Nissan: 600 km (370 miles) Range On A Single Charge Is No Fantasy

2 years ago by Mark Kane 61

Nissan EVolution 2016

Nissan EVolution 2016 – Norihiko Hirata, Nissan – Deputy General Manager, Battery System Engineering Group, EV and HEV Battery Engineering Department, EV and HEV Engineering Division

Nissan Battery cell

Nissan Battery cell

Nissan recently launched a new newsletter in Japan – the EVolution 2016 (which is also translated into English thankfully).

The first monthly report centers on lithium-ion batteries, of which Nissan says it has been working on since 1992.

Nissan’s Norihiko Hirata answered few questions, saying that 600 km range is no fantasy for Nissan’s next/upcoming EVs (but at the same time rating was made for JC08, which means 300-400 km real world equals 200-250 miles EPA).

“Q: What gives Nissan’s EV batteries such an edge in today’s competitive market?

In 1992 Nissan got a head start by embarking on lithium-ion battery development.

We anticipated that lithium-ion batteries, due to their high-energy density, would work best for powering automobiles. Our research led us to develop an original laminated-type cell structure, which has several advantages. It is relatively inexpensive, has a simple structure with fewer working parts, is lightweight and thin, and can be easily designed to fit the shape of the car. Battery development takes a lot of time, requiring experimentation and testing. Since we were ahead of the game in lithium-ion battery development, we have accumulated more data, and that’s why we were first to market with a 30 kWh battery.

200,000 EVs sold worldwide. Zero accidents due to battery problems.

Because EV batteries compactly store a huge amount of energy, safeguards in case of accident are critical. At Nissan we divide EV safety into three categories – mechanical, electrical and thermal – and we examine all kinds of driving situations and the type of accidents that could occur in each. We undertake R&D to ensure safety in each category. For example, we conduct stringent tests to learn how well a battery withstands shock from a collision, what it takes to keep a battery from overheating, and if heat is generated whether our safeguards will prevent the battery from igniting. As the result of ongoing R&D based on accumulated test data, we can proudly say that after five years and more than 200,000 units sold worldwide, Nissan LEAF has never had an accident due to a battery problem.”

Nissan Module battery crush test

Nissan Module battery crush test

Nissan Battery pack drop test

Nissan Battery pack drop test

Nissan LEAF Internal structure image

Nissan LEAF Internal structure image

“Q: Please explain some of the advances provided by this new 30 kWh battery .

Big increase in driving range to 280 km* on one charge.

With 25% more storage capacity than our previous largest 24 kWh, this new battery extends driving range on a full charge to around 280 km (174 miles).Yet despite the higher capacity, it only takes about 30 minutes to rapid-charge the battery to 80% capacity. That would give you about 200 km (124 miles)of driving distance. This higher capacity greatly expands the range of activities drivers can plan for.
*JC08 mode

Guaranteed 160,000 km over 8 years.*

EV batteries face heavy load demands due to the huge amount of energy they transfer when used and recharged. This is why technology must continually advance for optimal performance and safety. In developing our new 30 kWh battery, we reevaluated the materials used inside the cell to improve durability. As a result, we were able to extend our guarantee from 100,000 km (62,137 miles) over five years to 160,000 km (99,419 miles) over eight years.
*The gurarantee varies depending on the country

More electricity storage capacity makes a significant home power supply

Batteries designed to power automobiles have the capacity and durability to serve as power supplies for homes, too. The increase in storage capacity to 30 kWh makes significantly more electricity available.

Q: In the five years since LEAF was launched, battery capacity has risen to 30 kWh. What developments might we expect to see in the near future?

600 km* range on 1 charge is no fantasy.

