In Race To Beat Renault Zoe, Nissan Rushed LEAF Into Production In 2010 Without Critical Battery Redesign
You’d think that with all the Renault-Nissan/ LG Chem news swirling around that there’s been some sort of major intel leak at The Alliance. We’re thinking that’s the case for sure. With all the specific info that’s come out over the last day, it must be some higher up, or now-departed higher up, who leaked the info to Reuters.
But wait, there’s more.
It seems that Renault-Nissan is crumbling within. The Alliance has “internal rivalries” that Reuters claims led to a fault in the development of the Nissan LEAF.
Per Reuters, citing inside sources:
“Former Nissan second-in-command Carlos Tavares, racing to beat the Renault Zoe to market, cut Leaf development by a year and skipped a critical battery redesign, according to alliance veterans. Nissan later cut prices, settled a class action and offered retroactive warranties to answer customer concerns about battery deterioration.”
This critical battery redesign is definitely referring to the LEAF’s battery performance in hot conditions. Could it be that the redesign would’ve employed liquid cooling? Or at least some form of active air cooling?
Tavares is no longer with Renault-Nissan.
Additionally, Tavares’ rival over at Renault, Patrick Pelata, “signed a confidentiality deal with LG that meant Nissan battery engineers never even knew what they were up against.”
The Renault ZOE does not suffer from heat-related battery degradation as does the early LEAFs.
Fortunately, the internal fighting within The Alliance is now being stamped out seemingly all high level execs are exiting the company(note the several high level recent departures such as Andy Palmer (Chief Planning), Carlos Tavares (Renault boss), Billy Hayes (LEAF boss), Johan de Nysschen (Infiniti boss), etc) by Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn.
We certainly hope that, moving forward, Renault-Nissan works together to further its position as the battery-electric leaders of the world. These internal issues that lead to a not-up-to-par Nissan LEAF need to be addressed if The Alliance is to remain the world’s frontrunner in the BEV segment.