Nissan LEAF “Real Owners. Real Answers” Q & A Site Is Extraordinary

APR 3 2014 BY ERIC LOVEDAY 20

Nissan LEAF Q & A Site

Nissan LEAF Q & A Site

Recently, Nissan launched what we believe to be the most well thought out, informative electric vehicle site ever put forth by an automaker.  (Understanding of course that it is just that; so if you are looking for the replacement cost of the car’s 24 kWh battery pack – you’re not going to find it)

The site, a Q&A format focused on “Real Owners. Real Answers,” allows visitors to ask questions related to the LEAF and get algorithmically filtered comments from owners.

Digital agency Critical Mass is responsible for this extraordinary site, which gets populated with crowdsourced videos, images and text responses.

As Media Post states:

“Organized as a live-tile page, the site has about 500 quotes, 200 images and original and (eventually) crowdsourced video footage. The first of the latter  features a Leaf owner in Hawaii. He drives to Maui’s Haleakala Volcano to catch the sunrise, and then charges the vehicle simply by driving back down using regenerative braking.”

“Mike Awdish, senior manager of interactive marketing at the Franklin, Tenn.-based Nissan U.S.A., tells Marketing Daily that the site is populated with archived answers to an array of questions Nissan put to Leaf owners via social media, and that Nissan’s contribution are asides to elucidate whatever jargon an owner might throw out there.”

Quoting Awdish:

“Our owners are great evangelists for the product, and they were excited to do this. They really aren’t shy about input on how to market the car. So while we have featured them in advertising, we felt there were opportunities to include them in a bigger way.”

The consensus among the InsideEVs staff is that Nissan has knocked it out of the ballpark introducing the LEAF (and EV ownership in general) with this Q & A site.  We applaud Nissan’s effort to highlight LEAF owners and to focus on the reality of owning an electric vehicle in the real world.

Check out the new Nissan LEAF “Real Owners. Real Answers” site by following this link and then let us know what you think of it in Comments below.

LEAF Questions and Answers

LEAF Questions and Answers

Charging a LEAF From a Volcano?

Charging a LEAF From a Volcano?

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20 Comments on "Nissan LEAF “Real Owners. Real Answers” Q & A Site Is Extraordinary"

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Cold weather performance has to be a top three FAQ issue for EV’s. The website scores poorly, when “cold”, “winter” and “temperature”, or questions using these keywords with others, like “range”, fail to address what happens.

The responses I got were way off the mark. Perhaps one contains somewhat of an answer, but perhaps by then the shopper moves on with their preconceptions.

+1 pjwood. This is a question that is going to be asked or should be asked. I also tried to type key questions about the battery chemistry/longevity/warranty/life expectancy and got nothing.
The website design is really nice and the concept is right on. No ICE or EV can do everything in every category. The LEAF is a great design though I would have spent just a little more on thermal management of the currently available batteries. I feel that in five more years the LEAF will give a bad name to the industry’s ability to manage the current chemistry an will reflect on all designs. Anyway, the point being this Q&A site could take the opportunity to educate on these issues.

You can be sure the answer are scrubbed related to battery life.

I laughed at all the responses claiming that people can drive 80+ miles on a charge. They obviously don’t drive much on the highways and have a brand new car – not to mention live in an area where and the weather is nice. My 3-yo LEAF only does 40 miles on a 80% charge to the first low battery warning with a mix of freeway 65-70 mph driving and surface streets. A 100% charge adds about 12 miles to that number, which puts me just over 52 miles to the first low battery warning. It can still be stretched to 65 miles on a charge, but you have to be willing to take it down to the 2nd low battery warning (< 5 miles remaining) and drive very gently. When it was new it would do 65-70 miles under the same conditions to the first low battery warning. Only expected to see half this amount of capacity loss or less at this point in time according to Nissan's guidance on capacity loss. Other than the rate of capacity loss, the car is as expected. If Nissan can fix this and compensate early adopters, they may get some good will… Read more »

I did not find anything suitable for questions about changing a tire, flat tire, accident, or crash experience. This is definitely a marketing site rather than an information site.

I would think because these issues are constant from one car to the next. This site is for Qs people have related to the EV experience.

I typed in the word “safety” and the site produced zero relevant information. While it’s not specific to EVs, as a consumer, I’d like to know one car compares to other cars in it’s weight class for safety before I buy one. Not are cars are created equal when it comes to safety.

Besides, I heard that electric cars are unsafe. Their batteries have a problem catching on fire, this would never happen had I been driving an ICE vehicle. /s

http://insideevs.com/tesla-model-s-catches-fire-in-toronto-garage-ev-was-not-plugged-in/

I can’t tell if your making a point as to the need for more information on the site or if your just ignorant to the fact that about 200,000 ICE powered cars burn each year.

