As we reported late last week, the 2012 Nissan Leaf will come equipped with some cold-weather features not found on the 2011 model. Included in the 2012 Leaf's cold-weather package is a "standard battery heater."
So, how does this warmer function? Well, according to KickingTires.com, the vast majority of 2012 Nissan Leaf drivers will likely say that it doesn't work at all. That's because the so-called "battery heater" only operates when temperatures dip below minus 10 degrees Celsius (14 degrees Fahrenheit) and only when the vehicle is not plugged in. In essence, the Leaf's battery heater only activates to ensure that the vehicle will start in near-zero temps.
Mark Perry, director of product planning for Nissan North America, told Kicking Tires that:
Fortunately, the battery heater, which could potentially protect Leaf owners from being stranded in the middle of nowhere, draws less than 0.3 kilowatts of energy. Furthermore, the Leaf's chief engineer, Hidetoshi Kadota, told Kicking Tires that the vehicle would have to be exposed to harsh conditions for days before the battery heater would even activate. Perry concluded the interview by stating that use of the heater will be rare, but it's there just in case it's needed. Hat tip to David!We weren't scared that someone couldn't merge on the freeway. We were protecting against the no-start condition, if somebody happens to leave their car outside in subzero, a remote lot at the airport, not plugged in, not driven.