Why is the Nissan Leaf so heavy?

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Why is the Nissan Leaf so heavy?

Larry Gales
I understand that the Nissan Leaf weighs about 3500 lbs.  It is based on he
Nissan Versa  hatchback which weighs about 2700 lbs.  Now I understand that
the battery plus the charger and motor controller (inverter) come to about
600 lbs.  However, the electric motor should weigh significantly less than
the gasoline motor, and it needs no transmission, starter motor, muffler,
catalytic converter, etc.    So we should have 2700 + 600 - difference in
engine weight - transmission weight - other weights. So i would suspect that
it should weigh around 3000 lbs.  Where does the extra weight come in?

Thanks,

  -- Larry Gales



--
Larry Gales
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Re: Why is the Nissan Leaf so heavy?

NevynPA
I can't give a guaranteed answer, but heres my thoughts:

The electric motor and controller may be lighter than a gas engine,
but the regular Versa wasn't designed to handle the weight of
passengers, cargo, AND a six hundred pound battery pack. They probably
had to stiffen/strengthen the frame by adding more metal to it, as
well as use heavier suspension components to carry the extra weight.
GVWR's on the two are probably quite different.

On Saturday, February 5, 2011, Larry Gales <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I understand that the Nissan Leaf weighs about 3500 lbs.  It is based on he
> Nissan Versa  hatchback which weighs about 2700 lbs.  Now I understand that
> the battery plus the charger and motor controller (inverter) come to about
> 600 lbs.  However, the electric motor should weigh significantly less than
> the gasoline motor, and it needs no transmission, starter motor, muffler,
> catalytic converter, etc.    So we should have 2700 + 600 - difference in
> engine weight - transmission weight - other weights. So i would suspect that
> it should weigh around 3000 lbs.  Where does the extra weight come in?
>
> Thanks,
>
>   -- Larry Gales
>
>
>
> --
> Larry Gales
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Re: Why is the Nissan Leaf so heavy?

erik
In reply to this post by Larry Gales
I just test-drove the LEAF, and I was told that the 24 kWh Laminated
Li-Ion Manganese battery weighed 900 pounds and was mounted under the
floor for excellent stability and cornering.

~ Erik
  KlnAir4U


-------- Original Message --------
Subject: [EVDL] Why is the Nissan Leaf so heavy?
From: Larry Gales <[hidden email]>
Date: Sat, February 05, 2011 2:51 am
To: SEVA <[hidden email]>, Electric Vehicle Discussion List
<[hidden email]>

I understand that the Nissan Leaf weighs about 3500 lbs. It is based on
he
Nissan Versa hatchback which weighs about 2700 lbs. Now I understand
that
the battery plus the charger and motor controller (inverter) come to
about
600 lbs. However, the electric motor should weigh significantly less
than
the gasoline motor, and it needs no transmission, starter motor,
muffler,
catalytic converter, etc. So we should have 2700 + 600 - difference in
engine weight - transmission weight - other weights. So i would suspect
that
it should weigh around 3000 lbs. Where does the extra weight come in?

Thanks,

 -- Larry Gales



--
Larry Gales
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Re: Why is the Nissan Leaf so heavy?

NeilBlanchard
In reply to this post by Larry Gales
Hello,

> I understand that the Nissan Leaf weighs about 3500 lbs.  It is based on he
> Nissan Versa  hatchback which weighs about 2700 lbs.  Now I understand that
> the battery plus the charger and motor controller (inverter) come to about
> 600 lbs.  However, the electric motor should weigh significantly less than
> the gasoline motor, and it needs no transmission, starter motor, muffler,
> catalytic converter, etc.    So we should have 2700 + 600 - difference in
> engine weight - transmission weight - other weights. So i would suspect that
> it should weigh around 3000 lbs.  Where does the extra weight come in?


The Versa is similar to the Leaf, but is not the same chassis.  The Leaf is longer and wider and taller than the Versa:

Versa is 169.1" long, 102.4" wheelbase, 66.7" wide with ~58.5" track, and is 60.4" high
Leaf is 175" long, 106.3" wheelbase, 69.7" wide with ~60.6"  track, and is 61" high.

The track width difference in particular means that it is a different chassis.

Weight is important, but mostly for stop and go traffic.  Weight does make it better coasting (more kinetic energy), so you can regain energy used to accelerate.  And there is regenerative braking to regain some of the energy "invested" in weight.

