Batteries don’t tend to handle temperature extremes all that well. For owners of the Nissan Leaf who live in areas with colder winters, Nissan has done a decent enough job of insulating the battery and keeping performance from suffering too much. But hot climates are a very different story, and Nissan is starting to get into a bit of trouble with owners in such climates. Owners in Arizona are reporting that their batteries will prematurely drain by as much as 25 to 40 percent in hot weather. And since the daytime temperature in Phoenix usually doesn’t dip below 100 degrees until November, Leaf owners spend most of the year getting very poor range out of their cars.
Leaf owners in Phoenix have complained and threatened lawsuits, and Jalopnik reports that Nissan has even had to buy back a few under the state’s lemon laws. So a group of Nissan executives flew to Scottsdale and had a meeting with Phoenix-area Leaf owners, where they were able to voice their concerns. The meeting was closed to the press, but afterward, Nissan announced that they would be extending the warranty on the car’s battery. Meanwhile, the Leaf owners took to the forums to sound off on how this is nowhere near adequate. The extended warranty is certainly a good thing, but it hardly corrects the day-to-day problems which these owners are still living with. The issue is obviously an engineering one, and hopefully we’ll see a solution soon.