Thursday, October 11, 2012
I will pass 23,000 miles on my 2011 Nissan LEAF sometime this weekend (only have 80 miles to go) and the car has exceeded every expectation I have had over reliability, coolness and longevity and let me examine that last one; longevity.
Nissan told us that under "normal" circumstances, expect about 20% loss of range in 5 years, or 30% after 10. They then posted a driving scenario that also told us what to expect as far as range goes. I used that chart to estimate what range I would get and then removed that 30% range reduction and found that the LEAF would still address a significant amount of my transportation needs, so I got one.
That happened Jan 18, 2011 nearly 21 months ago. Now, the degradation I was expecting really has not happened. Based on my SOC meter (whose accuracy in measuring true battery state is now in question but still good for general purposes) I have only lost a few percent of my range, but others have not been so lucky due to the climate they live in and I am sorry that Nissan seems to have elected to buy their cars back instead of fixing the cars and allowing them to continue to drive electric because in the grand scheme of things, nearly 2 years after the fact: The LEAF is still the ONLY game in town for me. the rest dont have quick charge or they are beyond my financial means.
So, I happily push the LEAF to anyone interested because it is a great idea for anyone in a two car household in this area for DOZENS of reasons. Cheap electricity, refueling at home, reducing our oil usage, pollution, etc. and on and on and on, Right!!
As much of a no brainer this seems to be, the EV community has turned in on itself. We as a collective are starting to create a huge philosophical divide. On the one hand; Hot LEAFs verses moderate weather LEAFs. we have people who are suffering thru huge unknowns because their battery capacity bars are dropping like flies at a RAID party and that is scary especially since Nissan is not telling them what to expect a year from now other than to say "the degradation rate will slow down"
well, slow down to what?? 10% a year verses 15%? Kinda hard to plan for the future. Generally car buying decisions are pretty lengthy. With rapid range loss, Phoenicians are panicing and rightly so; the unknown is a bitch! Cant wait until the job is a mile shorter than the total range and then start discussing options with Nissan or any car manufacturer. In any product issue; the longer you wait, the more of an impression the manufacturer gets that you have a higher level of acceptance. So I get the issues in Phoenix, but what I dont get is the band wagon comments that seem to be the new norm.
Now; the massive efforts to publicize this has benefited them. It has greatly shortened the timeline of action on Nissan's part. No doubt, if left o each individual to fight the corporate giant, there would probably still be nothing accomplished, but it has also had the unintended consequence of creating a mob mentality born from the compassion of fellow LEAFers and that has gone amuck
I have seen comments from people COMPLETELY unaffected by degradation due to the fact that they live in the Bay Area, Coastal Southern CA, or the Puget Sound region of WA State, who flat out stated they will no longer recommend the LEAF to anyone they run across because of the issues that are going on in AZ!!
What kind of logic is this?? You are dissing a product that might be a great solution to the person you are talking too (who will consider you an "expert" because you experience the EVness daily) and you are helping to hasten the demise of a great product.
How can one not think they are possibly changing the course of EV technology long term? How many people are potentially impacted by your statements to a single person? Remember even the ripples of a pebble covers the entire pond.
Now, many happy users of the LEAF have recognized this and have posted comments in support of the LEAF and now are being accused of not caring about the battery issues, glossing over the issues, dissing affected owners, or living too much in the limelight to realistically evaluate their own personal owner experiences!
How did all this happen? Are we to think that Nissan essentially sold A/C to an Eskimo?