We know of many materials that have the potential to advance lithium-ion battery performance. Nissan is conducting R&D on materials that we think will increase capacity and reduce internal resistance, which will shorten charging time. Our goal is to achieve driving range of 600 km* on one rapid charge – performance that exceeds the range of a typical compact car on one tank of fuel. This is a point where EV performance may trigger a dramatic transformation in the role of cars in society. It has taken Nissan just five years to bring a 30 kWh battery to market. This fact, I think, suggests that EV evolution will occur much faster than many people expect.
*JC08 mode

Optimal power output equivalent to 280 horsepower

30 kWh is the unit of electrical energy the battery stores. It’s peak power output is 200 kW, or
approximately 280 horsepower. This puts Nissan LEAF in the same category as elite sports cars.
Although energy efficiency is a key appeal of EVs, drivers also care about power output – for instance,
the car’s acceleration from 0 – 100km/h (60 mph). Instantaneous power output is hindered by internal
battery resistance, which we are working to resolve. Technologies we develop to resolve this issue
may end up being applied not only to EVs but also to hybrids, plug-in hybrids and others.”

Well, the 200 kW power rating from the 30 kWh battery sounds like nearly 6.7C discharge, which is great, but car is driven by electric motor and peak output in case of LEAF stands at 80 kW so we feel that the comparison to sports cars is misleading (at least until LEAF will not receive a 200 kW motor).

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61 responses to "Nissan: 600 km (370 miles) Range On A Single Charge Is No Fantasy"

  1. leafowner says:

    Fine — so now let’s get something on the market….

    1. RexxSee says:

      +1 Stop the marketing babble and build those f*** long range cars!

      1. Brave Lil' Toaster says:

        Dude, that’s engineering babble. See, Engineers are also strongly bound by law to develop solutions that are *safe* as well as technically feasible.

        So they test, and they test, and they test, and they test. And then they go back and fix things to make sure they don’t break when they test. Then they test some more.

        That’s why it takes a long time.

        So I’m sorry if you can’t get exactly what you want, exactly when you want it, purely because you want it. Stop being such a damn baby.

    2. evcarnut says:

      These Jokers Make laugh ! They have convinced themselves that the “COMPETITION IS SLEEPING” 0nly f00ls would make such assumptions . People that think like that, Have always come Last! WAKE UP NISSAN! Tesla Has been Building Cars & a CHARGING INFRASTRUCTURE “””hellow””” THAT WILL LEAVE YOU & THE REST. “IN THEIR DUST”!…ON THAT ALONE , YOU WILL LOSE SALES TO TESLA! POMPASS F00LS!

      1. kubel says:

        Model X was unveiled in February 2012. First deliveries started in September 2015. That’s ~43 months, and they already had a platform and drivetrain ready from the Model S. Compare to Nissan LEAF: First unveiled in August 2009. First deliveries were made in December 2010. That’s ~16 months. Nissan plays its cards close- with deliveries happening very quickly after reveal.

        Nissan Sway was revealed in March 2015, and was considered to be the first Gen-2 LEAF concept. IDS was revealed later in October 2015. If we go by reputation, Nissan will have the new 2017 LEAF out by somewhere between July 2016 and February 2017, which makes the anticipated Q4 delivery date right on target with its past history.

        Model 3, on the other hand, won’t be revealed until the end of the month. We are looking at Q4 2019 if they live up to their reputation. If they can live up to Nissan’s tight reputation, we are looking at Q4 of 2017, one year behind everyone else.

        Either way you look at it, Tesla will be taking third place.

        1. 500 miles says:

          Circumstances are quite different from the rolling out of Model S and X. They gained much expérience, they now have factories, they have the programming, the robots, the press, the GigaFactory ready. The challenge is not developing the market ready cars, it’s only with the scaling up and the pile of cash they need and get from X/S sales.
          So basing the release of Model 3 on the previous releases from a beginning car company is quite frankly unrealistic.

        2. JH says:

          Tesla already, by a wide margin, have first place Now they simply expands on that. So far Tesla have been without competition.

        3. LOL says:

          Don’t feed the loonies

      2. AlphaEdge says:

        Please don’t hold back. Tell us how you really feel.

      3. EV I happen to own a 2014 Leaf and have found it to be very reliable and dependable vehicle. It is rare that I need a vehicle to do more than about 90 miles. Yes I would buy a longer range vehicle but only to eliminate range any anxiety. Tesla is a good product but not everyone wants to spend large amounts of time driving. How often do you travel distances of several hundred miles where a QC infrastructure would make a difference? For long distances I suggest you try a new invention called air travel or more commonly known as an airplane.

        1. Long Trips says:

          Some people like to drive to their locations. My Partner and I drive all the time. 1600km – 3200km is nothing for us to cover in a trip. So long range and access to fast chargers is a very real need!

