Chelsea Sexton, founder of the Lightning Rod Foundation, a co-founder of Plug In America, and star of Who Killed the Electric Car, recently sat down with Andy Palmer, executive vice president of Nissan, to discuss the Nissan Leaf and its battery degradation crisis in Arizona. You can watch the 16-minute video below, but here's the gist.
The interview starts with Sexton asking about the standards used to determine the degradation of the battery. Palmer said Nissan's assumptions during the design process were that the battery pack needed to have 80 percent capacity left after five years of normal usage, and after 10 years, it would be 70 percent. Some Leafs would be doing better and some worse than that, based on driving conditions over the years. Nissan figured there were four main variables that would affect those assumptions:
- Speed and type of driving you do - if you're always going at highway speeds, there will be more degradation.
- Frequent use of fast charging - Nissan recommends no more than once per day.
- Mileage on the vehicle - with 12,500 per year being the assumed average in Nissan's testing.
- What the temperature extremes are - both cold and hot.