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By Russ Finley on Jun 13, 2013 with 25 responses

Electric Vehicle Charging and the Range Anxiety Myth

Bosch has just entered the EV charging market with its simple 240 volt Power Max charging station for $499.00. Considering that dishwashers, clothes dryers, and hot water heaters can cost less than that, you can bet that the price for this small, relatively simple device will eventually be a lot lower. The Ecotality Blink charging station in my garage cost about $1,200. Neither is actually a charger. They are devices that interface with the charger carried inside the car. How fast you can charge with 240 volts is ultimately limited by the charger that came with the car. The difference is that the Blink station interfaces with the internet, allowing the DOE to study my charging habits, which is fine by me because they paid for it.

The Ecotality Business Model

Ecotality is also installing Level 2 (240 volt) charging stations in business parking lots. For now, charging is free but eventually you will be charged for your, ah, charge. I don’t see this business model having a long-term future. An analogy might be a company that designed a hitching post tailored for Henry Ford’s first car design (that looked a lot like a buggy) which might have seemed like a great idea by car and saloon owners until they realized you don’t need a hitching post for a car.

A Level 2 charging station will provide about 6 miles of range for the 2011-2012 Leafs, and about 12 miles for the 2013 and newer models in the 30 minutes you’re shopping, worth maybe 25-50 cents or so depending, while it is still free. But how many EV owners will bother to drive a few extra miles to a store with a charger, especially when it isn’t even free?

The smart grid may eventually be ushered in by the necessity of utilities to monitor things like electric car charging and solar panel output. Considering that many utilities already have smart meters outside of the home that transmit data back to the utility, there is no need for your car charging station to also do so. Internet connected stations may have a niche market for people who want to view charging stats from their computer, but I’m guessing that simple, cheap charging stations like the Power Max will become the norm. Both the Ecotality charge station design and business model may fade in tandem with the government subsidies that now support them. We’ve seen this pattern before with several biofuel start-ups.

An Alternative Business Model

Fast public chargers (Level 3) capable of completely charging a nearly discharged battery in minutes are an entirely different story. Imagine every 7-Eleven having a few of these chargers sitting next to the tire inflation machine that accepts quarters. One problem with this idea is that a Level 3 charger needs a third power line from the utility. Residences and small businesses typically have two power lines. Large buildings that need the extra power for things like elevators and HVAC will have a third line. For homes and small businesses it would be prohibitively expensive to have a utility string a third line from wherever the closest third line connection may be.

One answer to this conundrum may be a battery-backed charger similar to the ones being tested in Portlandia. Although this particular design still requires a third power line, it is possible to design one that doesn’t. The battery DC current could, in theory, be converted to AC to act as the third power line.

This “Level 3 charger at every 7-Eleven” concept is not a perfect analogy for a gas station because most EV owners will do most of their charging at home. They may occasionally use the 7-Eleven as an emergency stop, or for an occasional long trip. On the other hand, there are a lot of people who live in apartments or homes without garages that would like to own an EV but don’t have a place to charge them. This idea could be just the ticket although it could also lead to more …

Range Anxiety

We’ve all read about electric car range anxiety which may have a negative impact on EV sales, but is it real? From Wikipedia:

Conventional wisdom is the body of ideas or explanations generally accepted as true by the public or by experts in a field. Such ideas or explanations, though widely held, are unexamined. Unqualified societal discourse preserves the status quo.

Which is all fine and good except conventional wisdom is not necessarily true, and where does conventional wisdom come from? Again, from Wikipedia, if enough people read and believe something (in this case, hundreds of lay press articles that accept electric car range anxiety as a fact simply because each is parroting another article that accepted it as a fact), then it may very well become accepted as conventional wisdom.

The idea is that a car with less range will necessarily lead to more instances of range anxiety. But, as I have discovered, that isn’t how it always works. As a Leaf owner I’ve found that I experience range anxiety less often than I did when I drove a conventional car. I procrastinated when it came to gassing up. To minimize gas station visits I usually let my tank get pretty low, which occasionally resulted in range anxiety. In short, frequency of range anxiety is a function of how often you let the needle on your gas gauge (or battery pack) get close to zero, which is not necessarily a function of gas tank (or battery) capacity. Simply put, people who rarely let their tank (or battery) get close to empty, rarely experience range anxiety regardless of car range.

I don’t procrastinate anymore because I don’t have to go out of my way to find a gas station, get in a line, stand around while the car is filling up, fiddle with a credit card and smelly pump handle, then watch in dismay as the dial passes $50. My garage is my gas station. It takes a few seconds to plug in and a few more to unplug the next morning. Because my battery rarely gets close to empty, I rarely experience range anxiety anymore.

  1. By Nicolas Zart on June 13, 2013 at 6:32 pm

    Excellent points made Russ. I love the range anxiety myth which was spearheaded by one of the Detroit Trio company. In the end, their very own plug-in hybrid drivers, have gasoline anxiety and charge more often than pure electric car drivers…or is it called an extended range something?

