• Oct 3, 2012
Is it just a coincidence that Mark Perry, director of product planning and advanced technology – and a spokesman for the Nissan Leaf who has provided plenty of information to AutoblogGreen over the years – just retired? A company spokesman told us that the move has been planned for a long time, so any questions about timing – it does come at a time when Nissan has one mess to clean up with angry owners in Arizona and another with an owner who's been named in a federal class action lawsuit against the automaker – should be considered pure speculation. There have also been slumping sales numbers causing worried frowns, but perhaps September was a turning point.

Perry has been avidly promoting the Leaf for several years now. He looks a bit young to be retiring (and enthusiastic about his job), though he has been with the company for 25 years. Perry has held positions in marketing, planning and sales management, including a director of corporate brand management and market intelligence for Nissan and Infiniti North America.

Perry's passion for the Nissan Leaf was obvious to anyone who's talked to him in the past five years. Next to Carlos Ghosn, Mark Perry would likely be considered the company's strongest proponent of the Leaf. Plug In Cars' Brad Berman interviewed Perry in 2008 and could tell the Leaf was Perry's baby and he was dedicated to moving sales of and public support for the EV forward. It wasn't easy, and Perry recently referred to the adoption of the Leaf as "the launch that never ends." For Perry, at least, that's no longer true.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 33 Comments
      2 Wheeled Menace
      • 2 Days Ago
      Can't think of a better time to leave the company :P Too bad Nissan won't be upfront about anything anymore. I am going to make a bet that they'll discontinue this car now.
      MTN RANGER
      • 2 Days Ago
      He made like a tree and got out of there.
      Ryan
      • 2 Days Ago
      I guess it is frustrating dealing with spoiled consumers all day who don't care about using less gas. And the attacks by the media that is bought for with oil money.
      Tweaker
      • 2 Days Ago
      Nissan has bungled this up horribly. Horrible PR, he deserves to go. Jack Richards is saying that the batteries were not found to be bad after the big Leaf test. He says that a real meter on the batteries showed them not depleted but the Leaf owners are intent on the green bars. So, supposedly, it is a software or BMS problem, not a battery problem. If this is even half true, where was Nissan PR?
        SVX pearlie
        • 2 Days Ago
        @Tweaker
        If it were as simple as a software / BMS issue, then presumably, Nissan would have been able to get one of those degraded cars to run like new. Nissan will need to prove it.
        Giza Plateau
        • 2 Days Ago
        @Tweaker
        Jack says many things, about half are true. I haven't seen definitive data on the Leaf issue yet but I would expect there to be a real problem with overheated cars, not just a meter problem. But it could be easily manageable, maybe a quick addon air cooling for hot regions. Nissan's handling of this seems to have been poor and just firing someone doesn't make it better.
        ATC blog Afganistan
        • 2 Days Ago
        @Tweaker
        Mr. Richards based his conclusions on information that wasn't accurate. All the batteries in the "Nissan LEAF Range Autonomy Demonstration with Reduced Battery Capacity" that I administered in Phoenix, September 15, 2012, were depleted to about 305 volts, plus or minus about 15. The two voltages that he based his conclusions on were two cars that were not depleted. Fully charged, the 96 cell pairs in the LEAF are 4.1 volts each, or 393.5 volts in series. The batteries are degrading because that is what this chemistry does in heat. It is why the GM Volt / Ampera, which uses the same chemistry, has a robust Active Thermal Management System. I offer this quote from Charles Whalen: "the other 10% of the country, being the hottest climates like Phoenix and South Florida, where a very different set of numbers and relationship applies. In the hottest climates, places like Phoenix and South Florida, the numbers look something more like … a 50% greater cost for somewhere between a 2X and 3X longer life. You really have to get into all the science and empirical studies and data on lithium battery life as a function of long-term ambient temperature exposure (plus, additionally, very importantly, the effects of solar loading), that I referred to above, in order to fully understand and have an appreciation for this. It also helps if you have had your own personal experience and exposure, as I have had, with battery life, performance, degradation, and ageing characteristics over a long term in a hot climate." "The salient point and operative principle here is that lithium battery life follows an exponential Arrhenius relationship with respect to temperature, where just to try to greatly simplify the explanation … battery life basically doubles for roughly about every 25 degrees F reduction in temperature (to simplify again, let’s call it long-term average ambient exposure, though that ignores the important roles and factors that both temperature variation and solar loading play). So, here pulling my own numbers out of my hat, let’s say that at 100F lithium battery life is 3 years; then at 75F it’s 6 years, and at 50F it’s 12 years. Those probably aren’t too far off the mark, though there is some differentiation for the various different cathodic subchemistries (e.g. LiCoO2, LiFePO4, LiNi.33Co.33Mn.33O2, and the LiMn2O4 chemistry, that both GM and Nissan are using in the Volt and Leaf, being the most heat sensitive and having the shortest life at higher ambients)." "If you understand what I’ve just explained, then you can see and understand that it is the combination of: a) the high ambients in hot climates like Phoenix and South Florida, b) the exponential nature of this Arrhenius function relating lithium battery life to temperature (where battery life roughly doubles for about every 25 degrees F reduction in temperature), and c) the high current cost of lithium batteries... "
        ATC blog Afganistan
        • 2 Days Ago
        @Tweaker
        more Charles Whalen: " Automakers have to design their EVs to work in ALL climates. What this means is that if an automaker is really going to do it properly, they have to design the EV to operate in and withstand the harshest, hottest climates, like Phoenix and South Florida. We can call that the 10% climate outlier tail. So the automaker that does it properly has got to design to specs for that 10% tail, unfortunately, which then of course drives up the cost, … which is one reason why the Volt costs $8k more than the Leaf. (And yes, it is somewhat of a case of “the tail wagging the dog”.)" "… Whereas, on the other hand, other automakers will take a very different path, where in the aggressive pursuit of their ambitious goals to establish an early market-share lead, they succumb to the temptations and imperatives of cost and time-to-market pressures, making those their top priorities, at the expense of engineering, by making engineering compromises, shortcuts, and trade-offs in the process, … by, for instance, making a deliberate, calculated sacrifice of that aforementioned 10% climate outlier tail, in the interests of expediency and cost savings. To paraphrase Carlos Ghosn, there are a few notable, and quite telling, quotes in the last year where he has basically said, in so many words … “shoot the engineers and put the marketing guys in charge”."
