Nissan LEAF: Cold Weather Package Update

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The more astute of our readers, or at least the more northerly located of our readers, have taken notice of a special option package listed on Nissan’s “Features and Specs” page for the LEAF.

That being the “cold weather package,” which consists of the following:

○ temperature management
○ heated seats
○ heated steering wheel
○ heated mirror
○ HVAC duct to rear

Unfortunately, no further explanation is given, there is no pricing on the option, and when you head on down to your local Nissan dealer, you find out it is not even a currently available option when you place a order for the car.  Therefore, there had been some natural speculation that these features had either been dropped entirely, or delayed until next fall when the 2012 model year comes out.

So, “what up with that?” 

…and because the website’s name is Nissan-LEAF.net and not Generic-Auto-Information-Monthly.com, these kinds of unknowns about the LEAF are, quite simply, a dare for us to pester as many Nissan executives as possible until we get a answer.

The result of said pestering?  Nissan did indeed confirm to us that while the option was not yet available in any of the roll out areas,  the “website contents are correct,” adding that “We found efficiency (energy use) better and passenger comfort better…primarily (through) heated seats, front and rear, plus heated steering wheel than simply using “heated cabin air” to warm you up!”

As to the when it will be available-there will be no extended delay until the next model year as feared, with Nissan saying that the “Cold weather package will be released for ordering soon,” and “…will be an orderable option nationwide.”

So fear not thick-blooded, would be EV owners of the north, your cold weather prepped LEAFs are coming soon.

49 Responses

  1. evnow says:

    “Cold weather package will be released for ordering soon,”
    .
    Hmmmm … but apparently not soon enough. Personally I’d have liked to get this trim. We use home heating 10 months a year ….

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  2. Herm says:

    “HVAC duct to read”

    any guesses what this means?

    My WAG guess is a small adjustable stream of heated air that you can use while seated in your LEAF reading during lunch hour…

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  3. Herm says:

    BRW, that shifter knob is really bothersome.. PUSHBUTTONS!

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  4. RB says:

    The guys (and girls) at Nissan are becoming bothersome. On the one hand, I commend them for the commitment to the Leaf EV. There’s a lot of imagination and new stuff. On the other hand, it often seems that they are just making things up as they go along, hoping to work it out later.

    “HVAC duct to read” seems like somebody was writing something when the phone rang and never got back to it. Makes you wonder if they’ll remember the car key, or the key fob, or what was it now that we intended to put in that thing anyway. :)

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  5. demetrius says:

    This was one of the last missing pieces to the puzzle. Now I just have to wait one more Canadian winter…

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  6. Rob says:

    “HVAC duct to read” (should say “rear”) is typical of the numerous typos and Japlish bloopers that characterize the downloadable LEAF spec sheet. Twice in recent months I’ve tried to draw Nissan’s attention to these errors: thus far nothing’s been corrected.

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  7. This was one of the last missing pieces to the puzzle. Now I just have to wait one more Canadian winter…  (Quote)

    Thought you’d like this one, (=

    Although, having the Cold Weather Package come out after winter deliveries are made seems like Nissan has themselves a little ‘horse and cart’ issue happening here. But not everything works perfectly I suppose…at least you know it is coming shortly.

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  8. “HVAC duct to read” (should say “rear”) is typical of the numerous typos and Japlish bloopers that characterize the downloadable LEAF spec sheet. Twice in recent months I’ve tried to draw Nissan’s attention to these errors: thus far nothing’s been corrected.  (Quote)

    Sorry about the confusion, thats my fault, I forgot to fix the spelling from Nissan before hosting the picture. I debated on fixing it or not because I have this nasty little bug here at the site that messes up the front page when i swap out the thumbnail graphic.

    Guess this is my opportunity to trouble shoot. So, if you don’t see anything but text for awhile (and the site littered with little red Xs)….you’ll know what happened.

    EDIT/UPDATE: As predicted, hideous failure ensued for a bit there, but all fixed up now…nothing to see…move along

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  9. GeorgeS says:

    Believe it or not, even in AZ I would order this package because some mornings it’s close to 32 F outside. for those that are at the edge of the range envelope the heated pack would be great. Set the tstat the night before, walk out the next morning and you have a nice toasty cabin and a pack that is close to optimum temp.

    Lot’s of bang for the buck compared to a water cooled pack.

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  10. GeorgeS says:

    Interesting to find out however how many kwh would be req’d off the grid.

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  11. Gwido says:

    Thats my fault, I forgot to fix the spelling from Nissan before hosting the picture.I debated on fixing it or not because I have this nasty little bug here at the site that messes up the front page when i swap out the thumbnail graphic.Guess this is my opportunity to trouble shoot.So, if you don’t see anything but text for awhile….you’ll know what happened.  

