His battery pack is now showing the signs of age and he thought it best to contact Nissan for a quote on a battery pack replacement so he could get his finances in order to be able to make that purchase when the time came. Nissan's Response? They basically told him that since the pack was not for sale a price could not be provided to him. Now, how can a car manufactured for sale in the US not have replacement parts? especially a "wear" item (a wear item is a part or component that is expected to wear out like brake pads, tires AND batteries...)
I loaned him my SOC meter and we have determined that he can "probably" make it till next Spring when the weather warms up and the car should perform more efficiently. I say probably because he will have days where a boost will be needed. He did report that he also got a heated jacket but there are some days where defrost will be needed to maintain visibility and we will also have a dozen days this winter where temps, precipitation, etc will require him to grab a quick boost somewhere.
Something made Nissan elect to take this position and I cant help but wonder why? After all, they did say that battery packs were available but only for warranty exchanges and since loss of capacity is not covered under the warranty, he is currently SOL. Is Nissan afraid that providing a price now before the costs can be reduced will scare away potential customers? Ford was very willing to provide the price almost as if they wanted EV buyers to move to their new Energi line which they are heavily promoting. They even moved up the C-Max Energi launch from Q1 2013 to this past week in many areas of the country.
Now Nissan did have a grand opening tour event thingy set up for the new battery plant in Smyrna, TN that was canceled at the last minute. Official word was the logistics of getting the "key" players there could not be managed. If we take that to be a valid reason, who is so important that the launch could not be done without them? Thinking it would have had to be a guest. Hmmm, hard to speculate further on this for "some" reason.
Now, if we were to think that the start up curve was a bit steeper than expected and the there might be obvious confusion on the factory floor readily apparent to even to a casual observer, then maybe a tour would be canceled simply to "save face" but then again, this might give others more insight into just how monumental a task Nissan has taken on.
So now it boils down the question; What level of information should be provided to the consumer? the "TMI" question is a tough one and advertisers know it.
Marketers generally use "buzz" words and pictures to sell product. There is no such thing as non essential backgrounds in a TV commercial. Everything is done for a very specific purpose right down to the color of the bike the kid is riding in a neighborhood scene advertising home insurance (as if Allstate affected the "livability" of your home) You get the "warm and fuzzies" and eventually your sub-conscious associates it with the product in a very small way.
But Buzz words come in two flavors; good ones and bad ones. The challenge Nissan faces is how to describe the loss of range that will happen and make it "warm and fuzzy"
I was lucky enough to be picked for a focus group that will address how Nissan will provide this kind of information since it is vital that the consumer understand this and how it will affect them since the rate of degradation is very much tied to the local climate the LEAF will operate in. Sooo, any specific concerns, information you might want or questions you want answered? post them here. Cant promise much other than it never hurts to ask, right!