In this world where our phones suggest where to eat, what to read and who to connect with on social networks, it seems only natural that our cars tell us when they need maintenance. That's exactly what happened to Nissan Leaf owner, Rob Greenlee, of Washington.
2013 Nissan LEAF
Greenlee got an unexpected call from the local Nissan dealership when they detected a problem with his car remotely, by way of the Leaf's "Carwings" information system. Carwings is a subscription service that monitors vehicle performance and allows Leaf owners to check their car's charging status and range from a smartphone or a computer. In this case, the system noticed that one of the battery cells in Greenlee's Leaf was malfunctioning. Greenlee might never have known otherwise, as there was no warning light on the dash to indicate a problem.
The EV driver brought his two-year-old Leaf in for service and was told he'd have his car back in four days. Two weeks later, the cell was replaced for free under Nissan's 8-year battery warranty.
One wonders how anecdotes like this one will affect perception of electric vehicles among the general populous. In an increasingly connected society, our whereabouts and activities are monitored more than they ever have been. Though systems like Carwings are not unique to electric vehicles, EVs push the technological envelope in unique ways. Some people will undoubtedly be put off by the idea of their car sending information to a third party. Others will be unwilling to invest in a vehicle that requires an engineer to diagnose its problems.
The good news is that car manufacturers realize this, and they're determined to make EVs as reliable, if not more so than their internal combustion engine counterparts.
Source: Green Car Reports