    Thanks Jay for following-up with Nissan on that one! And it looks like your picture update did work.
    As for the “read” mistake, here’s another line from the same pdf document (under the impact section):
    clutch interlock (M/T equipped)

    Can you see the mistake? :o )

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  12. Carcus says:

    While we’re guessing:

    Temperature management could mean ‘battery’ temperature management? Or is everyone assuming it has to do with the cabin temp controls as well?

    – If it’s for the battery, I could see adding a small heater and some ventilation controls for not a lot of extra expense — for use while plugged into the grid on cold nights.

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  13. Andrew B. says:

    Indeed, it would be great if the cold weather package becomes available sooner rather than later. (We have a January order date.) It is currently about 40° here, above 6000 feet in the Southern California mountains, and our parking is outdoors. Hopefully, the package will include a battery heater, and won’t be too expensive.

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  14. vanuck says:

    While we’re guessing:Temperature management could mean ‘battery’ temperature management? Or is everyone assuming it has to do with the cabin temp controls as well? – If it’s for the battery, I could see adding a small heater and some ventilation controls for not a lot of extra expense — for use while plugged into the grid on cold nights.  (Quote)

    its not that easy, the whole point is to have the battery warmed up before the charging starts which means the charger needs to be able to handle that.

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  15. CaptJackSparrow says:

    Too much stuff. It’s Overkill.
    I just want a stripper model/Trim. Don’t need all that extra crap to heat the passengers. And warm the steering wheel??? WTF?

    They, passengers, can wear long jons to keep warm.

    I consider all this crap just more parasitic electrical loss and more crap to break in the future.

    /sheeeesh…..not that I can afford one but dang.

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  16. DonC says:

    It does seem that while Nissan is getting the Leaf to market at the same time GM is getting the Volt to market, it has had to cut a few corners to meet the time frame. Hopefully engineering has gotten the base car on a solid footing.

    As to why you’d want/need this option in cold weather, GM engineering has said that heating the cabin in cold weather takes as much energy as it does to move the car down the highway. Which means that on a cold day your 100 mile range on a Leaf will effectively be reduced by 50 miles — a much bigger factor than simply knocking a few miles off the range. (IOW it’s not only a problem for people at the edge of their range).

    It’s also one reason for the price differential between the two cars.

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  17. Ike says:

    Polar Bear commercial is out

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  18. GeorgeS says:

    It does seem that while Nissan is getting the Leaf to market at the same time GM is getting the Volt to market, it has had to cut a few corners to meet the time frame. Hopefully engineering has gotten the base car on a solid footing.
    As to why you’d want/need this option in cold weather, GM engineering has said that heating the cabin in cold weather takes as much energy as it does to move the car down the highway. Which means that on a cold day your 100 mile range on a Leaf will effectively be reduced by 50 miles — a much bigger factor than simply knocking a few miles off the range. (IOW it’s not only a problem for people at the edge of their range).It’s also one reason for the price differential between the two cars.  

    I agree. The reason I think this package is so important is to keep the cell temp up in the optimum range and that it can be done off grid power.–although I am concerned somewhat about how MUCH grid power it will take.

    This leads to another question:

    Is the battery compartment insulated on the bottom?? I would think any amount of insulation would be good. In the hot phx weather it would slow down the radiation from a hot parking lot to the pack, and in the winter keep the pack from losing so much heat at night. It would also help minimize the amount of kwh pulled from the grid to warm the pack.

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  19. Too much stuff. It’s Overkill.
    I just want a stripper model/Trim. Don’t need all that extra crap to heat the passengers. And warm the steering wheel??? WTF?

    They, passengers, can wear long jons to keep warm.

    I consider all this crap just more parasitic electrical loss and more crap to break in the future.

    /sheeeesh…..not that I can afford one but dang.  (Quote)

    Easy Capt, it is just a option, they won’t make you buy it, (=

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  20. DonC says:

    The reason I think this package is so important is to keep the cell temp up in the optimum range and that it can be done off grid power.

    I’m more focused on the actual energy requirements of the “H” part of the HVAC than on the efficiency of the battery pack in supplying that energy. I’m assuming the pack will be conditioned. As the outside temperature drops below 40F, the heat pump will take an enormous amount of energy to run, far more than a radiant heater takes to heat the seats.

    I wouldn’t think Phoenix would be a big deal unless you’re pushing the range. The lowest temperature recorded in Phoenix is 22 F. That’s cold but a long way from the -39 F recorded in Portland.