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    • By Russ Finley on June 14, 2013 at 12:46 am

      It’s all good. One of the big attractions of an electric car to EV enthusiasts is the simplicity and efficiency.

      With a Volt, which is a plug-in hybrid, you pay $11,000 more for a four person car that has less than half the electric range while retaining all of the complexity and maintenance needs of a conventional car (oil pump, filter, and oil changes, air pollution controls, gas tank, gas, pumps, filters, injectors, and not one, but four radiators with attendant radiator hoses, and water pumps, along with an engine with valves, cams, timing belt, pistons, and on and on).

      In addition to the conventional internal combustion engine, it has not one, but two electric motors, one serving as a generator to power the one turning the wheels.

      A simple car, it is not.

      The one and only advantage is that your trip range is not limited by your battery, which is a big advantage if you are a one car family. Not so much for two car families.

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      • By guy hall on June 14, 2013 at 11:01 am

        Russ, when we bought our first EV, the Volt and Leaf were our only options. We choose the leaf for simplicity reasons you outlined above. However, a year later when our other gas car died and we were EV shopping again we chose the volt because of its range. WhatI had not internalized until owning the Volt, was that since most of our driving can be done within the Volt battery range that the gas engine is only use 20 percent of the time. That means after 100,000 miles we have only put 20 thousand miles of engine wear on it. Just as EV’s extend brake life, they also extend the engine life. The volt could have a very long life.

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        • By Russ Finley on June 14, 2013 at 6:55 pm

          That is a very good point.

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      • By ModernEngineering on July 15, 2013 at 9:27 pm

        @Biodiversivist:disqus
        But there are NO battery EV that cost less than $45k with more than 200 miles in range. Tesla S cost at least $75k. Volt is the ONLY car that gives that range if you need it while still give you as much electric range as possible. Some people have unpredicable commute so a battery EV won’t work for them.

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  2. By ben on June 14, 2013 at 11:54 am

    I have a practical question: Is range anxiety myth a genuine concern held by the owners or would-be owners of EVs, or is the myth principally one of an industry that wants the transition to new vehicles achieved on their own terms and deliberate pace? With all deference to Say’s Law, the consumer is ultimately king. When consumers decide that EVs are not only practically viable, but offer a range of improvements over ICE vehicles, they will beat a path to the new mousetrap’s dealerships.
    Without much in the way of technical knowledge on the subject, I’m inclined to believe that commercial charging stations will catch on not so much because folks will go out of their way to shop where they may be found, as from the likelihood that they will become such a common feature of every commercial zone of note that their use will become a foregone conclusion. Perhaps an over-simplification, but tire pressure stations sort of comes to mind. While they aren’t everywhere, they are prevalent and most folks figure out where they are pretty damn quick. Of course there are, sadly, plenty out here who still don’t know even know how to use ‘em:)
    Thanks, Russ, you always offer objective, sensibly-minded views on the green options and the need to remain pragmatic about addressing the immense challenge of climate change. Let not the perfect be the enemy of the good, eh.

    Ben

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    • By Russ Finley on June 14, 2013 at 7:11 pm

      You are right about the consumer being King. I don’t see affordable electric cars matching the range of conventional cars in the foreseeable future, which will limit most of the market to two car urban families. The Volt does not have that limitation.

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  3. By ModernEngineering on July 15, 2013 at 9:22 pm

    “Because my battery rarely gets close to empty, I rarely experience range anxiety anymore”
    So, I guess you rarely drive more than 70 miles. So, in your case, it is fine. But for people who needs more range, then it is NOT okay.
    I dare you to drive at 65mph on the hwy for at least 1 hr with heat on with your Leaf and see if you have any range anxiety. You are just denying it and avoiding it by limited the role of your Leaf to short range commuting. You also “derate” the range need by NOT pushing for the range. Didn’t the Steve Marsh guy (the Leaf owner with over 60K miles) depend on the fast DC chargers to get him to work since his Leaf can no longer make it with its battery range? He also complained about the $5 fee that Blink is going to charge for his DC charging. If that is NOT range anxiety, then what is? If range anxiety is NOT an issue, why do we worry about availability of public charging stations? Why do we worry about “ICE” the spot? or “priority” over who get the stations?

    Range anxiety is real due to the lack of range and lack of infrastructure to address the range issue. Denying it is NOT going to solve the problem. Instead, we should focus on addressing it.

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    • By Russ Finley on July 16, 2013 at 1:09 am

      I experience no more range anxiety than I did when driving a regular car because I know the car’s limitations. All EV drivers eventually learn their car’s limitations.

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      • By ModernEngineering on July 16, 2013 at 8:48 pm

        So, you are dealing with the anxiety issue by avoiding situation where your car won’t work.

        Here is another example. If you “forget” to charge a Leaf, you are stuck for at least 1 hour. if you “forget” to fill up a gas car, you can go to the nearest gas station and fix that problem within 5 mins. That is the difference. Sure, you can make a claim that just “don’t forget”. But the worry is there. It requires to “keep up” with the new EV requirement. If you can “charge up” every night, then why didn’t you just “fill up” every week. So, by claiming that you have no more anxiety b/c you have changed your behavior to fit the EV model isn’t exactly an apple to apple comparison. You could have reduced your anxiety in your car by filling it up more often.

