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Hi All-

I have been trying to get a #rapidgate response from my sales rep at a Glyn Hopkins for a while now. Today he came back and said that Nissan are rolling out a Software update that will fix this....I have pasted an anonymised version of our exchange below. I am not sure I trust this 100% as the individual sales reps at dealerships are obviously quite far down the chain and might not even fully understand/ have been trained on the issue yet ( as most of their sales are likely still petrol cars). But I will definitely hold them to it with the promise made below.....


re: Update on Nissan Leaf
********.****** <********.******@glynhopkin.com> 23 April 2018 at 12:37
To: ****** <******@gmail.com>
Yeah that shouldn't be a problem no more. The ChaDemo are being updated with new software as we speak and Nissan have ensured all their charge points have been updated.


On 2018-04-23 11:37, ****** wrote:

Thanks ******,

So basically you are saying there will be no problem with say a 400 mile trip which includes three charges and the charge speed on 2nd and 3rd charge (given comparable chargers) will not be levelled down compared to the first charge and be in the area of 36-50kw /h charge speed an hour when connected to ChaDemo due to the battery being at ~50° ?

What are the the measures they have taken to rectify this?

******

On 23 April 2018 at 10:07, ********.****** <********.******@glynhopkin.com> wrote:
Good Morning ******,

I have spoken to ****** regarding this concern and he has clarified that the issue was an isolated incident and that Nissan have taken the appropriate measures to rectify any future concerns surrounding the issue. The incidents occurred on the earlier production of the Leaf and has not happened since then. Rest assured your car will be in perfect working order.

Many Thanks

******** ******


On 2018-04-23 09:54, ****** wrote:

Hi,

Any update on the #rapidgate fast charging issue/ battery overheating issue yet? The more I learn about it the more it concerns me as it basically makes long distance trips impossible even though the UK has got a good charging infrastructure.

If there were to be no fix would there be a possibility to structure a deal to swap over to the 60KW version with battery cooling when it becomes available?

******
 

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Not really an isolated issue though is it?

Would be good if Nissan did some sort of deal for the 60Kw version later but I can't see it. 90-95% of the time I won't see an issue but if I do need to do a 330+ mile journey I'd like to know I'm not going to have to clog up a charger for over an hour.
 

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This response sounds like my dealership - they know as much or less than us it feels like. My dealer who was actually a nice bloke and meant well said a similar thing about 'rapidgate'. I think unless Nissan explicitly says they're altering the software to remove the charge input limit, i'm going to assume they are doing nothing to address it.
 

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I don't think upping the charge limit is an option to them though, looking at some of the temp readings, ie battery over 55celcius on 2nd charge, they'll be catching fire which will be an even worse look for nissan ....
 

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If you throttled the first charge a little would it be better to do that and have a consistent charge speed for every rapid most of the time rather than starting at full speed and then ending up with it being slower and slower and then effectively unusable?

I don't know how low they'd have to go with the first charge to avoid the problem though.
 

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That response fron glyn hopkin, sounds like a load of bs frankly. Reads like they think it is a chargepoint issue, not a car issue. And that nissan somehow control software update rollout for all these non-nissan chargepoints such as ecotricity rapids.

Assuming that that this is (likely) guff and that Nissan are doing no such thing, how does this response affect the legal position?

Would it be considered that the car had been mis-sold if the problem was still seen at a later date?
 

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That response fron glyn hopkin, sounds like a load of bs frankly. Reads like they think it is a chargepoint issue, not a car issue. And that nissan somehow control software update rollout for all these non-nissan chargepoints such as ecotricity rapids.

Assuming that that this is (likely) guff and that Nissan are doing no such thing, how does this response affect the legal position?

Would it be considered that the car had been mis-sold if the problem was still seen at a later date?
Not sure but I believe most of the Ecotricity chargers were installed with the help of Nissan, which is why they have "Nissan" put on them so they may have some input into them.....but as you say I strongly think that if there is any truth in the statement it'll be an update for the software in the car rather than the charger.
 

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"An isolated incident"!?!?!