    IMHO the heated seats should be standard, though that would effect an increase in the base price. That’s always a choice — add content to the base model and have a higher MSRP or move the content to options and advertise a lower MSRP. I’m fine with moving stuff like the heated steering wheel and heated outside mirrors to the options category but for an EV the seats should be standard.

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  21. CaptJackSparrow says:

    Easy Capt, it is just a option, they won’t make you buy it, (=

    lol…
    I just wanted to toot my horn. :o )

    /but I do think it sucks that there is no strip version. :o P

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  22. Herm says:

    Is the battery compartment insulated on the bottom?? I would think any amount of insulation would be good. In the hot phx weather it would slow down the radiation from a hot parking lot to the pack, and in the winter keep the pack from losing so much heat at night. It would also help minimize the amount of kwh pulled from the grid to warm the pack. 

    Thats a good question, it probably is and it depends on the fan exhaust to get rid of the internal heat… other wise it would be impossible to warm up that pack at -30° F

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  23. GeorgeS says:

    I’m more focused on the actual energy requirements of the “H” part of the HVAC than on the efficiency of the battery pack in supplying that energy. I’m assuming the pack will be conditioned.
    .  

    I wonder if thermoelectric seat heating and cooling will be an option?

      (Quote)

  24. DonC says:

    I wonder if thermoelectric seat heating and cooling will be an option?

    Cooling the cabin is not that big of an issue so I’m sure we’ll only see heated seats as an option.

      (Quote)

  25. GeorgeS says:

    Cooling the cabin is not that big of an issue so I’m sure we’ll only see heated seats as an option.  

    I bet you could cut the AC heat pump load substantially w/ seat cooling for a net increase in range. but probably at a pretty high cost.

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  26. JEff says:

    An HVAC duct to the rear makes sense to me. A lot of cars have that these days, and it seems to me that being able to directly heat and cool (or not) any rear-seat passengers would be more energy efficient than by depending on natural convection of the cabin air.

    Likewise, if “temperature management” means being able to set and maintain a desired cabin temperature automatically, that would be more efficient than the driver manually adjusting fan and temperature controls to maintain a fomfortable – or acceptable – temperature.

    My question for Nissan, how is windshield de-frosting being handled? I really mean de-icing, not just taking care of fogging. Is it by blowing warm air on the inside of the glass, or with heating wires embedded in the glass? I don’t know for sure, but I expect that the latter would be more energy efficient. In climates where we have ice and snow conditions, the heated seats and steering wheel won’t save any energy if the cabin has to be kept hot to keep the windshield warm enough to stay clear of ice.

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  27. demetrius says:

    These are all good questions about HVAC – and cold weather testing – answers would be nice. We know that the Volt has been through extreme weather testing.

    Maybe the Leaf is really a southern california car – at least it seems that Nissan is thinking that way… Please correct me if I’m wrong because it gets FN cold where I’m from.

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  28. N Riley says:

    lol…
    I just wanted to toot my horn. )/but I do think it sucks that there is no strip version. P  

    Once you have it in your garage, you can strip all you want. The car, that is!

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  29. James says:

    /but I do think it sucks that there is no strip version. P

    I would think that you would need those gadgets to keep you entertained while you are parked out on the 405.

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  30. CaptJackSparrow says:

    Once you have it in your garage, you can strip all you want. The car, that is!

    AHAHAHAHAHAAAA!!!!

    I guess I can sell off the parts I pull off. :)

    I would think that you would need those gadgets to keep you entertained while you are parked out on the 405.

    Well, with that screen in the console and if it gets the Playboy channel YEAH!. But….

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  31. Carcus says:

    AHAHAHAHAHAAAA!!!!I guess I can sell off the parts I pull off. Well, with that screen in the console and if it gets the Playboy channel YEAH!. But….  

    Prolly ebay 1/2 the pack for a cool $6k. Now you’ve got yourself a 50 mile Leaf at a nice discount. ;)

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  32. Carcus says:

    Prolly ebay 1/2 the pack for a cool $6k.Now you’ve got yourself a 50 mile Leaf at a nice discount.   

    … not to mention you’ve now opened up a sizable “kahlua” storage bin under the floor board.

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  33. GeorgeS says:

    What’s the 405 thing??
    Capt, Jack??

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  34. James says:

    What’s the 405 thing??Capt, Jack??  (Quote)

    It is a major freeway in Southern Cal….and a parking lot during rush hour =)

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  35. Keith says:

    Why don’t you use an American Picture instead of a Japanese one ?
    It looks bad on your part . I am speaking of the one on the cover page .

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  36. mark smith says:

    doesnt HVAC stand for Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning? – HVAC to rear must just mean that there is a vent for rear seated passengers as well as the one in the dash for front passengers.

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