2013 Nissan Leaf
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As Nissan Leaf sales continue to heat up, the maker of the electric vehicle wants to cool concerns over hot-climate battery issues by making chemical adjustments to battery packs, Green Car Reports says. Nissan executives met with about 10 Leaf owners in Phoenix last week and said the company is approaching a solution that will better allow Leaf lithium-ion batteries to withstand extensive heat without losing capacity faster than Leafs that live in cold-weather climates.

Specifically, Nissan is testing new Leaf batteries under sustained temperatures of about 113 degrees Fahrenheit in an effort to replicate what some Arizona locals call a temperate month. All joking aside, the company may start using the new chemical composition in replacement batteries that would be deployed as soon as next April, Green Car Reports says.

Nissan executives have been trying to address high-heat fears since Arizona Leaf owners started complaining that their batteries were degrading faster than advertised, and have since replaced batteries in about two-dozen Leafs located in hotter areas. Nissan still says that a very small percentage of Leaf batteries - less than 0.1 percent - were adversely affected specifically by sustained heat and needed to be replaced, though the company did bring together an independent global advisory board to address the issue last year.


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  • 35 Comments
      chanonissan
      • 1 Year Ago
      REEvolution of REEV Technologies Building a UK Supply base is a Collaborative R&D project funded by the Technology Strategy Board that is creating new high performance Range Extended Electric Vehicles (REEV) and Plug-in Hybrids Electric Vehicles (PHEV). Three new demonstrator vehicles will showcase innovative new technologies. The cars are ‘best in class‘ and combine and build on the skills of all of the businesses involved. The driving force behind this is to build a UK supply chain for new ultra low carbon vehicle technologies and position suppliers so that they can exploit the global market. The REEVolution consortium, led by Jaguar Land Rover consists of: Axeon Technologies Ltd, EVO Electric Ltd and Xtrac Limited; and three vehicle manufacturers: Jaguar Land Rover, Lotus and Nissan Motor Company Ltd. for INFINITI brand. The total cost of the project including industry investment is over £20M. Just over £9M of this is grant funding from the Technology Strategy Board.
        chanonissan
        • 1 Year Ago
        @chanonissan
        Just keeping you guys update on nissan activities when it comes to electric cars.
      chanonissan
      • 1 Year Ago
      Li FePo4 have that property you are refering to, but Manufacturers are constantly improving lithium-ion. NMC is an enhanced chemical combinations are introduced every six months or so. With such rapid progress, it is difficult to assess how well the revised battery will perform and you are judging base on your knowledge on li polymer battery which is similar but different. NMC battery have a heat range of 170 to 180 C,max then it rapture, the temperature nissan specify is 113 F ( if it is the NMC) it would have improve temperature and both ways, more than the current battery. I have a feeling this battery can with stand up to 140 F degree.
      chanonissan
      • 1 Year Ago
      I get inside info on toyota and honda too, so no I am not a nissan biased person.
      jeff
      • 1 Year Ago
      chanonissan is correct. The LiFePo4 cells in my car love the heat.... I typically get a little more range when it is in the 90's.... They do well in cold weather down to about 30 below too so no active thermal management is necessary. During heavy acceleration at 650 amps the highest terminal temperature rise I have seen is 4 degrees F over ambent temperature...
      DaveMart
      • 1 Year Ago
      I should add that I can quite believe that at a particular point in time if you specifically wanted lithium polymer, you may well have found that you could have either/or for low or high temperature, but not both. I can't really see any evidence that this is an inherent limitation for lithium polymer though, let alone other varieties of lithium batteries.
      chanonissan
      • 1 Year Ago
      In attendance (other than the 10 Leaf owners) was Andy Palmer, the company's chief global marketing officer; Billy Hayes, Nissan's vice president for global electric-car sales, and communications staff Jeff Kuhlman and Brian Brockman. The meeting revealed that Nissan is currently testing a new Leaf battery with a different lithium-ion cell chemistry. The tests are putting the batteries in sustained internal temperatures of 45 degrees Celsius (113 degrees Fahrenheit). According to Hayes, the capacity degradation at the higher temperatures is no different than that found in many Leaf batteries operated in more temperate climates. He added that the test temperature is much higher than that reached by batteries in more temperate markets. Clearly nissan said different chemistry.
      chanonissan
      • 1 Year Ago
      nissan have not given any chemistry , but speculation have it to be NMC, but have said the battery have done several test and they are working on the range, the battery will be test in the new race car nissan have(ZEOD it will run several test before the Le mans start), if the car can complete a lap on pure electric, with more than 400 Hp motor drawing power, from a small pack of 15 KWH, then they would have achieve a remarkable mile stone.
      Michael Walsh
      • 1 Year Ago
      One of the changes will be a ceramic coated (aluminum oxide) polypropylene separator, vs. the polypropylene separator currently used, according to streetinsider.com
        chanonissan
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Michael Walsh
