LEAF Depth of Discharge

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Depth of Discharge, or DOD. Its one of the few remaining mysteries of the LEAF.

As a primer to the term, DOD is basically the amount of usable battery available to drive the car. Conventional wisdom on lithium ion batteries is that the use of 50% of the pack will give the greatest longevity and the most full cycles over time.

However, leaving 50% of the pack as a buffer would be pretty impractical in a full battery electric vehicle, as you would be leaving half the range as well. In a vehicle like the Chevrolet Volt, GM does indeed only use 8 of the 16kWh available to propel the car because the benefit of the gas extended range allows this to be feasible.

By the same token, using 100% of the pack is also a nightmare scenario, as lithium ion (unlike nickel-cadmium) batteries are very sensitive to a full cycle discharge. It would result in many fewer cycle counts, and performance would degrade much quicker.

Therefore 80% has become a magic number of sorts. The perfect level between automobile performance and battery management. Mitsubishi employs the 80% rule in the i-MiEV’s 16 kWh pack, giving the car aprox 80 miles of range, and the 2012 Ford Focus Electric will have a similar 17kWh of 23kWh total in use.

So what of the LEAF’s battery usage? Nissan has never said. Or have they? We had a article here yesterday about a test drive from plugincars.com, which reported among other things (really high miles per kWh) that Nissan had given away this number to them.

“The biggest revelation from Mark (Mark Perry-Nissan exec) was that Nissan engineers are allowing 95 percent of the LEAF’s energy storage to be used…Mark believes that it will be a rare occurrence for a LEAF driver to dip so far into the state-of-charge. Regardless, Nissan is showing a great degree of confidence in the capability and durability of its battery technology to allow so much of its capacity to be used in those rare times…Combine the big number for miles-per-kilowatt with the 95% battery usage figure to get a picture of a robust well-managed battery that—at least for in-town driving—could mean high real-world numbers for driving range.”

…et le wow! 95%

I actually started to write a piece how battery developers at AESC and engineers at Nissan where going to win a Nobel prize for this breakthrough, but about a paragraph in, the pessimist in me took over. Then the Nobel prize story turned into a ‘Nissan engineers have gone mad’ piece. ..then I remembered I’d like the good people at Nissan to keep picking up the phone when I call . So I decided to get some confirmation before running with one of the two choices that presented themselves.

I talked to Mark Perry, who is Nissan’s Director of Product Planning & Development in North America, and who had also apparently given plugincars.com this scoop. With a simple, “Never said 95%,” Mr. Perry quickly assured me that basically a lot of things happen on these test drives, there is lots of back and forth Q&A, and quite often in the quest to break new information, some facts sometimes get confused. Unfortunately, that was the case here…and my piece about the Nobel prize (and/or the mad scientists running the ship) for Nissan died. No problem. It happens, we move on.

However, as is often the case, in shooting down one thing, we learn another. Mark took the time to confirm that the DOD was indeed at least over 75%, and that Nissan has taken steps to inform the driver when their range is getting low, and that at very low levels Nissan has solved the problem of ‘how does the car know how I am going to drive when I am almost out of electricity?’

“Software set up so first warning lamp (like low fuel lamp on ICE) illuminates at 4kw to go. After that we manage energy usage down to 2kw then go into a (power limited) mode designed to get you safely the final couple of miles (won’t have 90 mph top speed) to the charging station. You’re NAVI automatically showed reachable area, (and) all charging stations within reach and fastest route .”

So the DOD question was not solved, (even though it strongly appears Nissan will be using the 80%ish rule), but the question of whether of not the car will be accurate peg the amount of range left ‘in the tank’ when it gets low has.

Nissan will in a sense force you into that 5 miles/kWh sweet sport for the last 10 miles or so to ensure you arrive at your destination, rather than coming up short on the side of the road. /sounds good enough to me

88 Responses

  1. Crookieda says:

    First I would like to say bravo to jay and Lyle for pushing the electrification of my beloved automobiles.
    Now about the dod/range info issue. I believe this along with crash saftey are the top hurdles for the mainstrem to accept ev ‘s.
    I for one will not put my wife and or children in a vehicle until it has established a long record of safe and, more importantly reliable operation. The gas gauge or voltometer being accurate is a huge part of that. Until this issue and “range anxiety”, which accurate metering contributes to, are overcome I don’t see a pure bev without some sort of swping or backup system, being accepted by families. I think ev’s with a reliable 200+ mile range would allieveate alot of those concerns. But I think a bev100 doesn’t cut it for those of us outside major cities except as a toy. I can’t wait for the day that a bev replaces the family sedan, sadly it won’t be until 2020 the way it looks today.

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  2. Tom Saxton says:

    In that last quoted paragraph, two instances of kw should be kWh. kWh is an energy unit, kW is a rate of using energy.

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  3. FUTURE LEAF DRIVER says:

    Looks like 2015 will be the year for your 200 mile BEV! More LEAFs to go around for now!!!

    GO EV!!!

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  4. mark smith says:

    Not all lithium batteries are the same.
    Conventional lithium batteries (discharged >90% have a life cycle of 500-1000 charges before you notice a big loss in capacity (that it will charge to 70-80% of previous amount).
    However companies (Valence VLNC have developed Lithium Iron Phosphate LiFeK batteries) and for a decade have had batteries with charge cycles of 1000 times to 90%, 2000 to 80% and so on. Importantly they have also said they can do near 100% depth of discharge!!
    From what I recall Nissan has been deveopling batteries for cars since 1992 (I think that’s the date I read on their site, the Nissan Altera was the first lithium based production car released in 1997). I also thought I read their chemistry is Lithium Sodium Manganese (one I hadn’t heard of). So considering they’re even brave enough to be talking of 100,000 cars+ in 2011 and that 8yr,100000 miles warranty they’ve got a great proven battery technology!

