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.
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:
*5: TCU: Telematics Communication Unit