The weather may have cooled off in the Valley of the Sun, but not the sentiments of some Phoenix-area owners of Nissan Leaf electric vehicles.

A town hall meeting that Nissan executives held with about 50 Leaf owners who felt scorned by the automaker for the EV's battery performance doesn't appear to have appeased many of the customers, according to the MyNissanLeaf blog. One attendee named "Volusiano" wrote that the meeting was "all for show" and that a recent expanded warranty from the company "does not remedy anything at all for the hot climate owners."

Another reader remarked that the meeting represented "allota [sic] wasted exec brass time just to blow us off." KPHO, CBS's Phoenix affiliate, reported that the meeting was off limits to the media but quoted Nissan executive Andy Palmer saying the meeting represented a "start of a dialogue" between the company and car owners who've said that high heat has caused the battery to lose capacity at a quicker rate than advertised.

Last month, Nissan said a new warranty policy would repair or replace degraded batteries with new or remanufactured batteries that have at least 70 percent of their capacity, as Nissan originally promised. The first rumblings of a problem came last summer, when Phoenix-area Leaf owners started complaining about EVs whose single-charge driving range had dropped as much as 50 percent from a year before. Given the contention surrounding the issue, this town hall will likely not be the last.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 39 Comments
      JPWhite
      • 1 Year Ago
      I think an engineering fix wil be a long time coming. Probably several more years. The extended warranty serves the general LEAF community well, but given the relatively low number of customers in AZ and other hot areas, Nissan should have made a zip code specific change to the way they sell their vehicles (.e. lease only in hot areas) and provide generous conversion to leases or another Nissan vehicle for the hot region customers.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @JPWhite
        Well stated, JP!
      EZEE
      • 1 Year Ago
      The 50,000,000 cars thing has been widely reported, and there are 90,000 of these ships out there. 45 trillion.... No credit on my part...This is Marco's crusade. I just mathed.
      Marcopolo
      • 1 Year Ago
      @ Jake Y " The way to address those is to have policies to switch to cleaner diesel when near ports (many ports already have this requirement) or to use batteries near ports (this is getting started)." Do you really imagine that airborne fine particle emissions respect national coastal limits ? Evidence of Bunker oil emissions are found across the US, even in Mongolia.! Or are you suggesting that polluting the oceans is "out of sight, out of mind! "? Shipping is responsible for 18-30% of all the world's nitrogen oxide (NOx) pollution and 9% of the global sulphur oxide (SOx) pollution.One large ship can generate about 5,000 tonnes of sulphur oxide (SOx) But, hey I'm OK since 85% of all Bunker oil pollution is in the northern hemisphere, and I live most of the year in the southern hemisphere. Smoke and sulphur are not the only threats from ships’ funnels. Every year they are also belching out almost one billion tons of carbon dioxide. Ships are as big a contributor to global warming as aircraft – but have had much less attention from environmentalists. Both international shipping and aviation are exempt from the Kyoto Protocol rules on cutting carbon emissions. Oh, and what happens when one of these ships sink and thousands of tonnes of toxic pollution is released into the maritime environment or delicate reefs , coastlines ?
      G
      • 1 Year Ago
      One of the attending owners YouTube the event. Makes an interesting watch: http://bit.ly/phoenixtownhall
      Actionable Mango
      • 1 Year Ago
      So if you live in a hot region, your commute better be about 60% of the stated range. Less if you want to do errands on weekdays. I see demand for third battery battery coolers if someone can make one and market it quickly.
      • 1 Year Ago
      I am beginning to think those few Arizona gripers are working for Big Oil. What do they want, egg in their beer? My advice to the majority of happy Leaf owners, like me, is stay away from the vitriol at the MyNissanLeaf blog, it's not a pretty site (pun intended). Around 20,000 US Leaf owners and a few cranks get all these stories and publicity.
        George Betak
        • 1 Year Ago
        Chris, you obviously feel passionate for EVs, that's great, but please don't throw others under the bus. Yes, the new capacity warranty is a good step in the right direction. That said, several owners have reported range loss, which exceeds the projected battery degradation by a good margin. Owners fear that by the time the battery capacity warranty kicks in, they could be down 50% in terms of effective range, which might not cover the primary use case the LEAF was purchased for. Several also suggested that Nissan should consider lease conversions, which Andy seems to be open to. Those with deeper pockets might want to buy a new battery pack, but Nissan is not ready to provide a quote yet. So it looks like there is some work left. Instead of spinning this negatively, how about you help address a real problem real EV owners and enthusiasts are having? And I don't mean by that posting that it's just a hall-sensor issue on every blog and news site or suggesting that this is the work of a "few cranks" and "few Arizona gripers working for Big Oil". That's insulting.
      winc06
      • 1 Year Ago
      This hurts all EV makers, not just Nissan. Setting 70 percent as the expected life after a year tells any prospective EV buyer that his battery's deterioration at a greater rate than an ICE auto depreciation is to be expected. So another 30 percent loss in another year? Nissan would have done well for themselves and the industry to to just replace the batteries and then publish an expected battery life schedule. I can imagine the howls if the Honda Civic 140 HP engine dropped to half in a year and the maker offered to bring it up to 98 HP as a reasonable solution.