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  5. mark smith says:

    First I would like to say bravo to jay and Lyle for pushing the electrification of my beloved automobiles.Now about the dod/range info issue. I believe this along with crash saftey are the top hurdles for the mainstrem to accept ev ‘s.I for one will not put my wife and or children in a vehicle until it has established a long record of safe and, more importantly reliable operation. The gas gauge or voltometer being accurate is a huge part of that. Until this issue and “range anxiety”, which accurate metering contributes to, are overcome I don’t see a pure bev without some sort of swping or backup system, being accepted by families. I think ev’s with a reliable 200+ mile range would allieveate alot of those concerns. But I think a bev100 doesn’t cut it for those of us outside major cities except as a toy. I can’t wait for the day that a bev replaces the family sedan, sadly it won’t be until 2020 the way it looks today.  (Quote)

    Petrol isn’t exactly safe – it catches fire! So does diesel.

    I suggest anybody with fears of safety in Lithium car batteries takes a look at this video. It isn’t the same company that Nissan is using – but it compares there Lithium Ion batteries with the cheap, lightweight ones you’d find in phones and mobile devices). Nissan also has a different type of battery chemistry to “standard” lithium batteries – so I’d hope there’s are as safe as Valence ones.
    http://www.valence.com/technology/battery_safety/battery_safety_video

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  6. Herm says:

    Good work Statik..
    Mark, A123 also makes the same claim.. 1000 cycles at 100% DOD.
    This is what happens when you have a tank of flammable fuel on board:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8OwifFq6E5g&feature=player_embedded

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  7. demetrius says:

    Thanks for not talking about colour options and ordering instructions for one day. Up here in Canada, I can only sit quietly and dream about 2012…

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  8. RB says:

    ““Software set up so first warning lamp (like low fuel lamp on ICE) illuminates at 4kw to go. After that we manage energy usage down to 2kw then go into a (power limited) mode designed to get you safely the final couple of miles (won’t have 90 mph top speed) to the charging station. ”
    …but the question of whether of not the car will be accurate peg the amount of range left ‘in the tank’ when it gets low has.


    Not to be rude :) but there is nothing in the statement from Nissan about what is metered or how accurate the metering is. Maybe it is a coulombic measurement, as suggested yesterday, or maybe just a voltage. Whatever it is, there are two idiot lights for when it is getting low.

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  9. Tom Saxton said: In that last quoted paragraph, two instances of kw should be kWh. kWh is an energy unit, kW is a rate of using energy.  (Quote)

    I actually debated changing it, but I was quoting someone else’s work…that ended up not being so accurate, so I figured best to leave it in. I’m more a butcher of all things grammar.
    .

    demetrius said: Thanks for not talking about colour options and ordering instructions for one day. Up here in Canada, I can only sit quietly and dream about 2012…  (Quote)

    Actually, that TWO days in a row. Quite a streak we ahve going I think, (=
    .
    Tomorrow’s topic: Why Californian’s Should Order their LEAFs in Silver If They Want to Get Their $5,000 CVRP Refund And Drive As A Special Case in the HOV Lane.
    .
    /I think your gonna really enjoy it

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  10. GeorgeS says:

    Lets say 80% is the DOD allowed by Nissan under ordinary driving situations. But will they actually shut the car off at 0% (of the 80%) or in an emergency will they allow another 5% (of the 100%)=85% usage. Another 5% is 1.2 kwh. The data I have for the Roadster says that your best efficiency is at 20 MPH and at 20 you can acieve 7.7 mi/kwh which is another 9.2 miles down the road.

    Nissan may end up putting an emergency button under the dash to allow this last little bit. ——Just speculation on my part.

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  11. JEff says:

    How does this software know whether the car will be going up a mountain, down a mountain, on the flat, or somewhere in between for those last few miles? Energy usage, and thus distance traveled, will be different for each scenario.

    “Software set up so first warning lamp (like low fuel lamp on ICE) illuminates at 4kw to go. After that we manage energy usage down to 2kw then go into a (power limited) mode designed to get you safely the final couple of miles (won’t have 90 mph top speed) to the charging station. You’re NAVI automatically showed reachable area, (and) all charging stations within reach and fastest route .”

    So the DOD question was not solved, (even though it strongly appears Nissan will be using the 80%ish rule), but the question of whether of not the car will be accurate peg the amount of range left ‘in the tank’ when it gets low has.

    Nissan will in a sense force you into that 5 miles/kWh sweet sport for the last 10 miles or so to ensure you arrive at your destination, rather than coming up short on the side of the road. /sounds good enough to me

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  12. mark smith says:

    Good work Statik..Mark, A123 also makes the same claim.. 1000 cycles at 100% DOD.This is what happens when you have a tank of flammable fuel on board:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8OwifFq6E5g&feature=player_embedded  (Quote)

    Yep, they’re supposed to be good too.
    I found the link that shows they’ve been able to charge the batteries 2700 times and still achieve 80% capacity in their batteries… the rate seems to be steady with aprox eacch 1200 charges 10% of capacity is lost. This is if 23′C is maintained. At higher temperatures 45′C the batteries will perform worse with “only” 1600 cycles before falling to 80%. If Nissan’s batteries perform similarly I would expect the batteries to fare better in temperate climates or when the car is kept in garages and under cover. 45C is pretty extreme – that’s hotter than Florida – and this would be daytime and night-time of 45C.
    https://na4.salesforce.com/sfc/play/index.jsp?oid=00D6000000076DF&d=05D600000004CKp
    If people can maintain 23′C or close to it then 2700 cycles – charged four times a week = 13.5 years of usage before the range has dropped to 80%. That’s how good the batteries are… very good. I’d expect similar performance from Nissan’s pack – and hence the reason they can do a 8 year, 100,000 mile warranty and guarantee a capacity.

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  13. Gwido says:

    I would not be surprised if the 95% DOD figure is right.
    Allowing that much does not mean it will be used. Most people will never run the battery as low as 5% SOC in fear of getting stranded.

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  14. SteveS says:

    How does this software know whether the car will be going up a mountain, down a mountain, on the flat, or somewhere in between for those last few miles? Energy usage, and thus distance traveled, will be different for each scenario.   (Quote)

    this is true. There is no answer to getting a accurate min readout all the time, other than what George is proposing-have the gauge read down to zero, then after it hits allow the car to then go into a percent of battery not originally accounted for. have to dumb it down to make it perfect. Not sure that is the right thing to do either

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  15. Loboc says:

    1000 cycles is a little over 3-1/2 years. They (Nissan) might be able to live with this and replace the battery under warranty.

