• Aug 8, 2010
If there's ever going to be a green-car cage match, we can guarantee that one of the fighters will be Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk, who apparently can't pass up the chance to take on any competitor. His latest target? The lithium-ion battery pack in the Nissan Leaf, about which Musk had some critical things to say in a conference call with investors this week.

Even though Nissan is supremely confident in the ability of its battery pack, Musk said it was a "much more primitive level of technology" than even Tesla's first prototype. Musk also said that the Leaf pack will have temperatures "all over the place" that will cause it to suffer "huge degradation" in cold environments and basically "shut off" in hot environments, according to Earth2Tech.

Tesla's battery has a more sophisticated/complicated cooling system than the air-cooled system found in the Leaf pack, but Nissan strongly supports its battery pack with an 8-year, 100,000-mile warranty and has been working on lithium-ion battery technology for a long time. We imagine they know what they're doing, and the proof will be in driveways soon enough.

[Source: Earth2Tech]


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  • 58 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      I've seen a lot of posts about Tesla turning profit and such but they have nothing to do with the topic. Are the Nissan battery designs going to be limited or defective in any way due to the way they are designed? That's the only thing that really matters. We all know that Tesla has a lot of crazy cool designs in their batteries, but the question is really whether or not a production battery needed to be that sophisticated.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Leaf = FAIL! Wait until one of them are stuck at the side of the road waiting for AAA/CAA towing because they ran out of juice while commuter Bob or commuter Jane are cranking their tunes and A/C while stuck in traffic. Guarantee...when that happens, photos of the wilted Leaf will be plasterd all over the web about this FAIL.

      Volt? Don't get me started. Only thing saving it's fat bacon arse from a similar Leafy fate is the microscopic gas motor which will be running non-stop. Horray for the environment!!

      Now...I'll second the call for Popcorn. The next 12 months will be a scream!!
        • 4 Years Ago
        Perhaps you should not buy an electric car; you don't appear to have the soul of an adventurer. I suggest you continue sucking in the fouled air produced by ICEs and continue to fight for the status quo to satisfy the oil companies. May you also be full of happness with your future cost of $5 gasoline...I, on the otherhand, am not content to be managed by big business and am willing to take a chance on BEVs to support a change for the betterment of my grandchilden's lives.
      • 4 Years Ago
      It's an odd commentary coming from someone selling a car that very few can afford and fewer still are interested in.

      But then again, Elon also wrote a long screed about his impending divorce on The Huffington Post -- which was extremely weird -- so he's not exactly established himself as the sharpest knife in the drawer.

      I've long predicted that the US governments investment in Tesla would be a waste of some $200+ million in taxpayer dollars, and this latest outburst does nothing to improve that outlook.

      • 4 Years Ago
      The Tesla's system is 6,800+ laptop cells wired together. Not exactly that sophisticated. Laptop batteries don't last a very long time (some fail within 18 months), so I don't see the Tesla battery packs lasting eight years without a significant decrease in range.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Primitive? Maybe... But at least Nissan knows how to run a profitable company. Yeah... ok the Leaf is pretty ugly and Tesla makes some nice looking cars. I just can't help but think Musk is being a baby about this...
      • 4 Years Ago
      LeMans has been won outright by "primitive" air cooling.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Meh. Where's my hybrid Aptera?
      • 4 Years Ago
      He's just mad Nissan built the first mass produced affordable electric car he always wanted to.

      • 4 Years Ago
      And I scoff at Tesla's number of Roadsters sold and the vaporware Model S.

      Oh, and Elon? You watch how well the Volt sells.
        • 4 Years Ago
        As we both can see--Elon is full of hot air.
        • 4 Years Ago
        ...and this entry on the Chevrolet Volt Facebook page:

        "One of the things we keep emphasizing with the Chevrolet Volt is its liquid thermal management system for the battery, which helps ensure battery longevity. It's also a big reason we're so confident in our 8-year/100,000 mile battery warranty. Below is an interesting read from Plug-in Cars authored by a MINI-E driver who loved the car, but noticed the EV's most "glaring flaw" was a passive air-cooling battery system. It's a good read for those who want a glimpse of how air-cooled batteries could perform in real world driving conditions." -Phil
        • 4 Years Ago
        Speaking of the Chevrolet Volt, here's what the Chevy website has to say about their batteries and temperature management:

        "A great battery is nothing unless it lasts. That's why Chevy teamed up with LG Chem to design the most durable and reliable battery possible. Each battery cell is encased in a polymer-coated aluminum package to withstand harsh climates. It also uses meticulously developed anode, cathode and electrolyte chemistries to improve the battery life under high temperature conditions and a wide range of charge states. A liquid thermal cooling and heating system keeps the battery at a comfortable temperature as it's being charged and discharged."

        http://www.chevrolet.com/pages/open/default/future/volt.do?evar3=volt_hom_mhp
      • 4 Years Ago
      Hey Elon, instead of talking, why don't you pull yourself (and your company) out of bankruptcy? Just a suggestion.
      • 4 Years Ago
      How about Elon Musk tells us why his pack uses thousands of space-wasting round 18650 cells when square/rectangular/any-shape-you-want Li-Poly cells have been around for well over a decade?
        • 4 Years Ago
        It's because LIRC, the Tesla uses A123 batteries, which are not LiPoly, there's more of a LiIon with extremely fast charge rates.

        There are pros and cons for those A123s and the leaf's lithium manganate battery is fairly a new design to LiPolys. When is comes to cooling, you can build a car that reflects/disapates a lot of the heat away from the car, keep good airflow while it's running and at idle, keep power usage to a trickle.

        Again, liquid cooling maybe "the best" way to keep batteries robust, but engineering may provide other means. Analogy goes you don't need a stainless steel knife to cut paper.
        • 4 Years Ago
        laptop batteries man need not say more lol...his cars have greater cooling management due to the batteries never intended to be used to power an EV's...Nissan went a step further and created batteries specific for automotive use in their cars...
      • 4 Years Ago
      Nissan will be around long after Tesla is a footnote in Automotive history, like Bricklin.
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