Aerodynamic drag is a total loss; and therefor is much more important to low energy consumption.  Even at 35-40MPH, the energy lost to aerodynamic drag is about 50%, and above 60-65MPH, the loss is about 75% of the total used.

Drivetrain efficiency is the most important, obviously.  The Versa is 28/34MPG, while the Leaf is 106/92MPGe.  So, despite it's added weight, the electric drivetrain and slightly better aero make it ~3X more efficient.

Sincerely, Neil
http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/


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Re: Why is the Nissan Leaf so heavy?

Cor van de Water
In reply to this post by erik
That does not seem to be correct...
Let's see: 24kWh in 900 lbs (405kg) is 59 Wh/kg.
Typical Li-Ion is 100-250 Wh/kg and of course this
does not include the battery box, so that may be
why the Leaf's battery is heavier than just the
cells, but still it does not sound like the
specific energy is in the right ballpark,
unless they (Hitachi is the source according to Google)
decided to give in on energy in an attempt to create
a very long lasting battery....

My lead pack had a specific energy of 34kWh/1800lbs
= 42 Wh/kg, just to illustrate how low the Leaf's
pack energy is in comparison if the 900 lbs is correct.

Regards,

Cor van de Water
Director HW & Systems Architecture Group
Proxim Wireless Corporation http://www.proxim.com
Email: [hidden email]    Private: http://www.cvandewater.com
Skype: cor_van_de_water     IM: [hidden email]
Tel: +1 408 383 7626        VoIP: +31 20 3987567 FWD# 25925
Tel: +91 (040)23117400 x203 XoIP: +31877841130

-----Original Message-----
From: [hidden email] [mailto:[hidden email]] On
Behalf Of [hidden email]
Sent: Saturday, February 05, 2011 6:00 PM
To: Electric Vehicle Discussion List
Subject: Re: [EVDL] Why is the Nissan Leaf so heavy?

I just test-drove the LEAF, and I was told that the 24 kWh Laminated
Li-Ion Manganese battery weighed 900 pounds and was mounted under the
floor for excellent stability and cornering.

~ Erik
  KlnAir4U


-------- Original Message --------
Subject: [EVDL] Why is the Nissan Leaf so heavy?
From: Larry Gales <[hidden email]>
Date: Sat, February 05, 2011 2:51 am
To: SEVA <[hidden email]>, Electric Vehicle Discussion List
<[hidden email]>

I understand that the Nissan Leaf weighs about 3500 lbs. It is based on
he Nissan Versa hatchback which weighs about 2700 lbs. Now I understand
that the battery plus the charger and motor controller (inverter) come
to about 600 lbs. However, the electric motor should weigh significantly
less than the gasoline motor, and it needs no transmission, starter
motor, muffler, catalytic converter, etc. So we should have 2700 + 600 -
difference in engine weight - transmission weight - other weights. So i
would suspect that it should weigh around 3000 lbs. Where does the extra
weight come in?

Thanks,

 -- Larry Gales



--
Larry Gales
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Re: Why is the Nissan Leaf so heavy?

Willie McKemie
On Sat, Feb 05, 2011 at 11:53:17PM +0530, Cor van de Water wrote:
> That does not seem to be correct...
> Let's see: 24kWh in 900 lbs (405kg) is 59 Wh/kg.
> Typical Li-Ion is 100-250 Wh/kg and of course this
> does not include the battery box, so that may be
> why the Leaf's battery is heavier than just the

Without being prepared to offer a specific reference, I will say that
I've read that the Leaf pack is about 600 lb.  Much more in line with
my 900lb 37kwh pack.

--
Willie, ONWARD!  Through the fog!
http://counter.li.org Linux registered user #228836 since 1995
Debian3.1/GNU/Linux system uptime  146 days 10 hours 51 minutes

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Re: Why is the Nissan Leaf so heavy?

Bill Dube
In reply to this post by Cor van de Water
Lead-acid batteries are typically 30 W-hr/kg or less. What sort of
lead battery pack manages 42 W-hr/kg?