        Also, by limiting your Leaf’s roles, you are already trying to reduce anxiety. That is anxiety itself, especially with things such as speed, climate or terrain related degradation in range.
        Also, lucky that you don’t live in a HOT climate. With battery degradation, it will increase your anxiety over time. ICE/hybrid cars don’t lose range over time like Leaf.

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    • By Russ Finley on July 17, 2013 at 12:36 am

      I’m guessing you’re here to promote your Volt. The Volt is a fine car, and like all cars has it advantages and disadvantages to weigh. What does your dealer charge for an oil change? ; )

      I guess you rarely drive more than 70 miles.

      Bingo …between charges. Anyone who routinely drives more than 70 miles a day should not get a Leaf, and might want to rethink their lifestyle, Leaf or no Leaf.

      But for people who needs more range, then it is NOT okay.

      A rather obvious conclusion.

      I dare you to drive at 65mph on the hwy for at least 1 hr with heat on with your Leaf and see if you have any range anxiety.

      I’d borrow my wife’s Prius for that trip. This first generation of electric cars are best suited for two car urban families. A Volt might be a better choice for a one car family.

      You are just denying it and avoiding it by limited the role of your Leaf to short range commuting.

      No, I don’t have as much range anxiety as I did in a conventional car. There’s no denying it. And yes, as was clearly stated, I limit the car’s role to match its capacity and use the other car for any driving mission that would exceed it, which is very rare.

      You also “derate” the range need by NOT pushing for the range.

      Yup …and it still meets 99% of my driving mission needs. We engineers call that a margin of safety.

      Didn’t the Steve Marsh guy (the Leaf owner with over 60K miles) depend on the fast DC chargers to get him to work since his Leaf can no longer make it with its battery range? He also complained about the $5 fee that Blink is going to charge for his DC charging. If that is NOT range anxiety, then what is? If range anxiety is NOT an issue, why do we worry about availability of public charging stations? Why do we worry about “ICE” the spot? or “priority” over who get the stations?

      I don’t worry about charging stations. I have written many times about my opinion that charging stations are a waste of money and that Blink is not a viable business model as it stands today.

      Range anxiety is real due to the lack of range and lack of infrastructure to address the range issue. Denying it is NOT going to solve the problem. Instead, we should focus on addressing it.

      Nope, range anxiety has practically disappeared from my life. More charging stations would not change things.

      So, you are dealing with the anxiety issue by avoiding situation where your car won’t work.

      Ah, yah, I borrow the other car maybe three times a year when I need to?

      Here is another example. If you “forget” to charge a Leaf, you are stuck for at least 1 hour.

      Well, not necessarily. Just today I walked out to drive to work and realized that I had forgotten to plug the car in. But I know my car’s limits and drove it to work anyway. No range anxiety, just less safety margin.

      if you “forget” to fill up a gas car, you can go to the nearest gas station and fix that problem within 5 mins. That is the difference. Sure, you can make a claim that just “don’t forget”. But the worry is there.

      With a conventional car I was always driving around on empty wondering if I’d make it to the next gas station. No, there’s no worry with my Leaf. It’s charged every night, unless I forget to plug it in, but even then I can get to work and back no problem. Trust me on this. I over-extended once when I first got the car and had to stop at a dealership. I walked to a bar where I ate, drank, and watched basketball until I had enough charge to get home.

      It requires to “keep up” with the new EV requirement. If you can “charge up” every night, then why didn’t you just “fill up” every week.

      It’s so much easier to plug it in as you walk into the house. I always procrastinated going out of my way to get gas …which led to range anxiety on occasion.

      So, by claiming that you have no more anxiety b/c you have changed your behavior to fit the EV model isn’t exactly an apple to apple comparison. You could have reduced your anxiety in your car by filling it up more often.

      Not a claim, it’s a fact.

      Also, by limiting your Leaf’s roles, you are already trying to reduce
      anxiety. That is anxiety itself, especially with things such as speed,
      climate or terrain related degradation in range. Also, lucky that
      you don’t live in a HOT climate. With battery degradation, it will
      increase your anxiety over time. ICE/hybrid cars don’t lose range over
      time like Leaf.

      Range anxiety has practically disappeared from my life. Living in a hot or cold climate would simply change my car’s limits. I would still stay within them.

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      • By ModernEngineering on July 17, 2013 at 8:57 pm

        “What does your dealer charge for an oil change?”
        Don’t know it yet. Since I haven’t driven enough on gas to find out. I am doing your reasoning by NOT using gas as much as I could, I could avoid the oil change.
        You must live in a cold region. How do you deal with your battery degradation in the heat on that Leaf? Also, what are people going to do with when they have a 70 miles Leaf that becomes a 50 miles or less Leaf?
        Leaf will work for some people, NOT all people. What is your yearly mileage on the Leaf again?