The Nissan response sounds like they are talking about a completely different issue to the battery overheating issue.

We have already had clear pictured from folks that the battery temperature is nearing its max.

Of course, it could be a software update on the battery temperature functionality, but that's not a bit of new tech, we've had 100 years to get electric thermometers understood. So that would be somewhat doubtful. Leading to the problematic conclusion that their software update is trying to change the laws of physics so the battery does not get so hot.
 

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The more I learn about it the more it concerns me as it basically makes long distance trips impossible even though the UK has got a good charging infrastructure.
Please elaborate? Why are long distance trips in a Leaf 40 impossible in the UK? Is the car programed to shut down and require a dealer reset only after 300 miles?

No more impossible than a V8 Bentley with a 1 gallon fuel tank. Time consuming , maybe, difficult not really (although the planning may prove to mentally taxing for some here), boring, tedious, almost certainly, but then it is in any BEV that aint a Tesla in my eyes.

But impossible? Many years ago they said it was impossible for women to drive as it was to complicated and fast and to much for their brains to handle. it is now proved not the case. Mostly.

You guys love to ham you an email to Nissan don't you. love it.
 

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they'll be catching fire which will be an even worse look for nissan ....
There are many types of Li-Ion batteries.

The LEAF battery is not anywhere close to thermal runaway at 55C.

LEAF 40 uses Lithium Nickel Manganese Cobalt (NMC or INR) . Thermal runaway is around 210C, depending.
LEAF 24 used Lithium Manganese Oxide (LMO or IMR). Thermal runaway is around 250C.

The LEAF 24 battery is pretty stable. There are some videos on YouTube. People have tried burning them. The modules tend to self-extinguish.

The packs have multiple safety features to prevent fires. Temperature sensors, fuses, vents, thermal fuses. The modules will fail to an open circuit before the pack ignites.



Lithium-Ion Cobalt Oxide (LCO or ICR) are the ones that can go into thermal runway and catch fire. LCO batteries have to reach about 150C before they get into trouble. Newer LCO batteries have thermal fuses in them that open around 100C to prevent fires.


Types of Lithium-ion Batteries – Battery University

Battery chemistry FINALLY explained

Electric Vehicle Lithium-ion Battery
 

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This response sounds like my dealership - they know as much or less than us it feels like. My dealer who was actually a nice bloke and meant well said a similar thing about 'rapidgate'. I think unless Nissan explicitly says they're altering the software to remove the charge input limit, i'm going to assume they are doing nothing to address it.
Whilst my 30 leaf was being serviced a couple of weeks ago I took the opportunity to have a close look at the new 40. The specialist ev sales guy asked if I liked the new car. I asked if Nissan were addressing the rapid charging overheating and consequential throttling back on charge input. He looked at me as if I was speaking Swahili and stammered that he had only just come back of holiday and scuttled out the back.
 

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My interpretation of what the dealer has said is that Nissan will modify the car firmware to allow a higher battery temp before current limiting. Nothing to do with the charger as such. It is a balancing act between battery life and user acceptability. Presumably they did not anticpate that a few edge case enthusiasts who take their BEVs on long trips would make so much noise. My guess is that the temp where current restriction starts will be changed from 40C to 50C so allowing battery temps of 60C to occur on a long run as compared to 50C now.
 

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Whilst my 30 leaf was being serviced a couple of weeks ago I took the opportunity to have a close look at the new 40. The specialist ev sales guy asked if I liked the new car. I asked if Nissan were addressing the rapid charging overheating and consequential throttling back on charge input. He looked at me as if I was speaking Swahili and stammered that he had only just come back of holiday and scuttled out the back.
Similar experience at a Nissan dealer where I was plugged in the other day and using their showroom waiting area. I asked how the 40 was selling and he smiled saying he had sold quite a few and delivery dates were now extending. I asked if any buyers were concerned about the Rapid charging issues. He suddenly remembered an urgent need to go backstage and didn't reappear while I was in there. Could be that a memo has been circulated suggesting that such discussions should be diverted away.
 
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