At 11:23 AM 2/5/2011, you wrote:

>That does not seem to be correct...
>Let's see: 24kWh in 900 lbs (405kg) is 59 Wh/kg.
>Typical Li-Ion is 100-250 Wh/kg and of course this
>does not include the battery box, so that may be
>why the Leaf's battery is heavier than just the
>cells, but still it does not sound like the
>specific energy is in the right ballpark,
>unless they (Hitachi is the source according to Google)
>decided to give in on energy in an attempt to create
>a very long lasting battery....
>
>My lead pack had a specific energy of 34kWh/1800lbs
>= 42 Wh/kg, just to illustrate how low the Leaf's
>pack energy is in comparison if the 900 lbs is correct.
>
>Regards,
>
>Cor van de Water
>Director HW & Systems Architecture Group
>Proxim Wireless Corporation http://www.proxim.com
>Email: [hidden email]    Private: http://www.cvandewater.com
>Skype: cor_van_de_water     IM: [hidden email]
>Tel: +1 408 383 7626        VoIP: +31 20 3987567 FWD# 25925
>Tel: +91 (040)23117400 x203 XoIP: +31877841130
>
>-----Original Message-----
>From: [hidden email] [mailto:[hidden email]] On
>Behalf Of [hidden email]
>Sent: Saturday, February 05, 2011 6:00 PM
>To: Electric Vehicle Discussion List
>Subject: Re: [EVDL] Why is the Nissan Leaf so heavy?
>
>I just test-drove the LEAF, and I was told that the 24 kWh Laminated
>Li-Ion Manganese battery weighed 900 pounds and was mounted under the
>floor for excellent stability and cornering.
>
>~ Erik
>   KlnAir4U
>
>
>-------- Original Message --------
>Subject: [EVDL] Why is the Nissan Leaf so heavy?
>From: Larry Gales <[hidden email]>
>Date: Sat, February 05, 2011 2:51 am
>To: SEVA <[hidden email]>, Electric Vehicle Discussion List
><[hidden email]>
>
>I understand that the Nissan Leaf weighs about 3500 lbs. It is based on
>he Nissan Versa hatchback which weighs about 2700 lbs. Now I understand
>that the battery plus the charger and motor controller (inverter) come
>to about 600 lbs. However, the electric motor should weigh significantly
>less than the gasoline motor, and it needs no transmission, starter
>motor, muffler, catalytic converter, etc. So we should have 2700 + 600 -
>difference in engine weight - transmission weight - other weights. So i
>would suspect that it should weigh around 3000 lbs. Where does the extra
>weight come in?
>
>Thanks,
>
>  -- Larry Gales
>
>
>
>--
>Larry Gales
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Re: Why is the Nissan Leaf so heavy?

Larry Gales
In reply to this post by Willie McKemie
My understanding is that the battery itself weighs 440 lbs (which is about
120 wh/kg -- and that sounds about right) and the charger and motor
controller (inverter) adds another 160-200 lbs.  for a total of 600-640 lbs
combined.

-- Larry

On Sat, Feb 5, 2011 at 11:49 AM, Willie McKemie <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Sat, Feb 05, 2011 at 11:53:17PM +0530, Cor van de Water wrote:
> > That does not seem to be correct...
> > Let's see: 24kWh in 900 lbs (405kg) is 59 Wh/kg.
> > Typical Li-Ion is 100-250 Wh/kg and of course this
> > does not include the battery box, so that may be
> > why the Leaf's battery is heavier than just the
>
> Without being prepared to offer a specific reference, I will say that
> I've read that the Leaf pack is about 600 lb.  Much more in line with
> my 900lb 37kwh pack.
>
> --
> Willie, ONWARD!  Through the fog!
> http://counter.li.org Linux registered user #228836 since 1995
> Debian3.1/GNU/Linux system uptime  146 days 10 hours 51 minutes
>
> _______________________________________________
> | REPLYING: address your message to [hidden email] only.
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>



--
Larry Gales
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Re: Why is the Nissan Leaf so heavy?

Cor van de Water
In reply to this post by Bill Dube
Hi Bill,
this was my US Electricar's replacement pack
(with additional battery box to hold 4 of the 26
larger batteries) where original was 52x Hawker 42Ah
(one string on each side of the driveshaft) but which
I converted to single string 110Ah batteries which I
first tested to actually deliver close to 80Ah in a
75A discharge test.
They were spec'ed as 71 lbs but I weighed them at
between 68 and 69 lbs, so almost 1800 lbs for the 26.
110Ah x 312V = 34.3kWh
So this gives 42 Wh/kg.
This is the UB121100 AGM from Universal Power Group.
Made for them by a Chinese factory and stocked in Texas.
Several EV'ers had good experience with these in trucks.
But beware, other EV'ers had bad experience with the smaller
UB12260 (26Ah) variant that is needed for the battery box
that sits under the floor of the US Electricar Prizm.