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      • By ModernEngineering on July 17, 2013 at 9:00 pm

        BTW, what is your commute distance to work? Less than 15 miles each way?

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    • By Russ Finley on July 18, 2013 at 8:01 pm

      You must live in a cold region.

      Nope.

      How do you deal with your battery degradation in the heat on that Leaf?

      Air conditioning reduces the electric propulsion range of a Volt as well.

      Also, what are people going to do with when they have a 70 miles Leaf that becomes a 50 miles or less Leaf?

      There will probably be a better battery available at a better price by then to swap out. Think of it as a transmission or engine that you have to decide to replace or not when your car gets old. Hopefully, when your Volt battery is only good for 15 miles you will have the option to replace it as well.

      Leaf will work for some people, NOT all people.

      Nobody has suggested otherwise.

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      • By ModernEngineering on July 18, 2013 at 8:47 pm

        I guess you haven’t heard about the Heat degradation on Leaf battery capacity in hot climate such as Arizona. That is a nice “sidestep” by mention the AC reduced range which has NOTHING to do with the poor thermal management of the Leaf battery.

        When people run out of range on the Leaf, the battery MUST be replaced to have any range. The Volt can go farther with its hybrid powertrain. Also, the Volt battery capacity is warrantied for 8yr/100k miles and in CA for 10yr/150k miles. Nissan only do it with 5 yr /70K miles and only warranty it to up to 70% of the capacity.

        Not to mention that @ 120 degree heat, the Nissan Leaf battery will degrade much faster. Volt’s battery is thermally managed and has already been derated. In order for it to drop to 15 miles, its capacity would have been losing at least 70% of its range. GM’s warranty would have kicked it long before that happens.
        Plenty of Leaf owners have made the Leaf sound like a “perfect” car for everyone when in FACT, that Leaf isn’t even the best designed BEV on the market. Talk to few Leaf owners in hot climate such as Arizona, Texas and Southern California before you promote the substandard battery design.

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    • By Russ Finley on July 19, 2013 at 11:42 pm

      I guess you haven’t heard about the Heat degradation on Leaf battery capacity in hot climate such as Arizona. That is a nice “sidestep” by mention the AC reduced range which has NOTHING to do with the poor thermal management of the Leaf
      battery.

      I wrote an article about the heat degradation called Nissan Leaf Range Issues. The the Leaf does not have poor thermal management. See the graph below to get a feel for the magnitude of the heat problem. A quote from the article:

      Some pundits are questioning the wisdom of Nissan’s decision not to use an active battery cooling system.

      Heat is an anticipated potential issue for a few dozen cars in very hot places.
      Certainly for 99% of the Leafs in the world, the passive system is perfectly
      adequate. Because there is no such thing as a free lunch, is it a good idea to
      saddle all cars with the weight, complexity, cost, and energy consumption
      penalties that come with an active cooling system (pumps, fans, tubes, hoses,
      radiators, coolant) just for a handful of cars (one or two percent of all Leafs
      sold in the world) in very hot places even when the owners signed a waiver?

      It might be cheaper to buy back a few cars than stick all Leaf owners with that
      engineering trade off, as the Volt design does. The plug-in hybrid Volt recalled 8,000 vehicles for safety reasons. Recalls, retrofits and buybacks are common even with conventional cars.

      ModernEngineer continues:

      When people run out of range on the Leaf, the battery MUST be replaced to have any range.

      In a conventional car, when a major cost component like your engine or transmission needs replacing (with a Leaf, which has no transmission and an electric motor that may never wear out, the battery is the major cost component equivalent to an engine or transmission), a decision has to be made to replace the component, sell the car, or scrap the car. Nothing new. Most certainly, when your Volt battery gives up the ghost, you will be faced with the same dilemma …replace it, sell or scrap the car. You do have the option to continue to drive a four person car that lugs around a few hundred pounds of dead battery weight.

      Also, the Volt battery capacity is warrantied for 8yr/100k miles and in CA for 10yr/150k miles. Nissan only do it with 5 yr /70K miles and only warranty it to up to 70% of the capacity.

      The Volt website says that you can expect to lose up to 30% capacity during the warranty period (100%-30% =70%).

      Not to mention that @ 120 degree heat, the Nissan Leaf battery will degrade much faster.

      A dozen hot summer days will have no measurable impact on Leaf battery life. The warranty was designed to account for the few cars that will be operated very hard in very hot places.

      Volt’s battery is thermally managed and has already been derated.

      It takes energy to pump cooling liquid to one of the Volt’s many radiators. Derating a battery extends life but also shortens range. Engineering is the art of compromise. Nissan has a better idea.

      In order for it to drop to 15 miles, its capacity would have been losing at least 70% of its range. GM’s warranty would have kicked it long before that happens.

      Actually, 15 miles would be closer to 40% of its capacity. The Volt battery range would eventually drop to 15 miles if the car were driven long enough after the warranty period.

      Plenty of Leaf owners have made the Leaf sound like a “perfect” car for everyone…

      …straw man.

      …when in FACT, that Leaf isn’t even the best designed BEV on the market.