  2. Mxs says:

    Sounds like a great battery in a mediocre car …. I personally would never buy a Nissan, unless they learn how to properly calibrate steering, and make chassis behave in cars other than designated as sports car. Toyota belongs to the same group.

    They simply produce cars for people who necessarily do not enjoy driving and appreciate how a car drives, but only care to get from point A to point B and manage to not look fun much either.

    I realize there’s a huge market for them out there and they certainly are good at that.

    1. R.S. says:

      Have you ever heard about the Nissan GTR? I guess Nissan could, if they wanted to.

      1. evcarnut says:

        Yea! Go Buy 0ne!

        1. Aaron says:

          Mxs is just trolling. He obviously hasn’t driven a modern Nissan. Even the LEAF can handle if you put sticky tires (vs. fuel efficient tires) as Car & Driver found out. They got 0.98g out of a LEAF with nothing but a tire swap.

          1. Mxs says:

            I think you are trolling. Try put more reading comprehension into your effort. I was not talking about g-force and one particular exercise, as pointed out by you. You are clueless as far as what driving balance and feedback is.

            You are probably one of those guys who think that people spend extra money for Audi or BMW or Tesla S for that matter, just together the batch. There are people who appreciate how a car responds when asked to o something.

            Nissan is guilty here, as much as Toyota, Hyundai … Sure they work, but it’s not the same unless you think everything is about how much g force can you get through one turn …

      2. sven says:

        Don’t forget the Nissan 370Z.

        1. Mxs says:

          I know, but I said “other than designated as sports cars” which coupe 370z definitely is.

          BTW … I know they can do it, the just don’t … Because they cater to a market where people have no clue which car is good handling and which is not. It’s all about feature/price silliness.

          I would not take Leaf even for free, truth to be told. Maybe when I am old fart …

    2. RexxSee says:

      The Leaf is fine, not a Tesla though, but way better than the Sentra.

      1. Mxs says:

        How do you figure???

  3. R.S. says:

    I hope when they finally come up with the next gen Leaf, with those 200-250 miles of range they don’t forget those 200kW. Maybe at least as a AWD option of two 100kW motors (or even better: put those two motors at the back axel), that might really become a fun little car!

  4. DanCar says:

    Too much fantasy, dreaming of the future. Anyone can put a big heavy battery in a car. Issues include cost, size and weight.

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Exactly. Any competent auto maker’s engineers could produce a 600 km concept car EV, simply by stuffing a lot of batteries into the car. But that wouldn’t have the slightest impact on what real-world driving range the next generation Leaf will have. An actual mass produced car has to be made with cost as a consideration, whereas a concept car doesn’t.

      Putting an outsized battery pack into an EV is a stunt, not an engineering achievement. German battery maker DBM got a lot of attention by stuffing a lot of batteries into an Audi A2, and driving it 605 kilometers to support their claim of a breakthrough in high energy density, low priced batteries suitable for EVs.

      But DBM’s actual production Kolibri battery, when they started selling it, was aimed mainly at the stationary storage market, not the EV market at all, and it certainly didn’t sell at the incredibly low price they had claimed. So as I said: That’s just a stunt.

      http://www.autoblog.com/2010/10/27/converted-audi-a2-claims-new-electric-vehicle-distance-record-3/

  5. Bob Nickson says:

    “Since we were ahead of the game in lithium-ion battery development, we have accumulated more data, and that’s why we were first to market with a 30 kWh battery.”

    I’m a bit baffled by this claim. Tesla’s smallest battery was 40kWh more than 4 years before the 30kWh LEAF.

    What am I missing

    1. iwatson says:

      Haven’t you ever said something that didn’t represent the truth, but “technically” wasn’t a lie. They are the first to use a 30kwh battery. That is a true statement, never mind that Tesla has put a larger battery in their car. Never mind that Chevrolet has pre-production Bolt EV’s with a larger battery, and will be on the market in a few months.

      1. x says:

        kia soul ev is also 30kwh

        1. Brandon says:

          Actually it’s 27 kWh for the Kia Soul EV.

