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Nissan Testing New Battery Pack to Address Problems with LEAF in Hot Weather

Nissan executives told a gathering of LEAF drivers in Phoenix on Saturday night that company engineers are currently testing a revised lithium-ion battery chemistry that appears to withstand extremes of heat far better than the cells found in existing LEAF battery packs.

As GreenCarReports explained, Nissan executives said the new packs are performing well at an internal sustained temperature of 45 degrees Celsius (113 degrees Fahrenheit) without showing any signs of heat-induced loss of capacity. Instead, the new cell chemistry demonstrates characteristics in line with existing LEAF battery packs found in cooler climates like Seattle.

Without an active liquid-cooled battery management system—as found in cars like the Tesla Model S, Chevrolet Volt, and BMW ActiveE—the lithium-ion battery pack in Nissan’s LEAF electric hatchback is vulnerable to heat. In places like Phoenix, that can lead to premature degradation of the battery pack, resulting in a loss of range completely unacceptable to owners. The issue has been a headache for Nissan customer-service headache and a public relations mess.

A revised battery chemistry being tested by Nissan could put an end to heat-induced premature battery aging—although the company is not talking about a liquid-cooled system that has essentially become standard in the industry.
As Soon As April

Nissan plans to start manufacturing battery packs with the modified cell chemistry by April next year, and will use the newly-built packs to replace existing LEAF battery packs replaced under its battery capacity loss warranty.


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