      It is so far …and the Volt isn’t a BEV (battery electric vehicle). It’s a plug-in hybrid.

      Talk to few Leaf owners in hot climate such as Arizona, Texas and Southern California before you promote the substandard battery design.

      Nissan can’t make Leaf’s fast enough to meet demand in those markets:

      The Nissan Leaf Demand Is Outpacing Supply

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      • By ModernEngineering on July 22, 2013 at 2:23 pm

        So, good, you admit that Nissan designed a poor thermal managment system. But the fact is that you are making excuse for it b/c people in the heat region will have a problem with degradation. That sounds like a LAME logic to me. Instead of designing a car that is good for everyone, you choose to have a “simpiler” design for the people in the colder region. Half of the US are in the hotter region. Let us wait until more data coming to see if the people in the South will have similar problem. People in the Southern inland CA already have issue with battery degradation.

        Now, let us correct some of your lies:

        1. Volt was never “recalled”. GM did a customer satsifaction improvement. It was NEVER an official recall. So, please don’t make up lies.

        2. If Volt’s battery degrades to useless point like the Leaf with less than 10 miles of range, it can be operated as a hybrid to go much farther. Leaf will just become a 10 mile car.

        3. Trading off EV range vs. reliability is terrible in people who care about longivity and good for people who “lease” their cars. The sales number reflect that. So, your opinion is just an fact to prove that those cars aren’t ready for the long term.

        4. There are already plenty posts and comments about so called NIssan shortage lies. Do a search on cars.com for all the dealers in San Francisco, LA, Portland and Seattle area. They have hundreds of cars for each region. So dealers have as many as 80 cars on lot unsold. But cars in the region such as Atlanta and Dallas are in significantly in shortage since those regions have less than 30 cars combined. It is an unbalanced inventory issue rather than lack of production number issue. Leaf sales are slowing down in the West coast…

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      • By ModernEngineering on July 22, 2013 at 7:26 pm

        Also, the more I read your stuff, the more clear it is that you are NOTHING more than a Leaf fan boy. Instead of asking for better EVs such as Tesla S, BMW i3 or Spark EV, you are stuck on something that is poorly engineered for hot climate that is also ugly and slow. Feel free to stick to it and have fun with that junky EV….

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    • By Russ Finley on July 24, 2013 at 1:45 am

      Also, the more I read your stuff, the more clear it is that you are NOTHING more than a Leaf fan boy.

      “Leaf fan boy…” LOL ..good one.

      Instead of asking for better EVs such as Tesla S, BMW i3 or Spark EV, you are stuck on something that is poorly engineered for hot climate …

      …like I said before, they can’t make them fast enough to meet demand.

      … that is also ugly

      …says the guy with moose heads and velvet paintings on his walls. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Read Cars That Attract Women: Nissan Leaf. That’s my Leaf in the picture below. I had to brush the women off of it to get the picture.

      …and slow.

      Here’s a video of a Leaf kicking a Volt’s butt in a drag race. The Volt finally catches up at 50 MPH, which doesn’t have much value when you think about it.

      Feel free to stick to it and have fun with that junky EV….

      Enjoy driving your four seat, 35 mile electric range, 37 mpg hybrid car version of the Swiss army knife. ; )

      So, good, you admit that Nissan designed a poor thermal managment system.

      This is the internet. We aren’t arguing from bar stools. Any
      reader can check to see if really said such a thing …which I didn’t.

      But the fact is that you are making excuse
      for it b/c people in the heat region will have a problem with degradation.

      See the graph in my previous post. Heat degradation even in extreme climates is uncommon and Nissan will take care of you should you experience it.

      That sounds like a LAME logic to me.

      Not to me.

      Instead of designing a car that is good for everyone, you choose to have a “simpiler” design for the people in the colder region.

      Correction, a design that is adequate for 99.9% of all drivers regardless of region.

      Half of the US are in the hotter region.

      Snap! How did Nissan miss that! Leafs in those regions are performing just fine. See graph in previous post.

      Let us wait until more data coming to see if the people in the South will have similar problem. People in the Southern inland CA already have issue with battery degradation.

      Ya, let us wait. Leafs in those regions are performing just fine. See graph in previous post.

      Now, let us correct some of your lies:

      1. Volt was never “recalled”. GM did a customer satsifaction improvement. It was NEVER an official recall. So, please don’t make up lies.

      Riiiight …not a recall, “a customer satisfaction improvement.” ; )

      2. If Volt’s battery degrades to useless point like the Leaf with less than 10 miles of range, it can be operated as a hybrid to go much farther. Leaf will just become a 10 mile car.

      To quote my previous comment on this:

      “In a conventional car, when a major cost component like your
      engine or transmission needs replacing (with a Leaf, which has no transmission
      and an electric motor that may never wear out, the battery is the major cost component equivalent to an engine or transmission), a decision has to be made to replace the component, sell the car, or scrap the car. Nothing new. Most certainly, when your Volt battery gives up the ghost, you will be faced with the same dilemma …replace it, sell or scrap the car. You do have the option to continue to drive a four person car that lugs around a few hundred pounds of dead battery weight.”

