Will A Lack of Active Battery Thermal Management Harm Sales Of The 2018 Nissan LEAF?

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As with any expensive purchase, those looking to buy a new electric car want to make sure that their car’s battery pack has the longest possible life. And that usually means opting for an electric car with an active battery thermal management system.

Nissan’s first generation LEAF hatchback (which has just ended production) used a passive rather than an active battery thermal management system. This meant it was more susceptible to battery capacity loss caused by extremes of heat. With many owners of early first-generation LEAFs (which are now out of Nissan’s battery warranty period) experiencing battery capacity loss so severe that they’re finding their cars have a real world range of as little as 40 or 50 miles per charge (when other comparable EVs from the same period with active thermal battery management systems have exhibited far less capacity loss) many LEAF owners were curious to know if Nissan would switch to active thermal management for the 2018 Nissan LEAF.

As we discovered at the start of the month in Tokyo at the official 2018 Nissan LEAF launch event, Nissan engineers have not only declined to give the second-generation LEAF active thermal management for its battery pack but say it’s not needed, citing a brand-new battery chemistry that’s far more durable than the previous LEAF’s various battery pack options.

But without an active media campaign explaining its decision — and with more and more first-generation LEAFs starting to show signs of extreme battery degradation — will Nissan’s battery management choice lead to reduced sales from customers worried about the 2018 LEAF’s 150-mile range falling to a fraction of its new range after six years of ownership?

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