          1. arne-nl says:

            27 kWh is usable capacity. In the EV world, battery sizes are mostly stated as nominal capacity.

        2. arne-nl says:

          30.5 kWh, according to Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kia_Soul_EV

          😀

      2. Ken says:

        My Mini E had a 35kwh battery in 2009 but who’s counting. I think its great that Nissan put a 30 kWh pack in the 2016 models. If i didnt just get out of a 2012 SV to buy a 2015 S, id be thinking about a 2016 with the larger pack. At this point, even though ive had 3 Leafs with no problems, its time for a Model 3 on Thursday. I hope to drive my 15 Leaf S until 2018 or 2019 when i can finally get my Model 3. Im used to the waiting game though, i put down $99 for a Leaf in April 2010 and didn’t get it until January 2012.

    2. pk says:

      Technically the smallest battery Tesla made is the 60 KWh. The 40 KWh were software limited versions of the 60 KWh.

      1. Dragon says:

        Super technically, the smallest battery Tesla has put in a car is 53 kWh in the Roadster.

        1. pk says:

          Touché

        2. 18kWh… Smart ED.

    3. Nemo says:

      Perhaps he considers existing Teslas to be in a different market (luxury)?

  6. Someone out there says:

    Yes it is until they actually deliver it!

  7. evcarnut says:

    You’re not missing a thing! …Nissan is the one sleeping at the switch..

  8. Big Solar says:

    Tesla 90D does 443 miles on a single charge at 45 mph. Thats with no ac or heat.

  9. scott franco says:

    I’d prefer the range improvements stop at 200 miles (50kWh), and work on the charging time instead.

    If you had a car that would go 1000 miles, but 50kW charging speed max, it would take forever to charge and be functionally useless as a touring car.

    1. Scott, it sounds like you are one of the few that want to drive 2,000 – 3,000 miles almost non stop! Most car drivers are topping at about 450 to 600 miles a day!

      If you drive 1,000 miles or 1,600 Kms, at 60 Mph/100 Kph non stop, you are driving about 16 hours staight! You have incrdible bladder stamina, compared to most people!

      However, bumping range up from 100 miles to 200 miles within the next couple years allows a chance for DC QC to get caught up a bit with needs, before the average EV reaches 300 miles range, probably another 6-8 or more years out, and really starts to have charging needs exceed the 100 to 120 kW ratings Tesla mostly has installed. (By then [10 years from now], Tesla will likely have 150 – 180+ kW fast charging and 350 – 400 miles top range, if not more!)

      What might be a more important develolment, is that the current designs of Multi-Standard DC QC’s that offer CCS + CHAdeMO, be upgraded to be able to operate, not just ONE, but BOTH ports simultaneously at 50 kW, OR a Single Port at 100 kW! (A bit like Tesla Supercharger A & B ports at their stations do.)

      Since some of the newer cars being announced have some evidence of being able to use 100 kW (Soul EV – CHAdeMO, & Hyundai IONIC – CCS), but most current non Tesla EV’s still only fast cgarge to 50 kW, this update would be the best balance for new chargers, giving them a stronger “Future Proof” validity!

      1. Philip d says:

        I think you may have misinterpreted what Scott was saying. He agrees with you that an EV doesn’t need 1000 miles range but that 200 would be sufficient as long as charging is fast.

    2. EV-man says:

      Charge speed increases proportionally with pack size for a given chemistry. Basically a 60 kWh pack can be thought of simply as two 30 kWh packs that are charged in parallel. (In reality the pack consists of hundreds of cells, more of which means greater capacity.)

      So a big pack doesn’t just let you go farther between stops, but also recharge more range per minute.

      Lowering the internal resistance of the individual cells requires modifying the chemistry. This continues to improve a few percent per year. And lower resistance means even higher efficiency – less of the energy wasted as heat during charge/discharge. That means you can either charge faster or damage the battery less or a bit of both.

      I think if we get chargers at every gas station the sweet spot would be something like this for mainstream cars:

      85 kWh battery pack
      300 mi EPA range
      200 kW chargers

      I’m guessing this might be achievable by 2025.

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        EV-man said:

        “Lowering the internal resistance of the individual cells requires modifying the chemistry. This continues to improve a few percent per year.”