Regards,

Cor van de Water
Director HW & Systems Architecture Group
Proxim Wireless Corporation http://www.proxim.com
Email: [hidden email]    Private: http://www.cvandewater.com
Skype: cor_van_de_water     IM: [hidden email]
Tel: +1 408 383 7626        VoIP: +31 20 3987567 FWD# 25925
Tel: +91 (040)23117400 x203 XoIP: +31877841130

-----Original Message-----
From: [hidden email] [mailto:[hidden email]] On
Behalf Of Bill Dube
Sent: Sunday, February 06, 2011 3:03 AM
To: Electric Vehicle Discussion List
Subject: Re: [EVDL] Why is the Nissan Leaf so heavy?

Lead-acid batteries are typically 30 W-hr/kg or less. What sort of lead
battery pack manages 42 W-hr/kg?


At 11:23 AM 2/5/2011, you wrote:

>That does not seem to be correct...
>Let's see: 24kWh in 900 lbs (405kg) is 59 Wh/kg.
>Typical Li-Ion is 100-250 Wh/kg and of course this
>does not include the battery box, so that may be
>why the Leaf's battery is heavier than just the
>cells, but still it does not sound like the
>specific energy is in the right ballpark,
>unless they (Hitachi is the source according to Google)
>decided to give in on energy in an attempt to create
>a very long lasting battery....
>
>My lead pack had a specific energy of 34kWh/1800lbs
>= 42 Wh/kg, just to illustrate how low the Leaf's
>pack energy is in comparison if the 900 lbs is correct.
>
>Regards,
>
>Cor van de Water
>Director HW & Systems Architecture Group
>Proxim Wireless Corporation http://www.proxim.com
>Email: [hidden email]    Private: http://www.cvandewater.com
>Skype: cor_van_de_water     IM: [hidden email]
>Tel: +1 408 383 7626        VoIP: +31 20 3987567 FWD# 25925
>Tel: +91 (040)23117400 x203 XoIP: +31877841130
>
>-----Original Message-----
>From: [hidden email] [mailto:[hidden email]] On
>Behalf Of [hidden email]
>Sent: Saturday, February 05, 2011 6:00 PM
>To: Electric Vehicle Discussion List
>Subject: Re: [EVDL] Why is the Nissan Leaf so heavy?
>
>I just test-drove the LEAF, and I was told that the 24 kWh Laminated
>Li-Ion Manganese battery weighed 900 pounds and was mounted under the
>floor for excellent stability and cornering.
>
>~ Erik
>   KlnAir4U
>
>
>-------- Original Message --------
>Subject: [EVDL] Why is the Nissan Leaf so heavy?
>From: Larry Gales <[hidden email]>
>Date: Sat, February 05, 2011 2:51 am
>To: SEVA <[hidden email]>, Electric Vehicle Discussion List
><[hidden email]>
>
>I understand that the Nissan Leaf weighs about 3500 lbs. It is based on
>he Nissan Versa hatchback which weighs about 2700 lbs. Now I understand
>that the battery plus the charger and motor controller (inverter) come
>to about 600 lbs. However, the electric motor should weigh
significantly
>less than the gasoline motor, and it needs no transmission, starter
>motor, muffler, catalytic converter, etc. So we should have 2700 + 600
-
>difference in engine weight - transmission weight - other weights. So i
>would suspect that it should weigh around 3000 lbs. Where does the
extra

>weight come in?
>
>Thanks,
>
>  -- Larry Gales
>
>
>
>--
>Larry Gales
>-------------- next part --------------
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Re: Why is the Nissan Leaf so heavy?

Larry Gales
In reply to this post by NeilBlanchard
 I am still having problems with the weight of the Leaf.  Consider the GM
EV1:  the specs are available in this URL:

        http://avt.inel.gov/pdf/fsev/eva/ev1_eva.pdf

Here we have a vehicle, that excet for the fact that it is a 2-passenger
instead of a 5-passenger vehicle, is everthing the Leaf is in terms of
performance, safety, comfort, air conditioning, etc. , yet has a battery
that is 620 lbs heavier than the battery in the Leaf (1060 vs 440 lbs),has
somewhat longer range (75-130 miles), faster acceleration (0-60 in 8.5 sec
vs 10 for the Leaf).  However, the Leaf is 650 lbs heavier than the EV1
(3500 lbs vs 2848 lbs for the EV1)  , despite the fact that the EV1's
battery is 620 lbs heavier than the Leaf's battery.  That is a difference of
1270 lbs  which I have a hard time beliving is just due to the diffrerence
in number of passengers.