1. I don’t like sites that are *not* designated video sites, and start playing a video automatically. This makes them, e.g., NSFW by definition.

2. If Nissan is so proud of its EVangelist drivers (me included), then it better put up – and quickly – a clear A to the biggest Q of them all:

When is the >100 mile Leaf coming out?

The first wave of lease-returns is already beginning. Other options are becoming available. If those EVangelist drivers leave the Leaf for something else – then Nissan will have no one but themselves to blame.

Well, I’m one of those who turned in a 2011 Leaf. I SERIOUSLY considered several other options. But in the end the Leaf really had the best product. Its the only car sold around here in DF/W that has fast-charge capability and a network of fast chargers that are compatible with it. It has a great price tag compared to the rest, and no compromises on seating room or cargo area. The range is average or maybe a little better than average.

Right. And if they issue a >100 mile Leaf sooner rather than later, they make the decision much easier for people like you and me. Given the laws of large numbers – the harder the decisions, the more of us they lose. My lease is coming up this summer. If they don’t have a >100 mile timeline by then, we might go to a 5-seater PHEV instead. I can envision other Leaf first-timers preferring EREVs like the Volt or REx i3 as their next car, going cheaper to a Smart or MiEV (it, too, uses ChaDeMo) – or dipping into savings and getting a Model S, even a used one. In 2011 the Leaf was the only game in town except a considerably more expensive Volt (Fed rebate considered). Now it’s not. Also, don’t forget that at that time, there was Nissan’s word that this is a 100-mile EV, backed by all government evaluations *except* the EPA which said 73 miles. I am proud that it’s the US EPA that gets it right. But it means that a great many of the first wave of buyers thought they were getting a 100-mile machine. Most of us have learned to love… Read more »

I doubt Leaf battery 2.0 will be available this summer. Have you considered extending your lease for a while?

Count me in the same boat, although my lease is up next summer. I think it’s more likely that the 2016 Leaf will have a range bump than the 2015, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised if it wasn’t realized until the MY17. At the same time, I wouldn’t be surprised if the MY17 didn’t come out until March 2017 (a la MY13). Unless the 2015 Leaf is a big surprise with a 150 mile option, I will probably extend my lease a few months until I know what the 2016 will bring.

A simple Q & A website would have been much more effective.

“if you are looking for the replacement cost of the car’s 24 kWh battery pack – you’re not going to find it”

It’s about $5000, according to a couple of Nissan repair shops that have their replacement parts costs online.

Just in case you were wondering.

Oh, and just for reference… at those same places the cost to replace the engine in an Altima is around $10,000.

Not that you’d ever really have to do that, unless something serious happened to the car, in which case it’s write-off time.

I’m surprised Nissan hasn’t started putting a bigger pack in these cars or at least offer it as an option.

I think OEM’s are scared of 300-500 mile packs because of recharge times?

Take a F-350 and put enough pack in it for 1,000 miles. It could be done. Run some math on the recharge time at 110v and 220v.

Ok, lets start with your scenario: a vehicle that gets traditionally half the mileage (F150) and has a 1000 mile range. Around a 550 kwh battery or thereabouts.

Let’s assume a 120 volt plug in (1.4kw)

will yield 50 miles per 24 hour charge.

Granted that’s not much. OK so lets try a 7.2 kw charger that gives around 90 miles per 8 hour charge.
This is much more like it, assuming the typical driver drives this truck around 30 miles per day. He gains 60 more miles every single 8 hour charge period, even more if he can leave it plugged in longer.

IF batteries ever got sufficiently large, it would not be necessary to fully recharge them every day, only, is there enough juice for the next day’s expected travel?

Since most of us don’t make 1000 mile road trips often, the intervening time will be enough to allow the battery charge to recoop. Hence a standard 30 amp charger is just fine.

Thank you, Bill! This is what I’ve been trying to tell people as well.

So if that person were to drive 1000 miles once a month, it would take him about 17 days to fully recover the battery – and that’s with only charging at home, for 8 hours/day. 8 hours/day is low – most people sleep that long, meaning they’re typically home for 10-12 hours every day.

With 10 hours/day at 7.2kW, he would get 112 miles/day. This would net him 82 miles extra, and only take 12 days to fill his battery.

The problem simply becomes one of marketing/education. It is not a real problem.

Eric, I wouldn’t call it extraordinary. More like disappointing. I asked how long my battery would last and got… nothing. Didn’t need to know how to recharge my Leaf from a volcano.