• Jan 25th 2010 at 7:48PM
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Although many have expressed a strong preference for having the cost of the battery pack included in the price of their electric auto, might a separate leasing arrangement be a more prudent approach? Darryl Siry certainly seems took think so, at least when it comes to the Nissan Leaf. In his latest writings for Wired, the former Tesla Motors mouthpiece has expressed some doubts that the Japanese manufacturer's power supply will be up to the task for the long term. And he may well have a point.

It all comes down to the Leaf's power pack lacking an active thermal management system, relying instead on a passive cooling set-up which, essentially, relies on a single fan to distribute heat evenly throughout the interior of the pack. If heat is not effectively dispersed, it may lead to early degradation of overall energy capacity and a premature shortening of the vehicle's range. Nissan's director of product planning for the U.S. Mark Perry responded by saying:
We don't need thermal management for the U.S., but we are looking at the technology for Dubai and other locations like that.... We've gone on the record saying that the pack has a 70 to 80 percent capacity after 10 years.
While that sounds somewhat reassuring, an earlier conversation with a product planner lower down the totem pole left Siry with the impression that the company had gone with the passive design because of packaging concerns rather than sound engineering determination. He contrasts the approach taken in the Leaf to the active liquid temperature control design in the Chevrolet Volt and suggests that Leaf buyers opt for battery leasing to avoid potential longer-term short comings. Read the complete article for yourselves and let us know whether this issue affects your attitude about battery leasing.

[Source: Wired]

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