        Fgergergrergr
        • 2 Days Ago
        @Tweaker
        Who is Jack Richards?
          JP
          • 2 Days Ago
          @Fgergergrergr
          It's actually Jack Rickard. He's also often wrong, though he may have it half right this time. He speculates that the Hall effect current sensor that Nissan is using to measure current flow is not properly temperature compensated and are not reporting proper battery data. This may be true, but it's also true that the actual LEAF battery capacity is dropping more in extreme heat.
          Tweaker
          • 2 Days Ago
          @Fgergergrergr
          He does evtv on youtube. He made that claim early in the last episode.
      Rick
      • 2 Days Ago
      Nobody is buying electric cars in the UK, its not his fault. -3,700,000 Nissan were doing so well in the UK as well, Leaf must have had the lions share of 30 Electric Cars market in the UK, you can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink it. Due to the massive uptake of 3,700,000 cycle sales in the UK last year in the race to be green, we are consuming less fuel now Brits consumed half a billion few litres of petrol & diesel between April & June compared to the same period last year it was reported on the BBC news today, how cool is that?
        Ryan
        • 2 Days Ago
        @Rick
        If they can bike there, the weather is better for biking in the US most of the year. It would be the quickest way to reduce oil imports.
        Joeviocoe
        • 2 Days Ago
        @Rick
        Rick is the Perry of Bike sales in London... a paid spokesperson.
        Spec
        • 2 Days Ago
        @Rick
        Well, I guess you deserve some points for spinning the UK becoming poor into something positive.
      Levine Levine
      • 2 Days Ago
      Mark Perry got 'can-ed' because of the way his North America Nissan handled the Leaf's battery problem.
        Joeviocoe
        • 2 Days Ago
        @Levine Levine
        Your evidence to support??? I don't think anybody is getting fired from Nissan just yet, the problem is still relegated to only 1% of the North American Leafs sold.
      noevfud
      • 2 Days Ago
      I guess he "Packed it Up"
      noevfud
      • 2 Days Ago
      I guess he "Packed it Up"
      Spec
      • 2 Days Ago
      Well I wouldn't want to be head of Nissan's non-response either.
      RC
      • 2 Days Ago
      Mark has been great and has done a ton of work to educate and advance the adoption of EVs. I wish him much success in whatever is next for him, best of luck.
      Marcopolo
      • 2 Days Ago
      The Nissan Leaf was the worlds first truly international production EV. As such it has been and overwhelming success as a pioneer. Mark Perry has been a very public and important part of the team that brought about the Leaf's success. He has been a passionate advocate for EV adoption and deserves better after 25 years than snide remarks. I join RC in wishing him well in his next challenge. The Nissan Leaf, is what it is, along with the iMev, it's a practical, affordable (for an EV) production EV. ' ATC blog Afghanistan', posts a long dissertation by a Charles Whalen to attack Nissan for not producing a far more expensive vehicle which could more easily adapt to every situation. He also accuses Nissan of not waiting until EV technology was perfect before releasing the Leaf. Pioneers, are just that, pioneers ! How many thousands of posts have castigated auto-manufacturers for not releasing EV models ? Well, Nissan has, and on the whole has been successful. The limitations of Leaf's technology, are problems of EV technology. Battery, BMS, charging regimes etc, are all part of the difficulties related to EV technology. Time and improving scientific and technical developments will continue to refine EV's, but without Nissan taking the plunge with Leaf , nothing would be happening ! " Hindsight, is the most perfect form of sight,..but it's also the most useless" ( RFK.) But thanks to the courage of Carlos Ghosn, and the hard work of Mark Perry, you at least have an EV to complain about !
      DaveMart
      • 2 Days Ago
      Bye, 'Arizona' Perry.
        Marcopolo
        • 2 Days Ago
        @DaveMart
        2 DaveMart Et tu, Brute?
          DaveMart
          • 2 Days Ago
          @Marcopolo
          He was the source of my expectation of around 8-10 years down to 80% capacity. I don't appreciate wildly inaccurate product puffs.
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