      You know a debate is winding down when you can just cut and paste your previous responses.

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      • By ModernEngineering on July 24, 2013 at 2:36 pm

        “Like you said before” Which was already wrong and you just keep saying it. Check out cars.com for all inventory around the country and you will see that Leaf are wilting on the dealer lots in Western states where there are no inventory in the city such as Atlanta, Dallas, St. Luis and Chicago. So, it is inventory inbalance issue instead of lacking of production. Of course, fan boy and Nissan marketing team will make it sound like that. Go to Steven Creek Nissan in Si Valley and count the 70+ Nissan Leaf on the lot…

        Leaf might be faster in 0-30 but in 0-60, Volt is about 1 second faster. If you think the below 45mph stuff is important, then you just proved that Leaf is nothing more than a “City car”. Also, the low end 0-30 speed can be modified with shorter gear ratio of the transmission and giving up the top speed/efficiency. That is exactly the case here between Volt and Leaf. Also, the 2013 version the Leaf got detuned to be even slower.

        Your previous reply was stupid since you failed to understand the core concept that Volt doesn’t need battery replacement. If the range of Leaf degrades to so few miles, it becomes almost useless. If the Volt battery does the samething, it can still be operated as a hybrid without changing the battery. Sure, it will have not much EV miles, but you don’t need to replace the battery to operate the car. I am shocked that you don’t get that as an engineer.
        As far as climate goes, that chart doesn’t cover the rest of the hot region. The study was done before the Leaf was widely available in other hot regions of the US. So far, most of the Leaf were bought in mild regions that is why the study skews toward your so called 99.9%. If it was no problem, why bother with the newly installed capacity warranty? Nissan knows about this and they ignored it. They probably have some guy who shares your idea of “trade off” at Nissan. That kind of engineering is exactly why I won’t buy a Nissan.
        Of course, the discussion is winding down when you just stuff your answers with “repeated junks” that doesn’t even make sense.

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    • By Russ Finley on July 26, 2013 at 12:24 am

      Check out cars.com
      for all inventory around the country and you will see that Leaf are wilting on
      the dealer lots in Western states where there are no inventory in the city such
      as Atlanta, Dallas, St. Luis and Chicago. So, it is inventory inbalance issue
      instead of lacking of production.

      Using your link I found 83 new Leafs within 30 miles of Dallas
      and why don’t you consider Texas to be a Western state?

      Read : Nissan
      Needs More LEAFs – Now Says It Will Take To “Late Fall” To Catch Up To Demand
      :

      Erik Gottfried, Nissan’s director of
      electric vehicle sales and marketing, recently left his office to take a trip
      to Texas to tell dealers in person that Nissan was working on the problem, “They
      really want more Leafs in Dallas. I assured them that we’re doing everything we
      can to get them more inventory. But it’s taking some time.”

      Some dealerships get a bigger quota than others, especially in
      California which has roughly 25% of all Leafs sold in the States.

      Go to Steven Creek Nissan in Si Valley and
      count the 70+ Nissan Leaf on the lot…

      I went to their website instead. They have the same number
      of Leafs as they have Altimas (about 45).

      Leaf might be faster in 0-30 but in 0-60,
      Volt is about 1 second faster. If you think the below 45mph stuff is important,
      then you just proved that Leaf is nothing more than a “City car”.
      Also, the low end 0-30 speed can be modified with shorter gear ratio of the
      transmission and giving up the top speed/efficiency. That is exactly the case
      here between Volt and Leaf. Also, the 2013 version the Leaf got detuned to be
      even slower.

      None of that gibberish explains why you called the Leaf slow
      when the Volt is slower.

      Your previous reply was stupid since you
      failed to understand the core concept that Volt doesn’t need battery
      replacement.

      Like art, stupid is also in the eye of the beholder.

      If the range of Leaf degrades to so few
      miles, it becomes almost useless. If the Volt battery does the samething, it
      can still be operated as a hybrid without changing the battery. Sure, it will
      have not much EV miles, but you don’t need to replace the battery to operate
      the car. I am shocked that you don’t get that as an engineer.

      Let me just cut and paste my previous reply for the third
      time:

      “In a conventional car, when a major cost component like your
      engine or transmission needs replacing (with a Leaf, which has no transmission
      and an electric motor that may never wear out, the battery is the major cost component
      equivalent to an engine or transmission), a decision has to be made to replace
      the component, sell the car, or scrap the car. Nothing new. Most certainly,
      when your Volt battery gives up the ghost, you will be faced with the same dilemma
      …replace it, sell or scrap the car. You do have the option to continue to
      drive a four person car that lugs around a few hundred pounds of dead battery weight.”

      As far as climate goes, that chart doesn’t
      cover the rest of the hot region. The study was done before the Leaf was widely
      available in other hot regions of the US.

      Actually, I created that chart. The study was done ten
      months ago.

      So far, most of the Leaf were bought in mild
      regions that is why the study skews toward your so called 99.9%. If it was no
      problem, why bother with the newly installed capacity warranty?