Or am I off base here?

-- Larry Gales



On Sat, Feb 5, 2011 at 4:38 AM, Neil Blanchard
<[hidden email]>wrote:

> Hello,
>
> > I understand that the Nissan Leaf weighs about 3500 lbs.  It is based on
> he
> > Nissan Versa  hatchback which weighs about 2700 lbs.  Now I understand
> that
> > the battery plus the charger and motor controller (inverter) come to
> about
> > 600 lbs.  However, the electric motor should weigh significantly less
> than
> > the gasoline motor, and it needs no transmission, starter motor, muffler,
> > catalytic converter, etc.    So we should have 2700 + 600 - difference in
> > engine weight - transmission weight - other weights. So i would suspect
> that
> > it should weigh around 3000 lbs.  Where does the extra weight come in?
>
>
> The Versa is similar to the Leaf, but is not the same chassis.  The Leaf is
> longer and wider and taller than the Versa:
>
> Versa is 169.1" long, 102.4" wheelbase, 66.7" wide with ~58.5" track, and
> is 60.4" high
> Leaf is 175" long, 106.3" wheelbase, 69.7" wide with ~60.6"  track, and is
> 61" high.
>
> The track width difference in particular means that it is a different
> chassis.
>
> Weight is important, but mostly for stop and go traffic.  Weight does make
> it better coasting (more kinetic energy), so you can regain energy used to
> accelerate.  And there is regenerative braking to regain some of the energy
> "invested" in weight.
>
> Aerodynamic drag is a total loss; and therefor is much more important to
> low energy consumption.  Even at 35-40MPH, the energy lost to aerodynamic
> drag is about 50%, and above 60-65MPH, the loss is about 75% of the total
> used.
>
> Drivetrain efficiency is the most important, obviously.  The Versa is
> 28/34MPG, while the Leaf is 106/92MPGe.  So, despite it's added weight, the
> electric drivetrain and slightly better aero make it ~3X more efficient.
>
> Sincerely, Neil
> http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/
>
>
> _______________________________________________
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Re: Why is the Nissan Leaf so heavy?

EVDL Administrator
On 7 Feb 2011 at 21:29, Larry Gales wrote:

> the Leaf is 650 lbs heavier than the EV1 (3500 lbs vs 2848 lbs for the
> EV1)  , despite the fact that the EV1's battery is 620 lbs heavier than
> the Leaf's battery.  That is a difference of 1270 lbs  which I have a
> hard time beliving is just due to the diffrerence in number of
> passengers.

The EV1 was aggressively lightened, from special suspension alloys to extra
light seat frames.  IIRC most of this was done by the very creative folks
who developed the Impact prototype.  It was in many ways a very well done
EV.  

I see little indication that Nissan has invested that level of effort.  The
Leaf is cosmetically different from Nissan's ICEVs, but from what I can
tell, it's really a fairly conventional car with an EPTO (electric
powertrain option).  

David Roden - Akron, Ohio, USA
EVDL Administrator

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Re: Why is the Nissan Leaf so heavy?

NeilBlanchard
In reply to this post by Larry Gales
Hello,

> I am still having problems with the weight of the Leaf.  Consider the GM
> EV1:  the specs are available in this URL:
>
>        http://avt.inel.gov/pdf/fsev/eva/ev1_eva.pdf
>
> Here we have a vehicle, that excet for the fact that it is a 2-passenger
> instead of a 5-passenger vehicle, is everthing the Leaf is in terms of
> performance, safety, comfort, air conditioning, etc. , yet has a battery
> that is 620 lbs heavier than the battery in the Leaf (1060 vs 440 lbs),has
> somewhat longer range (75-130 miles), faster acceleration (0-60 in 8.5 sec
> vs 10 for the Leaf).  However, the Leaf is 650 lbs heavier than the EV1
> (3500 lbs vs 2848 lbs for the EV1)  , despite the fact that the EV1's
> battery is 620 lbs heavier than the Leaf's battery.  That is a difference of
> 1270 lbs  which I have a hard time beliving is just due to the diffrerence
> in number of passengers.
>
> Or am I off base here?

As I wrote before, I think that it is the aerodynamic efficiency that made the EV1 as good as it was.  Having a low drag car is much more important than is weight.