        Actually, the internal charging resistance in rechargeable li-ion cells is around 98-99%. What improves at about 7-8% per year, on average, is energy density (the amount of energy per pound or per cubic centimeter the battery will hold), and about the same drop in price.

        There have been laboratory demonstrations of batteries with significantly lower charging/discharging resistance; batteries which can charge 5x or 10x faster. (I’ve even seen a claim of 1000x faster, but I’m guessing that was just theoretical.) Such battery cells usually have electrodes coated with carbon nanotubes or graphene, which vastly expands the surface area of those electrodes, and thereby greatly reduces the electrical resistance.

        But nobody has yet put that kind of tech into commercially produced batteries.

  10. Lad says:

    When I bought my 2011 Leaf, Nissan claimed it was a 100 mile range…turned out to be more like 60 miles range at 60 mph…now down to 50 miles at best at 24,000 miles and five years later. Plus they don’t offer upgraded batteries for the older model Leafs. In effect screwing their customers who supported their efforts in EVs

    I’m calling B. S. on this whole ad.

    Nissan’s had five years to improve their battery and all we’ve gotten is press releases about how you don’t really need the range and fantasy articles about NISMO products that don’t exist.

    1. EV-man says:

      I partly agree with the sentiments you express 😉 but wonder if you sold your Leaf..?

      Tho bit you’re definitely right about is that Nissan has been happily using far too optimistic numbers for range and not bothered to make it clear to customers that ALL range numbers are basically just indexes. You can compare cars that use the same indeed to get some indication of their relative range, but real world range varies a LOT, even within normal conditions (I.e. excluding race track and economy rally).

      Giving a false impression of the product is sufficient to screw the customer over, so I can’t quarrel with that.

      However, I do think it’s unreasonable to expect Nissan to offer battery upgrades unless they think doing so is profitable. Clearly they don’t, yet, and so they haven’t, yet. Maybe they will some day, maybe they won’t. I’m guessing they won’t, and that they are right not to.

      My Leaf’s range is sometimes a frustration, but usually I don’t need more. If I found I did need more I’d drive a conventional car while still advocating EVs and save for a Bolt or a Model 3. Nissan deserve some credit for their role in making EVs real. Their CEO has been very clear about the need for EVs and their strategy of developing for the main market first. Watch his keynote from this year’s New York auto show. For Nissan, the most important thing is to mass produce EVs for China and India. That happens to be what the world benefits most from as well. With Tesla going for the same thing from the other end we’ve got two actors who both make a very important contribution and complement one another.

      I guess what I’m trying to say is either accept that there is a price to pay being an early adopter, or close not to be one and wait a few years until an EV that meets our exceeds your needs is available at a price you’re willing to pay. 🙂

      1. Lad says:

        Nope, if you drive at highway speeds, 65 mph, the range is lousy. I drive no faster than 55 mph, don’t run the air or heater, coast and use regen braking…using the techniques of hypermiling when possible. So, I’m not even driving the car normal…more like subnormal.

        My assessment is Nissan didn’t and may never have the vision to support EVs in the marketplace as witnessed by their poor planning in utilizing the progression of battery technology. BMW does get it and has planned well by implementing battery standards that allow for upgrades across their entire product line.

        Nissan has created a grouping of Leafs with the lowest resale value in the market because there’s no significant upgrade path other than the original mileage range batteries and when one must replace the battery, it makes little sense to play more for the battery then the car is worth. I blame myself for picking the wrong car maker and I won’t make that mistake again.

        My next car will be a Tesla 3, manufactured by a carmaker that understands EVs and the customers who buy them…a Nissan, nevermore.

        1. Aaron says:

          Your statement that they don’t have replacement batteries for your older model LEAF is incorrect. Nissan sells an adapter for the 2011-2012 models to use the new “lizard” battery pack.

