Tesla CEO: Nissan’s LEAF Battery Is Primitive

Discussion in 'Nissan' started by seftonm, Aug 7, 2010.

  1. seftonm

    seftonm Veteran Staff Member

    [​IMG] The Tesla Roadster's battery warranty is 3 years / 36,000 miles compared to the Leaf's 8 year / 100,000 mile warranty

    [FIMG=RIGHT]http://www.cleanmpg.com/photos/data/501/2011_Nissan_LEAF2.jpg[/FIMG]Josie Garthwaite - EARTH2TECH - Aug. 5, 2010

    Any substance to this claim? --Ed.

    Nissan has made some bold claims in recent months about the battery pack for its upcoming LEAF electric sedan — namely, that it had broken the $400/kWh mark at a time when other automakers were boasting about lithium-ion batteries edging closer to $500-$700/kWh for future models. However, Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk, for one, isn’t worried about getting schooled by Nissan in the battery game.

    In a call with shareholders and analysts on Wednesday, Musk slammed Nissan’s battery technology and said Tesla does not believe the Japanese automaker will beat the company on cost-per-kWh.

    Asked during Wednesday’s call whether Tesla is seeing competitors, and specifically Nissan, drop their battery costs faster than anticipated, Musk commented that the LEAF battery pack uses a “much more primitive level of technology” compared with the sophistication of even Tesla’s first prototype.

    This comes down mainly to the thermal management system, or the technology used to keep the battery within a healthy temperature range. Tesla uses what Musk described as active liquid thermal control, while the LEAF pack uses an air cooling system. As a result, the LEAF pack will have temperatures “all over the place,” causing it to suffer “huge degradation” in cold environments and basically “shut off” in hot environments, claimed Musk. Liquid cooling systems (General Motors’ choice for the Volt battery pack) can be more complicated, but also more compact than air cooling systems.

    Tesla needs to take some big bites out of the battery costs for the planned Model S sedan, which the company is betting will be its ticket to profitability. According to Musk, battery costs for the $57,400 Model S are on track to be 40 percent less than those for the first version of the $109,000 Roadster, which launched back in 2008 with a belly full of 6,831 battery cells similar to those used in laptops.... [RM]http://earth2tech.com/2010/08/05/tesla-ceo-nissans-leaf-battery-is-primitive/[/RM]
  2. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

    Musk is an interesting individual but he doesn't let facts get in his way. :p I'll reserve judgment until I can see what those cells Nissan has cooked up do in extreme temperatures. After all, Nissan did send a lithium power car up to very high latitudes and it coped admirably (look up the Prairie EV discussion here). After looking at Nissan's history with lithium powered vehicles I'm a lot less inclined to criticize their choices and more than willing to see what their vehicle can actually do.
  3. brick

    brick Answers to "that guy."

    One man's "primitive" may be another man's "mature technology." I don't really mind using yesterday's tech if it works reliably 7 days a week.
  4. WriConsult

    WriConsult Super Moderator

    Yes, the Tesla uses advanced cooling technology because it has to. The Tesla uses Li-Cobalt batteries (same kind as in our batteries and cellphones), which can blow up catastrophically when overheated.

    The Leaf uses Li-manganese batteries that don't carry that risk. The Tesla is great for what it is, but it is extremely advanced and expensive technology, and IMO overkill for ordinary passenger cars.
  5. GreenVTEC

    GreenVTEC Well-Known Member

    Sounds like an attempt to appease shareholders. They can't be happy with Tesla posting no profits and a decreasing stock value.

    Tesla thought it could lead southern CA to become the new green Detroit. But the real Detroit along with other major makers are the ones who will really take the green leadership role.
  6. echoman

    echoman Well-Known Member

    450 km is better then 180 km but if it works for nissan and doesnt need a complex cooling system the better.
  7. paratwa

    paratwa Well-Known Member

    Elon, I love what you do, but can't afford your products. I don't have a choice but to buy the primitive version.

    The Leaf can do what I need to do. It is at the very top of my next car list (which my next purchase is probably 3-4 years away).

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