      Nobody, including Nissan, claimed that extreme heat does not
      accelerate battery degradation. They warn about it in the owner’s manual.

      Nissan knows about this and they ignored
      it.

      Nissan obviously hasn’t ignored anything. The warranty was
      in response to that issue.

      They probably have some guy who shares
      your idea of “trade off” at Nissan. That kind of engineering is
      exactly why I won’t buy a Nissan.

      Engineering is all about tradeoffs, which is why the Volt costs
      so much more but only holds four people, gets thirty something miles in electric
      mode compared to the Leaf’s seventy something and only gets thirty something
      mpg in hybrid mode compared to the Prius fifty something. As a family of four
      drivers with three cars, that kind of engineering is exactly why I won’t buy a Volt.
      Although, if we were a one car urban family, the Volt might actually make
      sense.

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      • By ModernEngineering on July 26, 2013 at 1:15 am

        ” Not many people will continue to drive a four seat hybrid that is lugging around a few hundred pounds of dead batteries and gets about the same gas mileage as a pickup truck.”
        I guess the discussion is ending when you start lying or twisting the fact.
        You said that your Leaf is good enough for commuting to your work so a 4 seater Volt is NOT good enough? Look around, most people can’t even qualify for Carpool lanes…
        Show me 1 pickup trucks that can get 37MPG. I dare you. Just name me one! BTW, only an idiot would group Texas into “Western” state… If you had said Montana or Wyoming, it would have been okay. Texan would be offended by your stupid comment.
        The capacity warranty is ONLY activiated after the threat of class action lawsuit and large bad publicity.
        Volt gets 38 miles EPA rated range and 73 for the Leaf. But Leaf needs a tow truck longer than 73 miles.
        Leaf is slower to 45mph, slower in 1/4 mile and slower top speed. Not to mention that Leaf handles worse and brakes worse. Don’t even start me with Prius which is even worse in Performance in 0-30, 0-60, 1/4 and various handling and braking performance.
        I guess If you think Prius is good enough, the Leaf must be good enough for you. Since you only care about a car when it is ugly and handles badly…

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      • By ModernEngineering on July 26, 2013 at 1:21 am

        Also, people would rather carry around a badly used battery in a Volt than a Leaf which got no range left. Battery degrades with temperature. With the battery thermal management system, the temperature related degradation will happen much much slower than any Leaf out there. With recent heat waves happening in the NW, people in NW are also starting to see battery degradation (well within the Nissan’s claimed range). But no Volt has lost any range.
        Also, if you think Leaf is faster b/c it wins the first few hundred feets, then that is the dumbest logic ever. B/c how fast a car is determined by 0-60 and 1/4 mile.
        Only a slow Prius driver (moving road block) would think 0-30 is important to judge a car. Maybe that is good enough for a bicycle or a runner. I guess that is your level of understanding.

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    • By Russ Finley on July 28, 2013 at 6:42 pm

      Also, people would rather carry around a badly used battery in a Volt than a Leaf which got no range left.

      It is my impression that the only reason anyone buys a Volt is so they can drive it like an electric car for thirty or so miles, after which their coach turns back into a pumpkin. The reason to own a Volt disappears once it loses the ability to emulate an electric car. In hybrid mode the four-seat compact Volt gets 25% less mileage than a five-person mid-sized Prius. And like I said three times before:

      “In a conventional car, when a major cost component like your
      engine or transmission needs replacing (with a Leaf, which has no transmission
      and an electric motor that may never wear out, the battery is the major cost component equivalent to an engine or transmission), a decision has to be made to replace the component, sell the car, or scrap the car. Nothing new. Most certainly, when your Volt battery gives up the ghost, you will be faced with the same dilemma …replace it, sell or scrap the car. You do have the option to continue to drive a four person car that lugs around a few hundred pounds of dead battery weight.”

      Modern Engineer continues:

      Battery degrades with temperature. With the battery
      thermal management system, the temperature related degradation will happen much much slower than any Leaf out there

      Not sure what you mean by “battery degrades with temperature.” Like a Leaf, a Volt parked all day on a 140 degree F tarmac in the middle of Tucson has no thermal management. The Volt’s coolant pump and fan only operate when the car is turned on, not that it would do any good to leave the Volt turned on in a parking lot:

      “Since outside air temperature was hotter than battery coolant temperature this actually resulted in heating the battery faster than when the ignition OFF hot soak.”

      Here’s a quote from Volt Chief Engineer Andrew Farah before the Volt went on sale:

      “One disappointment is that the Volt and other Lithium-ion battery-powered electric vehicles may not be viable in hotter climates, such as some states in the American Southwest. Despite the fact that Volts will be sold in these states, performance may be significantly undermined due to the heat. The Volt may not be right for everyone. If you live in the Southwest, depending on how you use your car, the Volt might not be right for you.”