    If the battery could go 200 miles, you wouldn’t necessarily need to recharge every day. In my case, I could get away with every 3rd day. This would make a deep cycle (1000 total cycles) last well over the 8 year warranty.

    There are a lot of variables here.

    In August in North Texas, we are now in the 5th day of > 100 degree temps. The record is 69 days-in-a-row of > 100 degrees. The heat soak is tremendous when parked in the sun. Old style lead-acid batteries are dropping like flies.

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  16. evnow says:

    Tomorrow’s topic: Why Californian’s Should Order their LEAFs in Silver If They Want to Get Their $5,000 CVRP Refund And Drive As A Special Case in the HOV Lane.

    There is indeed an important topic in there – Why Californian’s Should Order their LEAFs in Silver (or White) If They Want to Get Maximum Possible Range.

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  17. James says:

    Crookieda – I witnessed a Camero hit a little pickup truck in an intersection about 6 years ago. The driver got out and walked to the front of the truck and then it Blew up. Unfortunatly the driver did nto make it and honestly I was sick to my stomach.
    If you think petro is so safe you are sadly mistaken.

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  18. DonC says:

    PHEV applications like the Volt or the plug-in Prius put the most stress on the battery pack because they are constantly being fully discharged. BEVs have larger packs so the discharges are less stressful. For example, if GM is correct that 80% of all trips are 40 miles or under, then 80% of the time the Leaf pack will only be 40% a day. In essence the larger pack achieves through its size what GM achieves with a lot of battery management.

    Or look at it on a yearly basis. If you drive 10,000 miles a year then a Leaf will need to be fully discharged and charged only 100 times. A 20 mile PHEV like the Volt will have its pack undergo 250 charging cycles. Over ten years that’s 1000 cycles versus 2500 cycles.

    BTW, a 90% DOD does not suggest that the Leaf will use 95% of the battery pack. It needs to leave room at the top for two reasons. One is that topping off the battery can damage it. Two is that you have to allow for regen early in the drive cycle. For example, someone living at the top of a hill or leaving a ski area. If the battery was 100% charged then all braking would have to be mechanical, which would require a larger and heavier brakes.

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  19. DonC says:

    Lack of editing function is a killer. (1) A 40 not a 20 mile PHEV like the Volt will need 250 cycles a year — a 20 mile PHEV would need 500; (2) A 95% DOD, not a 90% DOD, does not imply that the Leaf will use 95% of the pack.

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  20. Herm says:

    “Loboc

    1000 cycles is a little over 3-1/2 years. They (Nissan) might be able to live with this and replace the battery under warranty.’

    its also 100,000 miles so there went your warranty anyways, unless you are one of those people that only gets 60 miles of range :)

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  21. Herm says:

    Two is that you have to allow for regen early in the drive cycle. For example, someone living at the top of a hill or leaving a ski area. If the battery was 100% charged then all braking would have to be mechanical, which would require a larger and heavier brakes.

    Obviously the mechanical brakes have to be designed for the worst case scenario.. supposed you blew a fuse at the top of Pikes Peak?.. then you would be depending on the old style brakes.

    Elon Musk made the same comment about the difference between the Roadster’s and the Volt’s battery.. he was derided at the time. Large batteries have a beauty of their own.

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  22. blind guy says:

    How does this software know whether the car will be going up a mountain, down a mountain, on the flat, or somewhere in between for those last few miles?
    Energy usage, and thus distance traveled, will be different for each scenario.

    I don’t know if Nissan’s nav system for calculating range has this ability, however why couldn’t altitude be considered as well? Some GPS systems have altitude ability and there must be maps already with general altitude available. With that information your range circumference would not be a perfect circle but would vary according to what direction and altitude changes occur on those routes. It wouldn’t be perfect, but it would be more accurate then calculating for a level plane.

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  23. Lack of editing function is a killer. (1) A 40 not a 20 mile PHEV like the Volt will need 250 cycles a year — a 20 mile PHEV would need 500; (2) A 95% DOD, not a 90% DOD, does not imply that the Leaf will use 95% of the pack.  (Quote)

    Hey Don,
    I didn’t even realize that I had lost the edit function when I did a site upgrade, thanks for pointing that out. I will get that changed.
    .
    (Should also have this ‘not recognizing hard return’ thing fixed during upgrade 3.0, lol)

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  24. JeffB says:

    “Software set up so first warning lamp (like low fuel lamp on ICE) illuminates at 4kw to go. After that we manage energy usage down to 2kw then go into a (power limited) mode designed to get you safely the final couple of miles (won’t have 90 mph top speed) to the charging station. You’re NAVI automatically showed reachable area, (and) all charging stations within reach and fastest route .”

    Sounds like a nice feature. However, if your Leaf enters this mode, will it maintain a highway speed? highway speed on an incline?

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  25. GeorgeS says:

    What Herm and DonC are saying is probably why the plug in Prius’s battery is almost as heavy as the Volts. I have it as 330 lb for 12 miles AER! There definitely is an advantage to BEV when it comes to battery sizing.

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  26. GeorgeS says:

    James,

    FYI I finally got Nissan to resend my email on when I can order. Interesting that it is sometime in Sept vs Aug 27th even though I registered and put my deposit in the first day. When were you told you could order??

    I hope the Nissan dealers aren’t going to markup like the GM dealers. Did you get any feedback from your (Gilbert??) dealer on that??–GSB

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  27. CaptJackSparrow says:

    A123 allows you to go 100% DOD at 1000 cycles…
    http://www.a123systems.com/cms/product/pdf/1/_ANR26650M1A.pdf

    Dow/Kokam does as well.

    It sounds like Nissan has pretty much opened up the 95% DOD in their BMS. The best part is, If in fact the driver does not drive past that 40 mile range or 50 or even 60, it is still essentially “Short Cycling” the batt pack hence returning much higher cycle counts.
    My SWAG is the LiMn cells have a cycle count of 3000 @ 80% DOD. 3000 / 365 = 8.219years. That means you can fully discharge EVERY DAY for 8.219 years.
    If you never get to that 80% DOD then your cycle count is probably going to be closer to 5000 and that gets you 5000 / 365 = 13.698 years. Driving less aggressive also helps in longevity of the batt pack.