        "The current Nissan Leaf battery pack contains single‐layer polypropylene separator material from Polypore (without ceramic coating). Our sources indicate the new battery design will include single‐layer polypropylene separator from Polypore, but now with an aluminum oxide ceramic coating. Ceramic coating is used, in large part, to improve thermal stability of the separator material," he added. Think this is what you are refering to Micheal, but the problem is nissan is tight lip and specific info and only lettng off hints, and the guy is assuming just like the rest of us.
        Rotation
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Michael Walsh
        How does that help? The separator is outside the cell, right? How can it make the cell work better at high temps?
          Michael Walsh
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Rotation
          Outside the cell? It's between the anode and the cathode. My understanding is that ceramic seperators will be more temperature tolerant and less prone to breakdown/shrinkage
          Rotation
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Rotation
          Okay, thanks for the info. I thought this was a between cell separator. Thanks for the clarification.
      SteveG
      • 1 Year Ago
      Or you could try not living in a hellscape. Dwindling water supplies will eventually fix this.
        EZEE
        • 1 Year Ago
        @SteveG
        From DaveMart below: The big problem is that the LEAF's original batteries should never have been air-cooled. In hot weather in the UK, (hot for the UK = 85-90 degrees ambient) the LEAF's battery pack reached 120 degrees F for several days after rapid charging, Sooooooo, does this hellscape of which you speak also include the UK?
      Rotation
      • 1 Year Ago
      I didn't dismiss lithium titanate completely, I dismissed Toyota's SCiB. Toyota makes many claims for SCiB which the pack just doesn't meet. Their 5 minute fast charge and stuff, it's just not real right now. Yes, my comment about low power applies to other lithium polymer batteries. Really it applies to any battery, lead-acid batteries have less power at low temperatures even. But it does seem to affect lithium-polymer batteries more than others, perhaps this is simply because they have a more narrow operating range than any other common battery. I just shot you down with actual info when you were trying to shoot me down and you still say I haven't supported my thesis. You're ridiculous. As to whether other technologies can have a wider range, that's quite possible. There already are some (NiCd, lead-acid, etc.) so of course there can be another. Personally, I don't think Nissan is using a new technology here, they'd have to change the charger and such. I expect this is just a derivative of their previous packs. I'd love to see them have a new technology coming. I don't think this is it though. Partly I'm skeptical because these are the same dimwits who told us they had this problem licked before the LEAF came out. We were supposed to believe Nissan had the most advanced battery technology out there, that they had been testing it for a decade in all climates. This experience showed that was all a huge lie. So yeah, when they claim to have it fixed again, I apply the same skepticism as last time.
      Rotation
      • 1 Year Ago
      I'm talking about Lithium polymer. And the idea that there is no change at one end by altering the other end is silly. I have no idea where you get the concept that the problems at the two extremes are from different causes. The question is the rate of chemical reaction and (and rate of self-discharge). If you change the chemistry to reduce rate of reactions at high temperature, you also slow the rate of reactions at low temperature, making the cell not work as well at low temperatures. I have no idea what you mean cite instances. We asked the suppliers, they gave us the new temperature ranges which included the new higher temps we needed and at the expense of an increase in the low temperature they work at.
      Rotation
      • 1 Year Ago
      In my experience with battery suppliers, they can make a lithium-ion battery more heat tolerant, but only by losing cold tolerance. That is, if you want the battery's operating range to extend 10C higher, it also extends 10C less low. So while this might be a better pack for Arizona-based LEAFs, it could be a worse pack for New England-based LEAFs. Nissan's plan to use this as a replacement pack for LEAFs that have problems in hot weather seems to back this up. They seem to think they'll use this as a replacement pack, but not a factory pack. Pack temperature control is the real answer.
        DaveMart
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Rotation
        I don't know what chemistries you are talking about, since you don't give any references, but in the ones I am familiar with there is no impact on low temperature performance from improved high temperature performance, since the problems at the two extremes are from totally different causes. Perhaps you would be specific and cite instances.
        chanonissan
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Rotation
        I am not defending Nissan but you have no idea what have being going on, they have been testing this pack in cold and hot climate, it was spotted testing in russia, i think but in one of those extreme cold climates, so it will not lose anything in the cold weather, but gain, they are also working on a 5 minutes recharge, and also long range. The battery went tru testing already, it is going to also be test in the ZEOD, to help develop future EV and Hybrid and PHEV vehicles. temperature control not the answer, as it uses energy from the battery and lessen the range. the A123 have a battery that could with stand high temperature.
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