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Nissan Leaf suffering battery capacity issues due to heat

Published: July 21, 2012 | 11:21 am
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The electric Nissan Leaf is the darling of the EV industry, slapping the Chevy Volt in the face with its lower price as it took the top spot in U.S. electric-vehicle sales. However, a major issue with heat is starting to emerge, and that makes any sort of debut in the Middle East unlikely.

According to reports, American Leaf owners in Arizona have recently complained that their EVs are losing significant capacity in the desert heat.

One owner claims that initially he could drive almost 150 km on a single charge when the car was new, but now his range has deteriorated to half of that. Other owners claim they’ve lost about 30% of their battery capacity since purchasing their cars, as their batteries refuse to charge fully any more.

The problem is likely Nissan’s air cooling system for the Leaf’s battery. Apparently Tesla, the high-end EV maker, even predicted back in 2010 that Nissan’s cooling system would fail to cope with heat, which is why Tesla uses a more expensive liquid-cooled system.

Mind you, all electric cars suffer from battery issues in heat, which is why Ford isn’t bringing their Focus EV here. We already know that both the Nissan Leaf and the Chevrolet Volt are being hot-weather tested right here in Dubai. Both cars will likely require extensive cooling mods before they can be launched in the GCC. So far, only Lexus offers proper hybrids in the UAE, while Fisker electric cars will debut here soon.


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