    So essentially, the life of the batt pack is in the drivers hands…..er …uh…..FOOT!

    /of course that’s just my SWAG

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  28. What Herm and DonC are saying is probably why the plug in Prius’s battery is almost as heavy as the Volts. I have it as 330 lb for 12 miles AER! There definitely is an advantage to BEV when it comes to battery sizing.  (Quote)

    Good guess. There was news out yesterday on some of the specs for the PHEV Prius, and we just got the actual number.:
    .
    Range 12.5 miles
    Pack Size: 5.2 kWh
    Estimated DOD: 60%
    Conventional nickel-metal hydride pack: 93 lbs
    Lithium Ion pack: 353lbs
    .
    In ‘extended range’ it “…will deliver significant fuel economy gains over the 51 miles per gallon rating of today’s non-plug-in Prius.” According to Wards, official U.S. fuel-economy figures haven’t been finalized, but testing in Europe has proven the plug-in car to be about 42 percent better than the Prius.
    .
    No word on the thing everyone really wants to know…pricing. At just over 5.2 kWh, the Prius would be eligible for $2,917 of the $7,500 federal credit to offset costs. The current gen Prius has been reverse engineered to make the swtich easy. Straight (yet unrealistic math) would put the commodity swap out from the 1.3 NiMH at around $3,000, plus the car hardware/software upgrades.
    .
    Just as a WAG, I’d say it comes in above the Prius V ($28,070), but below Nissan MSRP of $32,780
    .
    http://www.autoobserver.com/2010/08/plug-in-prius-to-get-big-mileage-chevy-expects-wealth-of-volt-buyers.html

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  29. DonC says:

    Obviously the mechanical brakes have to be designed for the worst case scenario.. supposed you blew a fuse at the top of Pikes Peak?.. then you would be depending on the old style brakes.  

    Mechanical brakes far have more failure points than regen. While not horribly efficient regen is sturdy since it’s just changing mechanical energy to chemical energy by running the motor backwards. In the event of regen failure, which I’m never heard of, you would still have your emergency brake which is a different system than the standard braking system.

    As for Musk, he said a lot of things, most of which were wrong, including the claim that a 40 mile EREV pack would have to be half the size of a 200 mile BEV pack. My favorite was what he had to say about the size of the engine in the Volt: “it turns really bad when the battery runs out and an undersized engine is carrying all the dead weight of the pack.”

    Somewhat unfortunately, and very tangentially, in my opinion the Tesla Model S has fundamental design problems. Its design makes it a super long distance cruiser but it can’t go long distances. It’s lovely but overkill and not the most utilitarian design for running around town or as a commuter car. Love the design but just can’t match the form to the function.

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  30. CaptJackSparrow says:

    There was news out yesterday on some of the specs for the PHEV Prius, and we just got the actual number.:

    I understood the Li packs will be 2 of them. When the first one is depleted the next is used. When both are depleted it reverts back to its legacy “Hybrid” mode.
    http://green.autoblog.com/2010/04/13/quick-spin-2010-plug-in-prius-prototype-just-like-your-mother/

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  31. Keith says:

    Nissan’s Leaf electric car coming to China soon
    By Amanda Zheng From:Gasgoo.comAugust 04, 2010
    Shanghai, August 4 (Gasgoo.com) Nissan’s Leaf electric car will come to the Chinese market early next year and start its trail run, as an official car, in Wuhan, Hebei province, China, said Hashimoto Tai Zhao, Managing Director of Nissan (China) Investment Co., Ltd.

    Nissan has always attached great importance to the development of new energy vehicles and maintained its leading position in lithium-ion battery research and development. Nissan Leaf, powered by a stack of laminated compact lithium-ion batteries, is able to travel over 100 miles (160 kilometers) on a full charge, while its electric motor delivers 80kW/280Nm.

    In additon, the Leaf e-car can be charged up to 80 percent of its full capacity in just under 30 minutes with a quick charger. Charging at home through a 220V outlet is estimated to take approximately eight hours.

    In March this year, Renault-Nissan alliance signed an agreement with the Wuhan government for a pilot program under which the former will offer the latter 25 electric cars for test run, while the latter will establish 250 electric-vehicle charging stations and 2 fast charging devices in the city to promote the Leaf cars in China jointly.

    As the world’s leading all-electric car, the Leaf e-car will be available in Japan, U.S. and European at the end of this year, and be launched globally in 2012. At the end of June, The Japanese automaker has received 23,000 orders for its first electric car. Nissan plans to boost sales of its pure electric cars to 250,000 units globally by 2013.

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  32. CaptJackSparrow says:

    Just as a WAG, I’d say it comes in above the Prius V ($28,070), but below Nissan MSRP of $32,780

    Hey dude, find out if they will sell the Prius I to the general public. Dang Toyota only sells that stripped down version to fleets. That;s the kind I want….lol, stripped/bare. 8^P

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  33. GeorgeS says:

    A123 allows you to go 100% DOD at 1000 cycles…
    http://www.a123systems.com/cms/product/pdf/1/_ANR26650M1A.pdfDow/Kokam does as well.It sounds like Nissan has pretty much opened up the 95% DOD in their BMS. The best part is, If in fact the driver does not drive past that 40 mile range or 50 or even 60, it is still essentially “Short Cycling” the batt pack hence returning much higher cycle counts.
    My SWAG is the LiMn cells have a cycle count of 3000 @ 80% DOD. 3000 / 365 = 8.219years. That means you can fully discharge EVERY DAY for 8.219 years.
    If you never get to that 80% DOD then your cycle count is probably going to be closer to 5000 and that gets you 5000 / 365 = 13.698 years. Driving less aggressive also helps in longevity of the batt pack.So essentially, the life of the batt pack is in the drivers hands…..er …uh…..FOOT!
    /of course that’s just my SWAG  

    If they have opened it up wouldn’t they also have increased the 100 mile range number????——Hmmm, I just had a thought. Maybe in order to show the range for the stricter current EPA cycle they had to open up more pack. This would be very good news for me as my driving cycle in the winter is 75 miles round trip, 2500′ elevation change w/ 60 MPH highway speed. This puts me just a shade under 19 kwh under ideal conditions. I could us an extra couple of kwh.

