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Open Letter from Nissan, September 22, 2012

This was just received from Nissan. I will post a .pdf copy of the file I received once I can get it converted.

From Carla Bailo


Happy eve of National Plug In Day. We’re excited that Nissan LEAF owners are gathering nationally tomorrow to celebrate zero-emission motoring, and appreciate that so many of you are sharing your enthusiasm with others. You are truly our best ambassadors to the next generation of passionate EV drivers.

We also want to update you, the LEAF community, on our findings regarding battery capacity loss concerns expressed by a number of owners in the Phoenix market. Nissan takes customer concerns seriously, and we know many of you have been interested to hear what we’ve learned in our thorough investigation, and what it all means.

We identified seven LEAF owners in the Phoenix area who had reported concerns with their vehicles. With their agreement we brought the cars to Nissan’s Arizona test facility, where we removed the batteries for evaluation, measured capacity, and conducted voltage testing on individual battery cells. These tests were diagnostic only; no modifications were performed to the battery packs themselves.

After returning cars to their owners, we analyzed the results of our tests, with specific emphasis on the rate of actual capacity loss for each vehicle. Our goals were simple: to determine 1) if there were any defects in materials or workmanship in the individual batteries or vehicle systems; 2) if the batteries were performing to specification; and 3)their performance relative to the global LEAF population.

This week, we will meet with these LEAF owners to share our findings on their individual vehicles. In the mean time, we can report the following overall findings:

• The Nissan LEAFs inspected in Arizona are operating to specification and their battery capacity loss over time is consistent with their usage and operating environment. No battery defects were found.
• A small number of Nissan LEAF owners in Arizona are experiencing a greater than average battery capacity loss due to their unique usage cycle, which includes operating mileages that are higher than average in a high-temperature environment over a short period of time.

While we understand that some LEAF owners are concerned about battery capacity loss, we want all owners to remember that all battery-electric vehicles – and all lithium-ion batteries – demonstrate capacity loss over time. So while your LEAF may have been able to travel a certain distance or more on a charge when new, its range will decrease as the battery ages, miles accumulate and gradual capacity loss occurs. This loss in capacity will occur most rapidly in the early part of your battery’s life, but the rate should decrease over time. Information on gradual battery capacity loss is available in the paperwork that was delivered with your vehicle, in the owner’s manual and on the many vehicle resources available at

It is also important to put the scope of these concerns in perspective. Globally, there are more than 38,000 Nissan LEAFs on the road that have travelled more than 100 million zero-emission miles, and we expect these vehicles, in normal operating conditions, to retain 80 percent of battery capacity after five years. As each user’s operating characteristics are unique and many factors impact battery capacity, we can expect some vehicles to have greater than 80 percent capacity at five years, and some vehicles to have less. In Arizona, we have approximately 450 LEAFs on the road. Based on actual vehicle data, we project the average vehicle in that market to have battery capacity of 76 percent after five years – or a few percentage points lower than the global estimate. Some vehicles in Arizona will be above this average, and some below. Factors that may account for this differential include extreme heat, high speed, high annual mileage and charging method and frequency of the Nissan LEAFs in the Phoenix market.

We at Nissan stand by our product, and we also stand by our customers. Recently, we’ve asked Chelsea Sexton, a passionate advanced technology advocate, to convene an independent global advisory board. Members would be selected by Chelsea, not Nissan, and they would recommend their own mandate, but our hope is that they would hold up a mirror to us and help us to be more open and approachable in our communication and to advise us on our strategy. We should have more information on the advisory board in a few weeks.

As we work with individual owners to ensure their satisfaction, we are appreciative of your continued support of both the Nissan LEAF and the electric vehicle movement, overall. We look forward to continuing our dialogue here in the MyNissanLEAF forum and within the Nissan LEAF community.

Best Regards,
Carla Bailo
Senior Vice President, Research & Development – Nissan Americas
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Re: Open Letter from Nissan, September 22, 2012

Everything is "normal", just in time for hundreds or thousands of Leaf owners to meet in the wild for National Plug in Day.
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Re: Open Letter from Nissan, September 22, 2012

It's sort of stating the obvious to say that this has become as much a communications issue as a technical one, but I've encouraged Nissan to jump into this thread (and forum) directly so that an actual conversation can be had...
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Re: Open Letter from Nissan, September 22, 2012

Certainly we need more specifics on the technical side. What happened to the people who got their cars back with more capacity bars showing, is it a gauge issue, coupled with "normal" capacity loss, exaggerating the situation? Is more capacity left in the pack than the instrumentation is suggesting? Is this going to be an issue with all LEAF's eventually? How will a new battery pack address these issues in future LEAF's?
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Re: Open Letter from Nissan, September 22, 2012

My worry: I'm in a mild weather area (S.F. Bay Area) - which might be the optimal "normal" operating conditions for an EV like the LEAF. I nearly always charge to only 80%, and I've experienced nearly a 10% loss in actual measured range in 15 months... and I'm not even high mileage: barely over 10K miles. This is faster loss than I expected in my climate. For now, it isn't impacting me... but I hope the loss does slow down, because I may be unable to comfortably complete common trips I do if the loss doubles in another year.

Last edited by grommet on Sat Sep 22, 2012 4:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Open Letter from Nissan, September 22, 2012

Tomorrow is going to be a very interesting day. :)
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Re: Open Letter from Nissan, September 22, 2012

evchels wrote:It's sort of stating the obvious to say that this has become as much a communications issue as a technical one, but I've encouraged Nissan to jump into this thread (and forum) directly so that an actual conversation can be had...
Agreed, thank you for talking to Nissan about this issue, Chelsea!
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Re: Open Letter from Nissan, September 22, 2012

My LEAF has lost range (apparently due to capacity loss) during
my ownership in a moderate southern California climate, and
a very modest 9000 miles over 18 months.

1st 6 months approximately 0% loss
2nd 6 months, about 2%
3rd 6 months, about 8% more loss, for 10% total

If I continue to lose another 8% by the end of the 2nd year,
that will be 18% in two years. I will have to wait to see what

However, losing 16% per year is not what Nissan lead me to
believe that the LEAF would deliver. I will know more in 6 months.
See SOC/GID-Meter and CAN-Do Info
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Re: Open Letter from Nissan, September 22, 2012

evchels wrote:It's sort of stating the obvious to say that this has become as much a communications issue as a technical one, but I've encouraged Nissan to jump into this thread (and forum) directly so that an actual conversation can be had...
Thanks for stepping up to this challenge. I hope it doesn't backfire on you! For all of us that want this car to succeed, I wish you the best.


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Re: Open Letter from Nissan, September 22, 2012

:shock: :o :? :x
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