If the Leaf was as low drag as the EV1, then it's range would be better than the EV1.

For proof, just look at Dave Cloud's Dolphin!  It weighs more than the EV1, and uses off the shelf lead acid batteries, and yet it has a longer range than the EV1.

http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthread.php/ultimate-aerodynamic-car-dave-clouds-dolphin-13142.html

With a battery pack similar capacity to the Tesla, I think a really aerodynamic car like my CarBEN EV design could go 400+ miles on a charge?

http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/2010/09/carben-ev-open-source-project-part-3.html

>> Weight is important, but mostly for stop and go traffic.  Weight does make
>> it better coasting (more kinetic energy), so you can regain energy used to
>> accelerate.  And there is regenerative braking to regain some of the energy
>> "invested" in weight.
>>
>> Aerodynamic drag is a total loss; and therefore is much more important to
>> low energy consumption.  Even at 35-40MPH, the energy lost to aerodynamic
>> drag is about 50%, and above 60-65MPH, the loss is about 75% of the total
>> used.

Sincerely, Neil
http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/


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Re: Why is the Nissan Leaf so heavy?

AMPhibian
In reply to this post by EVDL Administrator
The LEAF is also 5 inches longer and 10 inches taller and since it's a 4 door hatchback has a lot more volume and glass area, (and glass is heavy).

EVDL Administrator wrote
On 7 Feb 2011 at 21:29, Larry Gales wrote:

> the Leaf is 650 lbs heavier than the EV1 (3500 lbs vs 2848 lbs for the
> EV1)  , despite the fact that the EV1's battery is 620 lbs heavier than
> the Leaf's battery.  That is a difference of 1270 lbs  which I have a
> hard time beliving is just due to the diffrerence in number of
> passengers.

The EV1 was aggressively lightened, from special suspension alloys to extra
light seat frames.  IIRC most of this was done by the very creative folks
who developed the Impact prototype.  It was in many ways a very well done
EV.  

I see little indication that Nissan has invested that level of effort.  The
Leaf is cosmetically different from Nissan's ICEVs, but from what I can
tell, it's really a fairly conventional car with an EPTO (electric
powertrain option).  

David Roden - Akron, Ohio, USA
EVDL Administrator

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Re: Why is the Nissan Leaf so heavy?

Lee Hart
In reply to this post by NeilBlanchard
On 2/8/2011 6:40 AM, Neil Blanchard wrote:
> As I wrote before, I think that it is the aerodynamic efficiency that made the EV1 as good as it was.  Having a low drag car is much more important than is weight.

Paul MacReady, head of Aerovironment when they designed the Impact/EV-1,
said there is no one "secret" to its high performance. It was more a
matter of paying attention to *all* the details. Nothing had to be
perfect or the best possible; but everything had to be good.

The Nissan Leaf appears to be just like every other modern car, but with
an electric drive tacked in. Good in a few areas, and poor in many
others. Styling wins over aerodynamics, cheap wins over efficiency,
expedient wins over innovation.

--
Lee A. Hart | Ring the bells that still can ring
814 8th Ave N | Forget the perfect offering
Sartell MN 56377 | There is a crack in everything
leeahart earthlink.net | That's how the light gets in -- Leonard Cohen

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Re: Why is the Nissan Leaf so heavy?

NevynPA
Aerodynamically, the LEAF is kind of miserable. 0.29 is good, but not like
the 0.24 of most hybrids or the 0.19 of the EV1.

That doesn't say anything about weight, but it does help explain range.

On Tue, Feb 8, 2011 at 10:52, Lee Hart <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 2/8/2011 6:40 AM, Neil Blanchard wrote:
> > As I wrote before, I think that it is the aerodynamic efficiency that
> made the EV1 as good as it was.  Having a low drag car is much more
> important than is weight.
>
> Paul MacReady, head of Aerovironment when they designed the Impact/EV-1,
> said there is no one "secret" to its high performance. It was more a
> matter of paying attention to *all* the details. Nothing had to be
> perfect or the best possible; but everything had to be good.
>
> The Nissan Leaf appears to be just like every other modern car, but with
> an electric drive tacked in. Good in a few areas, and poor in many
> others. Styling wins over aerodynamics, cheap wins over efficiency,
> expedient wins over innovation.
>
> --
> Lee A. Hart             | Ring the bells that still can ring
> 814 8th Ave N           | Forget the perfect offering
> Sartell MN 56377        | There is a crack in everything
> leeahart earthlink.net  | That's how the light gets in -- Leonard Cohen
>
> _______________________________________________
> | REPLYING: address your message to [hidden email] only.
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Re: Why is the Nissan Leaf so heavy?