    PS I posted a little article in the volt forum today on the “white zombie” running 10.4 in the quarter mile. He’s using Dow/Kokam. I had not heard of them. Is it Fe chemistry like A123??

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  34. SteveS says:

    I understood the Li packs will be 2 of them. When the first one is depleted the next is used. When both are depleted it reverts back to its legacy “Hybrid” mode.http://green.autoblog.com/2010/04/13/quick-spin-2010-plug-in-prius-prototype-just-like-your-mother/  (Quote)

    .
    The article you linked to seems to say it is one pack, but with 3 submodules inside, 2 for EV drive, 1 for standard Prius hybrid drive. Would it be setup seperate like this to soften repair costs you think?

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  35. CaptJackSparrow says:

    PS I posted a little article in the volt forum today on the “white zombie” running 10.4 in the quarter mile.

    lol….
    That’s funny, so did I.
    Your right, they are Doe/Kokam cells. But I think they are the pouch type and not the many many many cylindrical types he was borrowing from Kilacycle. The Pouch types are a little lighter I think. I could be wrong….lol
    Anyway, he wasn’t able to achieve it on the A123 cells but was able to hit it with the new pack from Dow/Kokam.

    GO EV!!!

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  36. CaptJackSparrow says:

    Would it be setup seperate like this to soften repair costs you think?

    That or a later upgrade to a higher more energy dense pack(s).
    Or Both.

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  37. GeorgeS says:

    lol….
    That’s funny, so did I.
    Your right, they are Doe/Kokam cells. But I think they are the pouch type and not the many many many cylindrical types he was borrowing from Kilacycle. The Pouch types are a little lighter I think. I could be wrong….lol
    Anyway, he wasn’t able to achieve it on the A123 cells but was able to hit it with the new pack from Dow/Kokam.GO EV!!!  

    Maybe he needed a higher C rating and he gets it from Dow???? I would also be interested to know what cells Brammo is using in their electric motorcycle. I think it would be a kick The bike that is).

    http://www.brammo.com/empulse/

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  38. GeorgeS says:

    Maybe he needed a higher C rating and he gets it from Dow???? I would also be interested to know what cells Brammo is using in their electric motorcycle. I think it would be a kick The bike that is).

    http://www.brammo.com/empulse/

    Sorry-try again
    Maybe he needed a higher C rating and he gets it from Dow???? I would also be interested to know what cells Brammo is using in their electric motorcycle. I think it would be a kick The bike that is).

    http://www.brammo.com/empulse/

      (Quote)

  39. Ike says:

    Question – If I am driving about 30miles/day, am I better off charging every night…or every other night. In the case where I am charging every night, I am at a DOD of about 30..however I am charging twice as often. In the second case, I am closer to a DOD or 60…but am cutting my cycles in half. Would the answer be different if instead of 30 I drove 20 miles/day? 40 miles/day?
    .
    I am very familiar with NiCad and NIMH…not so much Li batteries. Would appreciate any feedback. thanks.

      (Quote)

  40. James says:

    George – I put my $99 dollars down at 4PM on 4/12 and they sent me an e-mail that I can order in September. If the dealer tries to stick us with a mark up then we can take our registration number and order to another dealer. I confirmed that with Nissan and will do so if I have to.

      (Quote)

  41. CaptJackSparrow says:

    Question – If I am driving about 30miles/day, am I better off charging every night…or every other night. In the case where I am charging every night, I am at a DOD of about 30..however I am charging twice as often. In the second case, I am closer to a DOD or 60…but am cutting my cycles in half. Would the answer be different if instead of 30 I drove 20 miles/day? 40 miles/day?

    I’m going to give the Microsoft answer………..It depends. :o P
    Why? Because of charging.

    Here’s why, charging is also a hit, minor but a negative nonetheless.It’s actually part of the “Cycle”. Fast charge is more of a negative hit so if you never use more than 10KWh in a day, I recommend using the slower 120VAC charger 1.2KW.
    Why did I use 10KWh? because if you charge as soon as you get home, the 120VAC charger will be finished by the time you have to leave the next day for work.
    Now that’s is really your decision because technically you want to charge at “Off Peak”. But a sacrifice has to be made.

    Now as for driving then charging rather than drive drive charge, again it all depends on how far you travel (really it’s DOD). Li cell mfgr’s always spec their cycle counts at 80% 3000 cycles to 70% DOD 5000 cycles (commodity Thundersky LiFeYPO4 cells), 70% being best case. Rarely do they disclose 50% DOD. At that shallow DOD, cycles damn near doubles. Now of course if you only go 33% DOD (8KWh = ~40miles?), you are practically in the “Double” zone (I made that name up but you get the idea…).
    Technically, I would only worry about cycle count if you hit that 75-90 miles all the time.
    Anything less than 65 miles though….. (in an old Italian mans voice)…..jus fogettaboutit!

    /besides, after 13yrs (5000cycles), there will be better batt cell chem…..

      (Quote)

  42. GeorgeS says:

    Question –If I am driving about 30miles/day, am I better off charging every night…or every other night.In the case where I am charging every night, I am at a DOD of about 30..however I am charging twice as often.In the second case, I am closer to a DOD or 60…but am cutting my cycles in half.Would the answer be different if instead of 30 I drove 20 miles/day?40 miles/day?
    .
    I am very familiar with NiCad and NIMH…not so much Li batteries.Would appreciate any feedback.thanks.  

    Geez,
    I am really stupid today. I think it’s cuz my Volt dealer is making me nuts. This is a big decision for me and I keep oscillating.

    Anyway Ike,
    I would think if you are only driving 30 mile/day and it’s an easy drive (5mi/kwh) you would be better off charging every other day.

