Apparently, some Nissan Leaf owners are finding the crispy weather in Phoenix, Arizona a bit too severe for the batteries in their electric cars.

The CBS affiliate in Phoenix reports that a growing number of the area's Leaf owners have lost large chunks of battery capacity, and the forums at MyNissanLeaf.com indicate that similar complaints have been recorded in other parts of Arizona, Texas and California. A table of battery capacity losses is being kept online here. We contacted Nissan regarding the issue of reduced capacity in hot climes and received this response from spokesman John Schilling:

"We are aware of the handful of customers that are concerned; we are studying their individual situations and experiences."

Nissan North America Director of Product Planning Mark Perry said in a recent video, "Heat is definitely not a friend of batteries. But I'm talking about severe 130-, 140-degree Fahrenheit kind of heat... Don't park your Nissan Leaf – or any electric vehicle – where it's going to be more than 120 or 130 degrees."

In the same video, which you can find embedded below, Perry says, "In just normal conditions, you don't have to worry about it." Thing is, "normal conditions" mean different things to different people, including those who live in Phoenix, Arizona, where daily high temperatures average over 100 degrees several months of the year.

According to CBS5, Nissan "does not consider the issue a problem" but is "investigating five complaints about the rapid loss of battery capacity... all of them in Arizona."

It's interesting to note that the issue of the Nissan Leaf battery's lack of an active thermal management solution was brought up way back in January of 2010. At the time, Nissan's Perry said, "We don't need thermal management in the U.S. ... We've gone on record saying that the pack has a 70 to 80 percent capacity after 10 years."

As you'll see in the video below, however, Nissan's warranty only covers the output of the Leaf's battery pack, not its capacity. Where that leaves heat-drenched Leaf owners remains to be seen. Scroll down for videos from both Nissan and CBS5.
CBS 5 - KPHO



