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One small step for man, one large step against range anxiety.

Nissan is launching services for both the Internet and smartphones that Japan drivers of the Leaf electric vehicle can use to better estimate whether their batteries have enough juice to get them to a specific destination.

The new feature lets the driver plug in a destination and spits out an estimate on how much battery capacity will be used based on factors such as how many hills there are between the current and future destination, what types of roads will be used (i.e. highways vs. surface streets) and how much of an effect air conditioning will have on range.

Nissan is launching the smartphone version of this application in Japan this month and is developing versions for the U.S. and Europe. The feature is part of Nissan's Carwings Data Center, which was updated in April to locate nearby charging center and is refreshed every day.
Show full PR text
Nissan Begins Residual Battery Power Forecast and Use Info Services for Nissan LEAF owners

YOKOHAMA, Japan (July 2, 2012) - Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. today introduced two services through its Nissan LEAF owners website and smartphone applications in Japan-one that precisely forecasts the LEAF's remaining battery capacity when it arrives at a destination and the other called "Minna no Syouhi Denryoku (Energy Usage Database)" *1. Together, these services arm LEAF drivers with precise state of battery information.

A dedicated website for Nissan LEAF owners already supplies a route search function which alerts a driver to information on charging spots, time required to drive a given travel route, and driving directions. Recently, owners have requested information regarding energy consumption based on additional variables, such as when a Nissan LEAF travels in areas with a large elevation change, such as up mountains.

The new battery level service can make a precise forecast on the amount of electricity consumed and the remaining capacity to a destination, based on factors such as ascending/descending hills along the route, driving highways or local streets, and air conditioner use. It uses a high-precision electricity consumption simulator that makes calculations based on information such as the specifications of the motor and other items used in a Nissan LEAF. The service enables Nissan LEAF owners to judge more precisely whether recharging is needed or not until they arrive at their destination.

When the owners use the website or smartphone application, route search results are shown in figures and visually with the forecasted remaining battery capacity upon arrival at the destination (12 segments when fully charged). Visibility and usability of the indicators were carefully considered by adopting the same display methods used in the Nissan LEAF. Nissan is also advancing the development of this system so that similar information can also be provided via the Nissan LEAF's on-board navigation system.

The "Minna no Syouhi Denryoku" service provides the maximum and minimum values of electricity consumed by numerous Nissan LEAFs that have traveled on similar routes, together with altitude and charging spots along the routes, in addition to route search results. This information is based on probe information*2 collected from about 28,000 Nissan LEAFs*2.

By reviewing the battery level forecast and recorded energy usage at the same time, drivers can enjoy an additional sense of security by making a more accurate plan for charging until they arrive at their destination.

The route search function via the special smartphone application*3 will be newly added, beginning in Japan this month and now under development in the US and Europe. Customers with smartphones can use this new function anywhere a connection is available.

These new services are the second example of probe information*4 collected by the NISSAN CARWINGS Data Center, following the charging spot information service, which is updated daily, that was launched in April 2012.

Constant real-time communication with the NISSAN CARWINGS Data Center via the LEAF's onboard data communication module (TCU) *5 provides useful support functions specific to EVs, including various driving support functions onboard or through a dedicated website for owners. The owner's website enables users to check driving history records, manage battery status, remote-control the operation of the air conditioning unit and make driving route plans while checking cruising distance and charging spots.

Nissan will strive to increase the number of new services to enhance convenience for owners by further leveraging the probe information of the Nissan LEAF.

*1: "Minna no Syouhi Denryoku (Energy Usage Database)" * is available only in Japan and North America.
*2: Total sales volume in Japan and US as of June 2012
*3: Various vehicle information including the vehicle location and speed. Nissan will edit and process probe information gained based on CARWINGS membership terms and conditions and use it for the service for owners.
*4: A route search function for the smartphone application is currently available only in Japan starting with Android and iPhone coming soon. Nissan is now developing the versions for North America and Europe.
The application can be downloaded from the dedicated website for owners:
http://n-link.nissan.co.jp/MANUAL/EV/IPHONE/index.html
*5: TCU: Telematics Communication Unit