    And as to charging on 110 vs 220 I don’t think the 3.3 Kw 220 charger is going to hurt the battery as it is only a .14C charge rate. The quick charger 440V DC is almost 2C so this definitely would lower life. It takes so long to charge on 110 most people won’t use it. Plus the time of day thing.
    .
    (MOD edit: I got that one for you George. I really have to get the edit function going. Its my bad. Keep us in the loop with your Volt buying experience, or non-Volt buying experience as the case may be. I will likely buy a Volt to go with my LEAF, but I won’t pay any premiums…just a line in the sand thing – Statik)

      (Quote)

  43. Marcus says:

    Question – If I am driving about 30miles/day, am I better off charging every night…or every other night. In the case where I am charging every night, I am at a DOD of about 30..however I am charging twice as often. In the second case, I am closer to a DOD or 60…but am cutting my cycles in half. Would the answer be different if instead of 30 I drove 20 miles/day? 40 miles/day?.I am very familiar with NiCad and NIMH…not so much Li batteries. Would appreciate any feedback. thanks.  (Quote)

    My answer is a little shorter than CaptJackSparrows but the guys putting out the leaf have done a lot of work on getting the most out of the battery, so I would just use it as you see fit. I am sure there is a perfect level to charge it at but if they are covering you for the first 100,000 I would not put myself out looking for it. Maybe if it was ony 40,000 or the like.

      (Quote)

  44. GeorgeS says:

    George – I put my $99 dollars down at 4PM on 4/12 and they sent me an e-mail that I can order in September. If the dealer tries to stick us with a mark up then we can take our registration number and order to another dealer. I confirmed that with Nissan and will do so if I have to.  

    James,
    Thanks for the input. I wonder if anyone in AZ gets to order on Aug 27th??
    BTW which dealer did you say you were using??

      (Quote)

  45. CaptJackSparrow says:

    And as to charging on 110 vs 220 I don’t think the 3.3 Kw 220 charger is going to hurt the battery as it is only a .14C

    Yeah, that’s true. 220VAC (LeveL II) charging should be fine.

      (Quote)

  46. Ike says:

    Thanks for the responses, glad to hear I am not the only one thinking about this. I did manage to find a generic xxpected ave Cycles vs. DOD chart for lithium phone batteries that would indicated that halving the DOD in every case more than doubles the average expected cycle lifetime. The chart is about 1/2 down on the page.
    .
    http://www.mpoweruk.com/life.htm
    .
    The question of course is if this data will match up to the Leaf’s battery pack. Also, the effect of the charge current (getting at Captains point) or temperature in also left out. But that said, it would appear the general rule of thumb should be to always top off to maximize the lifetime of your batteries.

      (Quote)

  47. garrytman says:

    Leviton has announced the Evr Green Level 2 EV chargers that come in 16A, 24A and 32A models, is there a preference out there as to which model will the easiest on the battery? I’ve been looking over this product and it’s got a pre-wire kit that costs $300. (not including the wire, I think that is the number I came across) That gets you ready for your self install charger later by just hanging it on the bracket and plugging it in.

      (Quote)

  48. GeorgeS says:

    But that said, it would appear the general rule of thumb should be to always top off to maximize the lifetime of your batteries.  

    Except if you are not going to be using it.— Li bats don’t like to sit fully charged.

    Another thing I learned on my e bike is it is better to leave the pack on the charger a while after it hits full charge to let the cell balancing circuitry do it’s magic. Also some packs need to sit with the charger off for a while to let the high cells bleed off voltage to match the low ones (although I think the bleed down thing is mostly on cheaper balancing techniques like used in the Prius Enginer after market PHEV pack.

      (Quote)

  49. GeorgeS says:

    Statik wrote,

    (MOD edit: I got that one for you George. I really have to get the edit function going. Its my bad. Keep us in the loop with your Volt buying experience, or non-Volt buying experience as the case may be. I will likely buy a Volt to go with my LEAF, but I won’t pay any premiums…just a line in the sand thing – Statik)

    Looks like with a 2K markup, the extra options that these cars will come with (no stripped ones ones at first), and tax the sales receipt for a Volt will have a 51K bottom line. (not including the charger).

      (Quote)

  50. GeorgeS says:

    Leviton has announced the Evr Green Level 2 EV chargers that come in 16A, 24A and 32Amodels, is there a preference out there as to which model will the easiest on the battery?I’ve been looking over this product and it’s got a pre-wire kit that costs $300.(not includingthe wire, I think that is the number I came across)That gets you ready for your self install charger later by just hanging it on the bracket and plugging it in.  

    That’s good input as Nissan wants 721$ for theirs.

      (Quote)

  51. CaptJackSparrow says:

    is there a preference out there as to which model will the easiest on the battery?

    The rule of thumb is the slower the charge rate the better. Most mfgr’s say .5C.

    Technically it all depends on the cells being used. LEAF cells are LiMn but we have no idea what each cell AH rate is.
    We know it has 48 modules…
    We know that eachmodule has 4 cells in them..
    We know it has a 24KWh pack…

    If I assume each module has the 4 cells in series that would be ~14.0VDC (LiMn Nominal is 3.5VDC) for each module. Sounds about right.

    Now if they, modules, were all in series that would be 48 (modules) * 14VDC = 672VDC.
    Ooops, no way, that’s too much voltage. I highly doubt they operate at above 400VDC.
    So then the 48 modules must be split in half to make two sub packs in parallel.
    So now we have 24 (modules) * 14VDC = 336VDC
    That sounds about right. 2 packs in parallel……kindof like a RAID for the batt pack if you will.
    Now, we think we know there are two (2) 336VDC packs in this 24KWh LEAF pack so to get the 1C AH we do 24,000 / 336VDC = 71.428AH and now divide by 2 and we get 35.714AH per sub pack. This means each cell is ~35AH 3.5VDC in a “Pouch” style package.

    So now we can answer your question “Hypothetically” of course with…..
    The charger that charges = or less than .5C (in this case ~35A) will do the less harm.

    I guess if you want to be really strict on charging, Level II during the week and Level I on the weekends?