      If a group of Volt owners in Tucson decide they are not happy with the range they are getting, then it will be GM’s turn in the American consumer hopper. On the other hand, for a Volt owner to admit that his battery was damaged by heat would be to admit defeat. Or, maybe it has already happened and some Volt owners have received battery service as a result. Also, range degradation isn’t as obvious with a plug-in hybrid where the engine simply takes over.

      With recent heat waves happening in the NW, people in NW are also starting to see battery degradation (well within the Nissan’s claimed range).
      But no Volt has lost any range.

      That comment is nonsensical. All batteries wear out over time. The idea that a Volt battery will not wear out is ludicrous.

      Also, if you think Leaf is faster b/c it wins the first few hundred
      feets, then that is the dumbest logic ever. B/c how fast a car is determined by
      0-60 and 1/4 mile.

      That is yet another straw man argument. I simply sent you to a video showing the Leaf beating a Volt in a drag race in response to you calling the Leaf slow. The Volt finally caught up when they reached 50 mph.

      I guess the discussion is ending when you start lying or
      twisting the fact.

      If that were true, your comments would have ended this debate long ago.

      You said that your Leaf is good enough for commuting to your work so a 4 seater Volt is NOT good enough? Look around, most people can’t even qualify for Carpool lanes…

      Seriously, straw man arguments don’t work in an internet debate. Nobody said that the four-seat Volt is not good enough to commute to work. I think you are trying to say that a four seat car is not a trade off, when it is.

      Show me 1 pickup trucks that can get 37MPG. I dare you.
      Just name me one!

      Seriously, straw man arguments don’t work in an internet debate.

      I never said that a pickup truck gets 37 mpg. The gist is that when a Volt battery degrades to the point that the car can’t function as a hybrid anymore, it’s range will degrade to that of a pickup, not the other way around.

      BTW, only an idiot would group Texas into “Western” state…
      If you had said Montana or Wyoming, it would have been okay. Texan would be
      offended by your stupid comment.

      Your argument about Texas not being a Western state is with Wikipedia,
      not me. Feel free to edit the wiki article. I have a friend from Texas. He wasn’t offended, but he did find your comment humorous.

      The capacity warranty is ONLY activiated after the
      threat of class action lawsuit and large bad publicity.

      Nissan tested the waters. The warranty covers what the owner’s manual always told owners what to expect. The difference now is that anyone who drives their Leaf into the ground in Tucson heat waves can get the battery repaired after abusing it, which is fine by me. Last time I looked, the Ford Focus and Tesla still don’t have a warranty that covers owners for battery capacity loss over time (and both have liquid thermal management).

      Volt gets 38 miles EPA rated range and 73 for the Leaf.

      The 2013 Leaf EPA rating for a 100% charge is 84
      miles
      . The 75 mile range is the average of 66 (for 80% charge) and 84
      (100%) charge.

      But Leaf needs a tow truck longer than 73 miles.

      …or a charging station. I’ve said many times that the Leaf isn’t for dummies. You have to have a certain measure of common sense and knowledge about your car’s design limitations. With the Volt, on the other hand, you don’ t have to think about any of those things. One could argue that the Volt is an electric car for dummies ; )

      Only a slow Prius driver (moving road block) would think 0-30 is
      important to judge a car. Maybe that is good enough for a bicycle or a runner.
      I guess that is your level of understanding …Not to mention that Leaf handles
      worse and brakes worse.

      The truth is that the difference in performance, handling, braking, acceleration, between the two cars is not big enough to be meaningful. Both have perfectly acceptable performance. Although, I have to say, a day doesn’t go by where I don’t appreciate the Leaf’s 0-30 acceleration in my city driving where you have to dart across busy streets or quickly speed up after a turn up to keep the guy behind you from hitting his horn.

      Leaf is slower to 45mph, slower in 1/4 mile and slower
      top speed.

      Top speed for the Leaf is electronically limited to 90 mph. Anyone wanting to drive faster than that should not buy a Leaf.

      Had I known that the Leaf hits 60 mph less than a second later than the Volt , I’m pretty sure I still would have bought a Leaf : )

      Don’t even start me with Prius which is even worse in Performance in 0-30, 0-60, 1/4 and various handling and braking performance. I guess If you
      think Prius is good enough, the Leaf must be good enough for you …and handles badly…

      Oh, I have no intention of getting you started on a Prius. The Leaf, thanks in large part to its low center of gravity, handles quite well.

      Since you only care about a car when it is ugly

      …says the guy with moose heads and velvet paintings on his walls. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Read Cars
      That Attract Women: Nissan Leaf

      Because the Volt looks pretty much like any other car on the road, so you can be assured that few will find the way it looks to be ugly, or beautiful, or that they will even notice it, which, I suspect is good enough for most consumers. I have never bought a car based on what it looks like, although I do like the look of the Leaf.

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  4. By Had Enough n SD on October 16, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    No such thing as Level 3 charging in either AC or DC in the US. SAE definitions of charging levels indicates what we have in the marketplace is AC Level 1 (120v) and AC Level 2 (240V) and DC Level 2 (aka DC Fast Charging) – an off-board charger 200-500 V DC, up to 100 kW (200A)

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