        JakeY
        • 1 Year Ago
        @winc06
        Did you read their expanded warranty that they recently announced? It guarantees 70% capacity for 5 years / 60k miles. As in they will replace/repair your current battery if it falls under 70% anytime within the warranty period (so if it continues falling, they will continue to replace the battery to make sure it is at or above 70%). It's not just after one year. That's probably the most they can offer in terms of a worse case warranty. The people complaining instead probably want Nissan to replace their current batteries now with completely new ones instead based on their own expectations of battery degradation, which obviously Nissan isn't willing to do. Of course the real fix would be to have a battery cooling system, but I don't expect them to retrofit that into existing cars or to have one for this generation (maybe next gen).
        • 1 Year Ago
        @winc06
        70 percent after a year? Where did you get that misinformation from? It's FIVE years or 60,000 miles.
      JakeY
      • 1 Year Ago
      @Giza Plateau "70% is a huge drop after 5 years. That's just not good enough." Like most warranties, it deals with "worse case" (for example you don't expect your engine to immediately fail past the typical 5 year/60k mile powertrain warranty). Most batteries will degrade much slower (closer to 70-80% left in 10 years as Nissan originally estimated). "If the car has a serious problem with heat that can't be fixed then you need to advice those regions that they shouldn't sell it or at least make the problem clear to the customers so they buy at own risk." They might still do that. We'll see once they announce more details for the 2013 Leaf. But I think the issue is pretty well publicly known by now. "And then you buy back those who want it, fix it up and sell in colder regions." I think buybacks only make sense if there's a short term public backlash for a problem that doesn't really exist (like the Volt fires). But the Leaf heat problem is real and it'll set a precedence that Nissan doesn't want to set (they want to set a hard limit with the expanded warranty, not just have everyone who says they are unsatisfied with the current range returning the vehicle).
      EZEE
      • 1 Year Ago
      MarcoPolo! I did a bit of research you will like. You know your crusade on bunker oil? I found out that with increased international shipping, there are roughly 90,000 of these monsters on the seas (cargo ships burning bunker oil). And, for the rest of the people out there, each one of these produces the pollution of 50,000,000 cars. So, seeing as the fact that as an engineer, I can math, I mathed out the total then: all of these ships equal 45 trillion cars. Now if we could JUST get the greenies on board with this stuff and get them into full blown 'the world is sick, due to greedy, mean spirited, racist, child starving, Big Shipping,' we could maybe get rid of a lot of pollution, and stop being so fussy about cars (and before anyone screams, my car is an ULEV flex fuel vehicle). Anyway, not sure if you ever mathed, so if not, I did for you.
        2 wheeled menace
        • 1 Year Ago
        @EZEE
        Haha, not sure about your math, but.. That's certainly a factor. The carbon footprint of offloading all our manufacturing to China has gotta be monstrous.
        EZEE
        • 1 Year Ago
        @EZEE
        All joking aside, I really wouldn't mind if the greenies all got into full blown Dan F mode. They get hyper if a pharmaceutical company wants to cove the costs of a drug, or if a right wing politician wants to decrease the rate of growth (genocide!). Here....wow. Go for it guys....I just might join you on the picket lines. (People at shipping company) 'what's going on downstairs?' 'People protesting our filthy ships sir.' 'I thought we had them protesting SUV's' 'We did sir, evidently they finally did the math.' 'Filthy bunch of hippies. Wait, what does that well dressed, near, polite guy's sign say?' 'Let me look sir, it says, 'i am a little upset.' 'Dear lord no, normal people have noticed.'
          EZEE
          • 1 Year Ago
          @EZEE
          Ziv....sorta like once MASH lost frank burns. Annoying weasel, but you need those to make the other characters more likable, Light weight and aero my friend....light weight and aero....