I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 73 Comments
      xspeedy
      • 2 Years Ago
      Batteries don't like extreme temps? Wow, color me surprised!
      Lunch
      • 2 Years Ago
      A "handful?" A hand has 10 fingers so less than 10 people are complaining? Yeah right. Sure Nissan.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Lunch
        [blocked]
      rlog100
      • 2 Years Ago
      With the windows up, in the sun with little or no wind, outside temps of 100F can be 150F in the car in places or more. So that battery is probably getting hotter than outside temps for sure. I would imagine parking the car at work in the morning at 8 and leaving at 5 is probably the worst case scenario.
      EB110Americana
      • 2 Years Ago
      I wonder, while it rarely reaches 120-130 degrees in most places, the interior of a car can easily reach those temperatures even if the ambient air is much cooler. While the battery has passive cooling from an internal fan, all the heat must be radiated via the metal housing of the battery itself. How isolated is the battery from the car's internal temperatures if say, a black Leaf is parked in direct sunlight? What about parking over a hot blacktop parking lot? These conditions may be very different from testing regimens which would have air moving over (under actually) the car and may be tested at rest indoors.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @EB110Americana
        [blocked]
        BG
        • 2 Years Ago
        @EB110Americana
        Also, consider: how many people are stupid enough to buy a black car for use the southern states? Millions do!
          Jake
          • 2 Years Ago
          @BG
          With so many cars only available in black, white, or gray, our choices get limited. I don't want a black car, but it is preferable to an appliance-white car or another dull gray car.
      Famsert
      • 2 Years Ago
      Wow a whole fraction of 1% of Leaf owners complaining about this! Sound the alarms! Thanks for the idiotic sensationalism Autoblog. I don't get enough from Fox News.
        MONTEGOD7SS
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Famsert
        There were 308,000 Camrys sold last year. If almost 3,000 of them had engines blow up after less than one year, do you think it would be a story? Go hide under your bridge, troll.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Famsert
        [blocked]
          eliotsmeliot
          • 2 Years Ago
          He wasn't blaming Fox news for the story, he was saying that autoblog is practicing "idiotic sensationalism," which happens to be what Fox news pumps out in heavy doses. Moron.
      mbukukanyau
      • 2 Years Ago
      too bad you cannot trade it in for a volt. Its all got to do with thermal management of the battery, something Chevrolet worked for years to solve for the volt, and Nissan said was not necessary, just to rain on volts party... who is laughing now?
        Shiftright
        • 2 Years Ago
        @mbukukanyau
        Also, the Volt is a real, usable car, not a glorified golf cart. Looks a lot better too, although that's not saying much.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      fivespeeed
      • 2 Years Ago
      Electricity is the worst mobility solution imaginable. Our grid is not green, so all of these cars are just coal powered by proxy. Good luck with your two-month cross country trip, if you can even find charging stations and places to sleep. Any effective fuel needs to dispense into mass storage faster than it is used, and electricity can't do this by definition.
        axiomatik
        • 2 Years Ago
        @fivespeeed
        Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station (the largest nuclear power plant in the country) is just outside Phoenix. I'm willing to bet that these particular Leafs don't get very much of their power from coal.
        Nate
        • 2 Years Ago
        @fivespeeed
        2 months to drive cross country? How about 80 days around the world? http://green.autoblog.com/2012/06/17/tesla-roadster-racing-around-the-world-in-80-days-w-video/
      RetrogradE
      • 2 Years Ago
      Alert the media . . .another hybrid with battery issues. Wait, this is the media. Listen folks, hybrids are not the answer. Maybe, at some point, we'll figure out how to do it right, but we're not there yet. Has any of these eco-friendly car buyers stopped to wonder what will happen to these toxic batteries when they can't be fixed, recharged, or recycled anymore? I'd rather drive a nuclear powered car, honestly. Unless it was made by the Russians.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @RetrogradE
        [blocked]
        Donny Hoover
        • 2 Years Ago
        @RetrogradE
        This car isn't a hybrid and no, you would not rather drive a nuclear powered car. Forget how ridiculous an idea that is to begin with. The lead shielding required alone would be way too heavy even if you could build such a car.
        Matt Falcon
        • 2 Years Ago
        @RetrogradE
        Except the fact this isn't a hybrid. It's an ELECTRIC CAR. Meaning there is no place at all to load it up with dirty, ill-obtained foreign oil-derived gasoline that took FAR more environmental destruction to obtain than your wildest dreams could contrive for the source of an EV battery. You do realize that every vehicle on the road today has a huge lead battery brick in it, right? No, of course you don't... you're one of those anti-science, anti-facts, anti-reasoning EV deniers. Pat on the back for the stunning level of ignorance and idiocy it takes to come up with the same debunked arguments every time.
        Matt
        • 2 Years Ago
        @RetrogradE
        The Volt's battery packs are expected to last anywhere from 10-15 years. When they are replaced, they are not junk. They are used by power utility companies to store electricity from the grid.
      Basil Exposition
      • 2 Years Ago
      This is why I am not an early adopter.
        carboy55
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Basil Exposition
        Next time I'm looking for a passive "me too" guy, I'll give you a call. How's the blacksmith's business doing these days?
      Billy
      • 2 Years Ago
      Oh my , I bet those leaf buyers are thinking "why didn't I buy a volt" Maybe GM could offer a 5000 rebate to leaf owners to get out of their trap" to buy a Volt so they have a reliable car. it might not make GM much money but it would make Nissan look bad when leaf buyers start rushing to take a GM volt to get out of their unreliable leaf! I say this, if you make a product and you say yes we know about it but nothing to worrie about then you should be able to say we will cover it not sorry nothiung to worrie aboutr and if it does break, sorry we dont cover that!
      2 Wheeled Menace
      • 2 Years Ago
      No thermal management on a pack that heats up quite a bit on it's own during even regular use. I wonder what the engineers were thinking? I have been building small EVs for about 2 years now, and i know this. Why doesn't Nissan?
        • 2 Years Ago
        @2 Wheeled Menace
        [blocked]
          EB110Americana
          • 2 Years Ago
          From you link: "The manganese oxide pack is sensitive to high temperature and the primary consequence is that the pack will degrade more rapidly than one with active thermal management. This problem will be worse in hotter climates such as Phoenix, which Nissan has selected as one of its launch cities." So basically the author of that Autopia article predicted *exactly* this situation precisely 2.5 years ago.
          • 2 Years Ago
          [blocked]
          EB110Americana
          • 2 Years Ago
          [Edit] From *your* link...
        Riley McGinley
        • 2 Years Ago
        @2 Wheeled Menace
        I'm assuming the car was designed to keep the battery sufficiently cool enough to the point where it wouldn't need them, thus saving cost on something that they deemed wouldn't be necessary. Obviously, they didn't do their hot weather testing in Arizona, though. Odd, considering I see a lot of Nissan and Infiniti vehicles roaming around with camo on out here. The video shows one of the cars going into a closed garage, so I'm assuming that has something to do with it.
    • Load More Comments