2011 Nissan Leaf – Click above for high-res image gallery

We've had plenty of discussion around here about the extensive testing that General Motors has been doing on the battery pack of the Chevrolet Volt, but considerably less on the pack for the Nissan Leaf, due to hit the streets at the same time. Despite the Volt having a range extender, the concerns for both cars are pretty much the same when it comes to the pack.

After a series of battery fires and recalls in laptop computers about six or seven years ago, consumers may still be nervous about lithium ion reliability. There is also the fact that cars are exposed to a much more wide-ranging environment than computers, including hot and cold weather and getting dunked in flooded streets. Nissan, like other automakers, has long done water immersion tests both with components and whole vehicles, and the Leaf is no different. It's critical that with all the high-voltage hardware in an electric vehicle that all the seals remain intact for safety reasons. The last thing you want is water seeping into the battery pack, cables or power electronics during a rain storm. By the time any mass-produced car goes on sale, the prototypes truly have been to hell and back. As our friends at All Cars Electric put it, the thing has been waterboarded for your safety.

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