          Ele Truk
          • 1 Year Ago
          @EZEE
          This is where I am thinking the SMR (Small Modular Reactors) like Hyperion (now Gen4 Energy) would be ideal. Replace those huge diesels with a nuclear reactor that only has to be refueled every 10 years. The biggest issue I see is that the US government won't let anything but US nuclear powered warships into it's international borders. I think the NRC is stuck in the 60's and still thinks the only nuclear power available is that technology developed in the cold war. Things like LFTRs and 5th Generation nuclear reactors (which bear no resemblance to current 1st or 2nd generation nuclear reactors) still have to go through decades long approval process. We need to get rid of those reactors built in the 70s (like the Fukushima models) and move forward with safer more efficient and more effacacious reactors. Current reactors use about 20% of the energy available before they become too contaminated to work well. So now we stockpile old fuel rods because the reactor design can't use all the energy available because of antiquated design. Westinghouse and GE don't care because they make the money selling the fuel rods, not the reactors. So now we have to wait for China to develop the next generation of power plants because our NRC and DOE doesn't want to invest in anything but fusion power (and look where that has gotten us).
          EZEE
          • 1 Year Ago
          @EZEE
          @joe I literally LOL'd in Starbucks... "Not full on Dan F, my God NOOOOOO!'
          Letstakeawalk
          • 1 Year Ago
          @EZEE
          "'Filthy bunch of hippies. Wait, what does that well dressed, near, polite guy's sign say?' 'Let me look sir, it says, 'i am a little upset.' 'Dear lord no, normal people have noticed.' LOL. *Exactly that* has happened here. Some very well-dressed and sophisticated people have taken it upon themselves to protest the pollution created by ships in our harbor. They point to increasing cancer rates as a primary concern, but also point out they have to have their piazzas cleaned of soot more frequently. If you think cargo ships are bad - per your figures - then they claim that cruise ships are 10x worse due to increased power consumption on the ship to power a small floating city. A Federal lawsuit is currently being examined in the Courts. "Cruise ships generate many pollutants, toxins, and carcinogens which can harm marine life when unlawfully discharged. These substances include, but are not limited to: perchloroethylene (PERC) from dry cleaning, incinerator ash, bilge water, sewage, solid waste, and harmful air emissions. " http://coastalconservationleague.org/projects/cruise-ships-in-charleston/ This is the flag they fly to indicate their support of forcing the ships to clean up their stacks: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-3WOAvCFDnUk/UJMNwY_4M_I/AAAAAAAAAlU/9G-S7vjRqLc/s1600/DSCN2574.JPG http://www.postandcourier.com/storyimage/CP/20120704/PC16/120709680/AR/0/AR-120709680.jpg&q=100&maxh=300
          EZEE
          • 1 Year Ago
          @EZEE
          Ahhh, well, my work here is done. I shall now move on, and solve the rest of the world's problems.
          Ziv
          • 1 Year Ago
          @EZEE
          I hate to admit it, but I miss his comments. He irritated me at the time with his breathless, wide eyed certainty of his own brilliance, but now that he is gone, ABG isn't quite the same.
          EVSUPERHERO
          • 1 Year Ago
          @EZEE
          Sleep EZEE now. You can drive your pollution pile without guilt! " )
          Joeviocoe
          • 1 Year Ago
          @EZEE
          EZEE.... You NEVER GO FULL DAN F!
        • 1 Year Ago
        @EZEE
        Nissan Ships Its Electric Cars on a Solar-Diesel Ship - look it up.
        Marcopolo
        • 1 Year Ago
        @EZEE
        @ Ezee ROTFLMAO Marcopolo rises, (wipes a tear from his eye) raises his Beer and orders a drink for everyone ! Unfortunately, since I am currently in a small Hungarian hotel, and there are only three people at the bar, none of whom speak English, it lacks a certain effect. But I appreciate your interest. The curious thing about the worlds most toxic environmental pollution, is the total lack of interest from the environmental left. (It's impossible to interest even the ranters). The most frustrating aspect, is that Bunker Oil isn't even particularly economic. But along with my participation in developing genetic technology to reduce methane in livestock, new technology to eliminate humidity and conserve water consumption for Evaporative cooling systems, I should have a relatively busy time when I retire in the next few years. I may even go back to school to study, science and engineering. Subjects I once found intensely boring as a school boy !