    You might be thinking 336VDC isn’t anywhere close to 400VDC, wtf is he talkinbout?
    That’s the “Nominal” voltage. At full charge, LiMn is probably at 3.95 – 4.1VDC which translates to (4.1VDC * 4) * 24 = 393.6VDC.

    /sh|t, that was a long azz answer.

      (Quote)

  52. blind guy says:

    Hey Statik, My computer says there are 51 responses, but it is only showing 1 which I think might be the 51st. Thx.

      (Quote)

  53. blind guy says:

    works now, Thx.

      (Quote)

  54. Hey Statik, My computer says there are 51 responses, but it is only showing 1 which I think might be the 51st. Thx.  (Quote)

    Indeed. Fixed now.
    .
    The community has been growing pretty fast, and apparently the more ‘technical’ pieces are even more popular and overwhelmed the site defaults. I really did not figure we would be eclipsing 50 comments so soon. Great problem to have, I personally enjoy the comments/community part of the thread the most. Thanks to everyone.
    .
    (And don’t worry, I’ll get this stupid no ‘hard return’ recognition bug thing figure out in the comments section shortly)

      (Quote)

  55. CaptJackSparrow says:

    (And don’t worry, I’ll get this stupid no ‘hard return’ recognition bug thing figure out in the comments section shortly)

    lol….

    TEST
    test

      (Quote)

  56. Future LEAF Driver says:

    Wow, congrats Jay, 55 comments!!

    Got a blocked call (hidden phone number) from Nissan today !! WOW!! Discussed details regarding my order! WOW!! Total surprised me!!

    GO EV!!!!

      (Quote)

  57. Wow, congrats Jay, 55 comments!!

    Got a blocked call (hidden phone number) from Nissan today !! WOW!! Discussed details regarding my order! WOW!! Total surprised me!!

    GO EV!!!!  (Quote)

    Thanks, I’m glad you are here! And that people have decided this is a good place as any to ‘chew it out’
    .
    Thats also a nice surprise for you to get a call! I have a hard time getting a feel for people’s impression of Nissan, but I get the sense the reservation process/interaction up until this point, while being very well thought out (MSRP, order priority, etc), is a little cold/impersonal. I think the order process should start putting a little more warmth/’reality’ to it.
    .
    I have never heard of them calling out to customers though, kind of weird…or you are special, (= What did they discuss with you? (if you don’t mind me asking)

      (Quote)

  58. Van says:

    Lets see: 95% of 24 KWH is 22.8. So if the maximum charge fills the tank to 22.8, and then limp home is implemented at 4KWH, that leaves 18.8 or 19 KWH of usable window or 79.2% which agrees nicely with the magic 80% number.

      (Quote)

  59. GeorgeS says:

    The rule of thumb is the slower the charge rate the better. Most mfgr’s say .5C.Technically it all depends on the cells being used. LEAF cells are LiMn but we have no idea what each cell AH rate is.
    We know it has 48 modules…
    We know that eachmodule has 4 cells in them..
    We know it has a 24KWh pack…If I assume each module has the 4 cells in series that would be ~14.0VDC (LiMn Nominal is 3.5VDC) for each module. Sounds about right.Now if they, modules, were all in series that would be 48 (modules) * 14VDC = 672VDC.
    Ooops, no way, that’s too much voltage. I highly doubt they operate at above 400VDC.
    So then the 48 modules must be split in half to make two sub packs in parallel.
    So now we have 24 (modules) * 14VDC = 336VDC
    That sounds about right. 2 packs in parallel……kindof like a RAID for the batt pack if you will.
    Now, we think we know there are two (2) 336VDC packs in this 24KWh LEAF pack so to get the 1C AH we do 24,000 / 336VDC = 71.428AH and now divide by 2 and we get 35.714AH per sub pack. This means each cell is ~35AH 3.5VDC in a “Pouch” style package.So now we can answer your question “Hypothetically” of course with…..
    The charger that charges = or less than .5C (in this case ~35A) will do the less harm.I guess if you want to be really strict on charging, Level II during the week and Level I on the weekends?You might be thinking 336VDC isn’t anywhere close to 400VDC, wtf is he talkinbout?
    That’s the “Nominal” voltage. At full charge, LiMn is probably at 3.95 – 4.1VDC which translates to (4.1VDC * 4) * 24 = 393.6VDC./sh|t, that was a long azz answer.  —Capn Jack

    Jack,
    Would you agree that it’s 32S(6P3S).

      (Quote)

  60. GeorgeS says:

    Jack,
    Would you agree that it’s 32S(6P3S).  

    Forget that post Jack. I warped into Volt mode. Thats what I think the volt is.

      (Quote)

  61. GeorgeS says:

    Lets see:95% of 24 KWH is 22.8. So if the maximum charge fills the tank to 22.8, and then limp home is implemented at 4KWH, that leaves 18.8 or 19 KWH of usable window or 79.2% which agrees nicely with the magic 80% number.  

    Wow that’s some good thinking. I think you may have it.

    Good news for me as my trip is around 18.7 kwh

      (Quote)

  62. James says:

    Wow Static 61 posts..Gongrts!!! Keep it comming.

    FLD – Lucky….what did they say? Can you order / buy directly from the website and just have it delivered to the dealership of your choice?

    Yea Gary pwr Nissan and I agree with Static it is a line in the sand. I will pay the SL trim MSRP along with any other upgrades that we select but not over.

      (Quote)

  63. Future LEAF Driver says:

    Thanks, I’m glad you are here! And that people have decided this is a good place as any to ‘chew it out’
    .
    Thats also a nice surprise for you to get a call!I have a hard time getting a feel for people’s impression of Nissan, but I get the sense the reservation process/interaction up until this point, while being very well thought out (MSRP, order priority, etc), is a little cold/impersonal. I think the order process should start putting a little more warmth/’reality’ to it.
    .
    I have never heard of them calling out to customers though, kind of weird…or you are special, (= What did they discuss with you? (if you don’t mind me asking)  

    </blockquote

    They just called to confirm my order, that's it!?!

    GO EV!!!

      (Quote)

  64. Herm says:

    As for Musk, he said a lot of things, most of which were wrong, including the claim that a 40 mile EREV pack would have to be half the size of a 200 mile BEV pack. My favorite was what he had to say about the size of the engine in the Volt: “it turns really bad when the battery runs out and an undersized engine is carrying all the dead weight of the pack.”

