Nissan Leaf, Chevy Volt Range Loss In Winter: New Data From Canada
2012 Nissan Leaf winter test
Just in time for the holiday-feast season, we now have published charts that detail the effect of cold weather on the battery range of Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt electric cars.
Think "range shrinkage".
The data comes courtesy of FleetCarma, the Canadian company whose app MyCarma tracks vehicle operation for fleet managers and a small number of private owners as well.
Data from FleetCarma on Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Volt battery range variation with temperature
Batteries and drivers like 70 degrees F
The firm compiled data from more than 7,000 Nissan Leaf trips to determine how temperature affected the cars' real-world range.
And the data includes drivers using cabin heat in the winter, and air conditioning in the summer--as they tend to do in actual use.
As FleetCarma notes, the "Goldilocks zone" (just right) for maximum range seems to be 60 to 75 degrees F (15 to 24 degrees C).
Lithium-ion battery chemistries lose performance at the same temperature extremes where driver preferences to stay around 70 degrees come into play.
Fast degradation of the air-cooled Nissan Leaf battery pack in a small number of extremely high-temperature locations, especially Phoenix, Arizona, is leading the world's highest-volume electric-car company toward deploying a more heat-tolerant battery chemistry as early as April 2014.
Data from FleetCarma on Chevrolet Volt electric-car battery range variation with temperature
Fewer Volt data points