        Ziv
        • 1 Year Ago
        @EZEE
        I knew it was bad, but I didn't know how bad. 16 of the largest ships emit as much sulfur as all the cars in the world. That is pretty impressive. Too bad it isn't a positive. The carbon is bad too, just not as bad as the sulfur, though that is like comparing malaria to cancer... dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1229857/How-16-ships-create-pollution-cars-world.html
        ElectricAvenue
        • 1 Year Ago
        @EZEE
        "each one of these produces the pollution of 50,000,000 cars." Source? Sure, you can find headlines written in that form, but it's a misleading headline. There is no such thing as a single unified measure of pollution. The claim may be true if the ONLY thing you're measuring is sulphur oxides. Even the definition of what is a pollutant, and what effect it has, depends on the environment you're talking about. The standard example, I think, is ozone, which is definitely considered a pollutant at ground level but is absolutely vital to have higher up in the atmosphere (the "ozone layer"). Reality is a little more complicated than your calculation suggests. And, since bunker fuel is the gunk you get after distillation of gasoline and diesel, it's hard to suggest that continued use of gasoline or diesel-burning cars has no relationship to the use of bunker fuel for ships. What would you suggest be done with it if it isn't burned by ships?
          Marcopolo
          • 1 Year Ago
          @ElectricAvenue
          @ ElectricAvenue All pollution of the biosphere, is pollution. The number of articles on the effects of No.6 maritime fuels are not hat difficult to find. But in depth studies are surprisingly few. Although I do not usually quote the UK's Guardian newspaper, I thought that the article titled; "Health risks of shipping pollution have been 'underestimated''by John Vidal, environment editor Guardian.co.uk, Thursday 9 April 2009 . might provide you with some insight into the problems associated with this highly toxic pollutant. Since 2009, new studies have been concentrating on the damage caused by Bunker oil emissions to the oceans ability to act as a carbon sink. In addition, newly devised tests are beginning to reveal the widespread carcinogenic effect of shipping emissions in the food chain. " What would you suggest be done with it if it isn't burned by ships?" ? Are you seriously suggesting that as a justification ? C'mon, not even the most troglodite oil company director would suggest that a a justification (well maybe!). But, to answer your question, 'residual oil's ' can be used in the petro-chemical industry, and with processing can produce less harmful products.
          EZEE
          • 1 Year Ago
          @ElectricAvenue
          I would have to imagine one could put a dag gum filter or caddy converter on the thing....
        Rotation
        • 1 Year Ago
        @EZEE
        You've produced a massively distorted picture. This is only the case for one pollutant, sulfur. I'm against burning bunker fuel without scrubbers. But let's not create a misinformed public in the process of trying to make a change.
          Marcopolo
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Rotation
          @ Rotation I'm afraid 'scrubbers' are of little use against this maritime pollutant. The world shipping fleet emits far more than just sulphur. A billion tons of CO2, 30% of the plants nitrogen oxide (NOx) as well as sulphur oxide. These are just the largest pollutants. Bunker oil contains lots of other toxic substances. This is easily the most reprehensible fuel the oil industry produces. The product kill's , that's right, kills an estimated 56,000 to 140,000 thousand people a year. This death rate is very conservative as new studies are beginning to reveal much higher rates of cancer attributed to the carcinogenic effect of this toxic pollution. The toxic effects to the oceans are just beginning to be researched. I'm afraid I find your attitude a little like those who disapproved of the salve trade, but felt it was ok, if the slaves had kindly masters. But,
      JakeY
      • 1 Year Ago
      He's talking mainly about sulfur and soot pollution, which cars do much better now (except maybe diesel). The way to address those is to have policies to switch to cleaner diesel when near ports (many ports already have this requirement) or to use batteries near ports (this is getting started). In terms of carbon footprint, shipping still makes a lot of sense: It makes up about 3% of our carbon footprint (roughly the same as rail) while passenger cars make up 34%. http://climate.dot.gov/about/transportations-role/overview.html
      noevfud
      • 1 Year Ago
      Good thing you covered both sides of the story and all opinions form the meeting. I do know that this was not the opinion of all people in the meeting as a fact. Great objective "bogging" as usual.
        DaveMart
        • 1 Year Ago
        @noevfud
        So if the report here is biased and inaccurate, how about giving us a brief write up on what actually happened? Thanks.
          EZEE
          • 1 Year Ago
          @DaveMart
          I suppose word from Nissan's standpoint might be helpful. It does seem all customer oriented. I like Nissan stepping up with expanded warranties, however, I would be more interested in a design fix, as this could happen again and again. Also, batteries with 70% capacity? The leaf has only been out a year or so, and 70% of 80 miles is only 56 miles. 80 miles, to me at least, is already a pretty scary range. But 'fix my car' and it only goes 56? Whoa.... Now turn on the head and get caught in traffic and this is starting to get really flakey.
      Ele Truk
      • 1 Year Ago
      The same way Nissan came out with a cold weather package, they should come out with a hot weather package, that would include liquid cooling of the battery pack.
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