    But he was close on the first statement.. compare the size of the batteries in the Volt and Roadster. The second statement is probably correct when you fully deplete the reserves in the Volts battery.. the sustained high speed passing problem for the Volt in CS mode.. but you would have to drive like a maniac. Musk is too smart to easily catch him in a mis-statement :)

      (Quote)

  65. Herm says:

    Question – If I am driving about 30miles/day, am I better off charging every night…or every other night.

    Ike, you are always better off recharging every night.. even better if you just plug it in every chance you get. Lithium cells like that short cycling.. there have been some reports that the cells even improve when you do that. Same thing goes for lead-acid also.

      (Quote)

  66. Herm says:

    Commenting on what Mark Perry said, what he meant is (IMO) is that once you get down to that last 4kwh in the 75% DOD window, then a warning lamp lights up.. but still you would never get outside of that 75% window. I think its pretty unlikely they are using Van’s method as he stated here.

    Statik says:
    “However, as is often the case, in shooting down one thing, we learn another. Mark took the time to confirm that the DOD was indeed at least over 75%, and that Nissan has taken steps to inform the driver when their range is getting low, and that at very low levels Nissan has solved the problem of ‘how does the car know how I am going to drive when I am almost out of electricity?’

    “Software set up so first warning lamp (like low fuel lamp on ICE) illuminates at 4kw to go. After that we manage energy usage down to 2kw then go into a (power limited) mode designed to get you safely the final couple of miles (won’t have 90 mph top speed) to the charging station. You’re NAVI automatically showed reachable area, (and) all charging stations within reach and fastest route .” ”

      (Quote)

  67. JEC says:

    Ike, you are always better off recharging every night.. even better if you just plug it in every chance you get. Lithium cells like that short cycling.. there have been some reports that the cells even improve when you do that. Same thing goes for lead-acid also.  

    Really? I have never heard that short cycling was actually beneficial? Do you have any link to an article discussing this?

    For my new DeWalt with Li ion batteries, would the charge profile be different than for NiCd? If true, it would seem to make sense to have the charger perform some type of short cycle charge mode.

      (Quote)

  68. Ike says:

    JEC,
    From what I found and the feedback here, (I have a link on one of my earlier posts), short cycling is better than longer discharges for Li batteries.

    NiCd, on the other hand, ideally should be fully depleted before recharging. I worked pretty extensively on these types of batteries and helped design a recharger that actually was made to discharge the battery fully before starting the charge Cycle. NiCd batteries have a bad habit of developing a memory, so if you routinely only use half of capacity and charge it up…after awhile it thinks that half capacity is all that it has before depletion.

    I would think the short charge idea would carry over to all Lithium batteries (computers, phones, power tools, etc.). So you are best off if you slap that battery into the charge every chance you get, even if you were just used the DeWalt for 10 minutes. Although unless you are using the DeWalt at least 3-4 times/week, the difference won’t matter for the life of the tool.

      (Quote)

  69. Herm says:

    Really?I have never heard that short cycling was actually beneficial?Do you have any link to an article discussing this?For my new DeWalt with Li ion batteries, would the charge profile be different than for NiCd?If true, it would seem to make sense to have the charger perform some type of short cycle charge mode.

    Dont have the link now but it was a study done on V2G (Vehicle to Grid) usage of the cars battery with many thousands of short cycles.. it would also benefit your Dewalt.. btw I have destroyed 200 of those battery packs to extract the cells.. A123 in their infinite wisdom will not sell the cells at a reasonable price.

    The latest idea for all these power tools (and phones etc) is wireless recharging.. a van at the job site is equipped with a wireless power emitter and it automatically recharges all the power tools within range.. about 10 yards?

      (Quote)

  70. jeffhre says:

    The latest idea for all these power tools (and phones etc) is wireless recharging.. a van at the job site is equipped with a wireless power emitter and it automatically recharges all the power tools within range.. about 10 yards?  (Quote)

    Great idea. I know MIT is working on a system to lessen losses and increase distances for wireless charging. Though right now at 10 yards you’d be looking at battery powered efficiency levels that would make Michael C. Robinson look like a modern day hero.

      (Quote)

  71. Herm says:

    Its well past the research stage at MIT, there are several companies commercializing the idea. The efficiency is probably higher than if you used a wall wart, but it really does not matter.. its not a life-or-death situation like in a BEV where you can be stranded if your car is not efficient with the energy.

      (Quote)

  72. yoyo says:

    Tomorrow’s topic: Why Californian’s Should Order their LEAFs in Silver If They Want to Get Their $5,000 CVRP Refund And Drive As A Special Case in the HOV Lane.
    .
    /I think your gonna really enjoy it  

    Hi Statik,

    I’m eagerly waiting for the follow up on this

      (Quote)

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  75. Herm says:

    A late update a year later.. even at this time there are few rock hard facts about battery management with the Leaf battery. The important one is that when Nissan says 100% charge they mean it, its about 4.1V per cell.

    The Consult III dealership scanner tool says that actual capacity is a bit above 27kwh, so if Nissan truly allows 24kwh of usage then that works out to an 89% DOD, but it could easily be less than 24kwh as many people suspect from their recharge data logs.. Nissan does not recommend you charge to 100% routinely if you want long battery life.

    My suspicion is that if you charge to 80% then the complete DOD cycle will be 69%, suspiciously similar to the 65% that GM uses on the Volt to insure 10 years, 150k miles of life… and the battery chemistry is similar on both cars.

      (Quote)

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  77. Tom says:

    Thanks for all the info on the Leaf. I got my Leaf six weeks ago and I live in Florida. I drive only 10 miles per day on eco mode. I charge on 110 as I get down to 20 miles and go for full charge. I like the eco mode. It recharges itself much more as I coast and lots of less break usage. Please let me know if I am doing wrong ..

      (Quote)

  78. Tom says:

    Also-I do not use the climate control unless of rain or moisture inside windshield. Not using climate control gives me 20 extra miles driving

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