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2018 Nissan Leaf is a stopgap electric car – Push EVs

Via Push EVs |


 

Nissan unveils electric ecosystem at Nissan Futures 3.0

The 2018 Nissan Leaf is a good electric car if you don’t plan to use DC fast charging regularly.

 

Last year, I wrote an article about the new generation Nissan Leaf and the role it will play in the car market. In the article I explained why I think that the 2019 Nissan Leaf will be the real deal and why BMW should be worried.

Unfortunately, the same thinking doesn’t apply to the current model year. The 2018 Nissan Leaf is just a stopgap until the no-compromise 2019 model year arrives.

I’ll proceed to explain why…

Nowadays, we get higher energy density battery cells mostly by adding more nickel to the cathodes and the NCM 622/811 cathodes are clear examples of this. However, nickel-rich cathodes have a downside, they have less thermal stability.

Thermal stability vs discharge capacity in NCM cathodes

With less thermal stability, thermal runaway occurs at lower temperatures and it becomes more important to have a TMS (Thermal Management System) to protect the battery and assure that it operates at a comfortable temperature. However, as you already know, the Nissan Leaf still lacks a TMS and this is a problem, specially now that it has NCM 622 battery cells.

Remember that Nissan no longer owns the battery cell maker AESC and can no longer push its battery packs to the limits and expect free replacements under warranty when things get bad. Now to be eligible for warranty Nissan has to comply with more demanding requirements from the – now independent – battery cell maker.

Since the Leaf’s battery pack isn’t protected by a TMS, now the newly independent battery cell maker AESC demands – for warranty purposes – that the BMS (Battery Management System) becomes “overprotective” and has to step in frequently and protect the battery when temperatures get high – by limiting the charge/discharge rate. Therefore we can expect frequent very low DC charging rates in the 2018 Nissan Leaf…

Imagine the battery as a CPU and the TMS as a cooler, if you’re not using a cooler you can’t overclock the CPU to get its best performance. You might even have to underclock the CPU to prevent it from burning…

James from the Electrified Journeys Japan …


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