun Dec 04, 2011 10:10 am, edited 2 times in total.
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gascant
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Re: Nissan Eng. Team Visit: Reservations Closed

Sun Dec 04, 2011 10:00 am

Originally, the meeting was intended to be private in the sense that Nissan did not want any journalists or press coverage. That would have required high level approval and would have led to them saying very little at all. We had originally wanted to do a webcast, but that was also discouraged. During the last few days, Nissan added Mark Perry and Tim Gallagher to the attendance list, which swung the meeting to more of a "town hall" format. They also sent their North American Quality Director, who was quite open to all the feedback, especially on the SOC and Range gauges (the latter they call "Distance to Empty").

Of course, everything that we, as owners, presented is public since we gathered a good chunk of it from this forum. We'll figure out a way to post that material somewhere--suggestions welcomed. Nissan did not provide copies of their materials so we won't be able to post those.

We're still working on official counts--the Google folks tell me that they set up 180 chairs in the room and it seemed like they were all full. Everyone was required to get badges, so we'll be able to get the count soon. Charging and parking was spread out among 3 sites. There were 84 LEAFs on the main meeting site and somewhere between 20-32 off site, making a total of 104 LEAFs minimum (which totally impressed Nissan). We went through 15 boxes of Costco pizza and it ended up not being enough. (Note to self: Next time people say they don't want pizza, don't listen.) LEAF owners drove from as far away as 90 miles, and one stopped in on his way down from Seattle (not in his LEAF). We also had tbleakne and TonyWilliams from San Diego.

The notes and impressions posted by others, above, are fairly accurate. Mark Perry did say they would periodically meet with us and possibly other owners' groups. Kadota-san's presentations were impressive and well received. While we didn't expect any decisions to be made on the spot, I think the most successful things we accomplished were getting them to understand why portable charging is so important and that they should do more research on the DTE and SOC gauges. Nissan told us that they were impressed with the level of enthusiasm and professionalism--the Quality Director told me he had never seen a car club with such well informed and passionate members.

Given the realities of post-tsunami Japan, they have stepped up their efforts on the home interface unit for the LEAF, (vehicle to home, or V2H) and are deploying it there. We lobbied to get them to set some up in members homes over here as well.

One thing that was completely successful was that we started off the meeting telling Nissan that we wanted to help them sell more LEAFs and future EV's, which removed any tone of defensiveness. If/When Nissan does decide to have other meetings, my advice would be to keep this mind.
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TonyWilliams
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Re: Nissan Eng. Team Visit: Reservations Closed

Sun Dec 04, 2011 10:09 am

EVDRIVER wrote:Great meeting and a definitive no answer regarding an upgrade for a 6.6kw leaf charger on existing LEAFs. But we knew that:)
Oh, they had an answer... no. They mentioned all the wiring harness changes, etc.

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Re: Nissan Eng. Team Visit: Reservations Closed

Sun Dec 04, 2011 10:13 am

Here are a couple more photos, taken by our host, with his phone.
Looking down on the outdoor scene from the 3rd floor of the building (during the break in the meeting); Kadota-san is talking with 2 members of his team at the back and left of the silver LEAF.
Image

Inside the meeting room
Image
Last edited by gascant on Sun Dec 04, 2011 12:17 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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edatoakrun
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Re: Nissan Eng. Team Visit: Reservations Closed

Sun Dec 04, 2011 10:25 am

Any discussion of how Nissan can assist in US DC Charge infrastructure development?

Any discussion of whether Nissan will participate in a SAE DC charge standard, when and if it becomes reality in the US?
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oakwcj
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Re: Nissan Eng. Team Visit: Reservations Closed

Sun Dec 04, 2011 10:40 am

edatoakrun wrote:Any discussion of how Nissan can assist in US DC Charge infrastructure development?

Any discussion of whether Nissan will participate in a SAE DC charge standard, when and if it becomes reality in the US?
The second issue wasn't discussed, at least not in the public meeting. As to the first, Mark Perry pointed to the relatively low price [$10k] of its new QC, which has recently been UL approved. He said that there are 60 QC stations in Oregon. In California, at least, the most serious problems seem to be the cost of installation and high utility demand charges. Nissan was vague about what, if anything, it might do to assist with deployment.
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