          1. david_cary says:

            And to be fair, the battery is better now. I have a perfectly good 2013. I certainly go farther than 60 miles at 65. And i have 32k miles…

            I’d get another Leaf for sure but it certainly isn’t a perfect car. Even the S isn’t perfect. Maybe the 3, $1000 in case…

    2. Ken says:

      My 2012 could go 100 miles on a charge but not on the highway. My 2015 is a lot better. I was able to go 102 miles the other day and it was all on the highway. At the max speed limit 55 mph. Ive even been able to go 84 miles towing my Jet Ski on a trailer. Maybe you can slow down a little and go a lot further. You did put 50 psi in your tires too right? And you are driving in eco?
      About the upgrade from Nissan for the battery, you can buy the new 2015 “Lizard” pack like i have for $5500 from your local Nissan dealer. There is an adaptor harness you have to purchase to put the newer pack into a 2011 or 2012 Leaf but i believe its only $150. I am surprised you are having trouble with such low mileage on your car. My 2012 had 64,000 miles and only lost two bars, the first at 60,000. And it was still able to make the 65 mile round trip to work everyday. My 2015 has 23,000 miles already and has shown no loss in range at all. Overall, im impressed with the 3 Leafs ive had.

      1. arne-nl says:

        ” My 2012 had 64,000 miles and only lost two bars”

        I wonder why you’re impressed with ‘only’ two bars after 64k miles and 4 years. My Zoe (from Nissan’s partner Renault) has lost nothing after 80k km and almost 3 years. Maybe it is 1 or 2 percent, but nothing measurable. And they say capacity loss is highest in the beginning, slowing down later. Which bodes very well for the batteries in the Zoe.

        If there is something that Nissan should do is ditch their cherished 20+ years of battery knowledge and simply go for whatever Renault is putting in the Zoe.

        The one thing that I have been doing to extend battery life is ‘late charging’. I always used the timer to charge the car early in the morning, right before I leave for work. That way, the battery has never been sitting 100% charged for extended periods of time. Lithium ion batteries don’t like that.

        1. Ken says:

          By my math 80,000 km is not even 50,000 miles. I didnt lose the first bar until 60,000 miles and then the second at 64,000 miles. My new 2015 has not lost any measurable capacity so thats why i am impressed. I’m realistic and don’t expect any battery pack to last more than 80-100k miles. I remember when a car reached 100k miles, we used to junk them and get a new car. Times have changed. Let me know how your Zoe fares when you get some more miles (kms) on it. My 64,000 was done in just 2.5 years. It got totaled in an accident before it was even 3 years old.

  11. Fabian says:

    blah blah blah.. no new car. goodbye.

  12. Warren M says:

    For how smooth and refined the LEAF rides, the handling is pretty decent. C&D just did tire changes, and had the LEAF out cornering many sports car. The were comparing it to the Porsche 911 Carrera. See the article.
    Is 100,000 Tesla Model 3 Reservations Possible In First 24 Hours?

    1. EV-man says:

      Link please?

      1. Warren M says:

        Sorry, didn’t know where that link came from, here is the Nissan LEAF handling/tire test:

        http://www.caranddriver.com/features/the-nearly-10-g-nissan-leaf-getting-an-ev-to-grip-like-a-911-feature

        1. Mxs says:

          It’s a grip/tire test … Not a car test.

    2. ModernMarvelFan says:

      “A barely disguised racing slick, the R1 sneaks by the DOT by virtue of two shallow grooves in its tread. It’s technically legal but not a tire we’d use on the street. The R1 is a hothouse flower: It demands quite a bit of heat to generate maximum hold, has no interest in gripping a wet surface, an”

      That is the tires they used to achieve that g rating which is still meaningless as far as “handling” is considered.

      *sigh*, EV fan often don’t understand anything with respect to car’s performance metric.

      BTW, how many of range do you think those gripy tires will give the LEAF?

      IMO, I bet it will be less than 40 miles.

  13. jamcl3 says:

    I heard the drop test in that photo is no longer required by the standards, it is too difficult. I wonder if they still do it anyway? The video I saw of a drop test was impressive. I think it is done out on the explosives test range just in case.

  14. Jose says:

    One solution for the range anxiety with EV’s is to adapt a range extender hauler when planning a long trip. For around $5,000 invested in a separate 20 kw battery kit you can set up an adapter that could give you around 80 more miles to your EV . A Nissan Leaf with 80 miles range can go 160 with the hauler. I am planning to go ahead with this idea pretty soon.

  15. Kuk says:

    Blah blah 600 km blah blah. Stop talking start selling.