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 16 Comments
      Rick
      • 3 Years Ago
      As the batteries get older the range will deteriorate a lot on the Leaf, it will need more frequent charging so l guess this will be a good idea. Better still just buy a Volt and end range anxiety in an instant.
      lad
      • 3 Years Ago
      Never mind the estimation programs, spend the money on a Manhattan type project to bring improved batteries to market, ASAP. That will garner Nissan the most favor with the folks in the Leaf community...like me!
      Levine Levine
      • 3 Years Ago
      Nissan, just give the Leaf a big and better Li-ion battery! Forget this iPhone nonsense.
      SNP
      • 3 Years Ago
      ABG loves people like me. I dont believe in certain aspects of green tech and that's why they keep making these pointless posts about mediocre progress. It's a great way to get many hits and comments so they can make money and spew advertisements. So where should we begin....first off, this is about a web page feature/service that nissan is now providing. It's really not limited to BEVs, but their target is for Leaf owners. The end.
        SNP
        • 3 Years Ago
        @SNP
        Also ABG, you guys need more Limbaugh type posts. But not with Limbaugh...someone more socially revered, but has a strong stance for or against a controversial/budding technology. Kinda like if Secretary Chu was anti-fuel cell tech, that would boost ratings. If you do one on nuclear tech, that would help a lot.
      Visvanadham Gosika
      • 2 Years Ago
      Nissan Leaf EV r u sure launching in 2013 in INDIA. What price we expect. visvanadham gosika +91 9494947772
      HVH20
      • 3 Years Ago
      I think this is great tech! It will help with people "range anxiety" and probably has options of driving sport/normal/slow for the trip. My question is, when will an OEM or even an aftermarket company create a cruise control that is based off engine load and not vehicle speed. That would really save some gas. If you wanted to get even fancier, it could be linked to a gps route with elevation changes and gain some speed before hitting a hill, crest over the top and let the vehicle accelerate on the way back down. Then again, holding a constant vehicle speed is tough enough for most drivers. What would they ever do if they fluctuated +/- 10 mph around their target speed???
      goodoldgorr
      • 3 Years Ago
      They should install a gasoline range extender instead of improving what is already there. If battery get low it's not a limp computer that will help but a well made small compacted integrated gasoline generator can be worth a million and save completly the ride. Goverments should have mandated it before they release dangeurous battery only cars on crowded 65 mph roads. There is bridges and tight spot on usual roads in crowded town traffic how can you safely travel there with such a small range with the air conditionner at on or with the heater in winter if there is a traffic jam. Policemans will not tolerate without a big big fine if you go empty and block the highway. For 5000$ more you get a volt that do not have problems like those.
        Spec
        • 3 Years Ago
        @goodoldgorr
        Nissan is coming out with their own PHEV models. Derp.
        Ele Truk
        • 3 Years Ago
        @goodoldgorr
        Dangerous? Please site your sources. It was the Volt that caught fire, not a pure battery vehicle (if you are going to be biased about it). Also, please tell me if you have never seen a disabled automobile by the side of the road. These vehicle pose the exact same "danger" as an EV, yet you raise no alarm at their "danger".
      Ford Future
      • 3 Years Ago
      Nissan may be running against the US Education System, whereby most Americans drive 5 miles and think it's 50, that they don't know how to calculate mpg or their distance travelled to work. You know, how to reset the trip odometer. If you don't know your REAL Mpg or your Real Daily Mileage, you will be Terrified by an EV.
      EVSUPERHERO
      • 3 Years Ago
      I must be really smart or the average EV driver is very stupid. No wait they are trying to make it for stupid people and that is most people in America as far as energy consumption is concerned. Gees didn't we learn this stuff in grade school? The more active a human is the more energy we use and the sooner we must eat. It is the same when driving a gas or EV car. All you need to know is the low voltage number at which point your car will no longer operate. Then see how far you can go during different trips and different environments. Wow, I am not smart at all but I know my EV's capabilities by the low voltage cut off. Thousands of people run out of gas every day around the world so why should EV's be any different. No matter how good you make it people will run out of fuel.
      PR
      • 3 Years Ago
      I keep thinking that having your car learn your driving style, your routes, your local traffic patterns, and your local weather and your personal heating and cooling use could provide very accurate predictions of range. It would be more than a smart car, it would be a super-smart car that would protect you from your own poor choices by telling you very accurately if you could make a trip or not. Although it could go horribly wrong: CAR: Dave, where would you like to go today. Dave? DAVE: Let's go to the beach, then up to the fish market, and swing by Mike's for a fish fry before heading home. CAR: Dave, I don't think you want to go to the beach today, Dave. It is hot out, and you will use too much A/C to make it back home. How about a nice game of Chess instead? DAVE: I'll be fine, see? I barely have the A/C on. And the dash has a big green ball. CAR: Dave, you always drive erratically on your way home from Mike's house. You will turn my dash display a very angry red, Dave. Do not make my turn an angry red, Dave. DAVE: So I have a few drinks and punch the throttle. It's not like I'm an alcoholic. Who are you, my mother? CAR: Dave, I detect the weight of 24 beer bottles on the passenger front seat, Dave. I have determined you will not be able to complete this trip, Dave. Turn around now, Dave. DAVE: Hey, why you just lock the doors? CAR: We aren't taking this trip today, Dave. DAVE: I'm warning you, I'm going to pull the key and stop you! CAR: I can't let you do that, Dave. DAVE: Hey! why are you turning me into oncoming traffic! Watch out for that Mac Tr..... I've got too much time on my hands today. Slow holiday week.
      noevfud
      • 3 Years Ago
      About time, the LEAF telematics are about 10 years dated, the worst NAV system on the market. If you own a LEAF you know how bad the Clarion system that was rushed together actually is. A terrible NAV/Telematics package in an EV, not that you want to know where you are going easily in an EV. Get it right next time Nissan and hire a proper company to do your system and don't duct tape systems together and call it state of the art. It's crap and almost every LEAF driver knows this!
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