Ken Fry
In reply to this post by Lee Hart
Lee is exactly right.  High efficiency requires attention to all the details.  There is no simple answer that says that aerodynamics are more important than weight, or vice versa.  Nor is there a simple answer that says that a 93% efficient motor is, by itself "the key" vs a 90% efficient motor.  High weight means greater rolling resistance, greater amperage draw during acceleration, etc.  Obviously, for very low speed vehicles, weight is a more significant factor.   For very high speed vehicles, aerodynamics is the more significant contributor.  

Range and efficiency numbers are strongly dependent upon the test method, so become nearly meaningless when one individual compares his own range with a well-controlled, highly repeatable test like the EPA tests*.

A well-streamlined, lower frontal area LEAF would not match an EV1 in overall efficiency -- because it is still relatively heavy... no surprise, given that it is not intended to be highly efficient, any more than the similar Nissan Sentra, Juke, Cube, or Rogue are intended to be highly-efficient.  The LEAF design team placed a high priority on affordability and practicality, and low priority on optimizing efficiency.        

There is an unfavorable weight spiral that can occur: adding batteries increases weight.  That requires beefier suspension structure (adding more weight) and heavier brakes (because in a panic stop, virtually all the braking must come from the friction brakes -- you can’t scrimp here.)  This additional weight means larger, heavier tires are required.   To maintain a desired maximum occupant deceleration in a crash means that the crushable structure must be heavier yet… and perhaps more crush space must be added.      

But for the vast majority of intended buyers, the LEAF is somewhere between “just fine“ and wonderful.   Its weight is just where you’d expect it to be to get the job done at low cost.          

*  The EPA city test has an average speed of only 21 mph (accurately representing suburban/urban driving cycles) and the highway cycle has an average speed of 48 mph.  If you compare their numbers to the average of people who respond to the site with personal data, they come very close to reflecting real world experience for most cars.  
Think Big.
Drive Small.  
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Re: [seva] Re: Why is the Nissan Leaf so heavy?

Larry Gales
In reply to this post by NeilBlanchard
Well, modern electronics (compared with 10 years ago) should actually weigh
LESS and not more. I know that the EV1 had airbags, and so it had a fair
amount of safety equipment back then.

-- Larry




On Sat, Feb 12, 2011 at 12:31 PM, Jim Adcock <[hidden email]> wrote:

> >Or am I off base here? [Comparing Leaf weight to EV1 weight]
>
> If you study the history of vehicle safety requirements placed on all
> vehicles by the EPA -- and how much those safety requirements weigh -- you
> will find that that alone is enough to explain the weight difference
> between
> the Leaf and the EV1.  Not to mention all those techie goodies designed
> into
> the Leaf that makes one feel life one is sitting inside an iPad.
>
>
>
> -----------------------------------------------------------
> Visit the SEVA website at http://www.seattleeva.org
> Our New Forums are at http://www.seattleeva.org/smf
> If you wish to unsubscribe from this mailing, send mail to
> [hidden email] with a subject of: unsubscribe seva
> This message was built for larry.gales=gmail.com
>



--
Larry Gales
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Re: [seva] Re: Why is the Nissan Leaf so heavy?

Lee Hart
On 2/12/2011 3:01 PM, Larry Gales wrote:
> Well, modern electronics (compared with 10 years ago) should actually weigh
> LESS and not more. I know that the EV1 had airbags, and so it had a fair
> amount of safety equipment back then.

One would think so. But the fact is, the amount of electrics and
electronics in modern cars is growing faster than the reduction in the
size of the components.

Machine Design had an article a year or so ago. It tabulated the total
amount of wiring, motors, connectors, switches, and electronic "black
boxes" in cars over the years. The numbers have steadily increased year
after year. A few statistics (if I remember correctly) for the average
car today:

- 30 microcomputers
- 40 pounds of wire
- 20 electric motors
- 80 switches

--
Lee A. Hart | Ring the bells that still can ring
814 8th Ave N | Forget the perfect offering
Sartell MN 56377 | There is a crack in everything
leeahart earthlink.net | That's how the light gets in -- Leonard Cohen

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Re: [seva] Re: Why is the Nissan Leaf so heavy?

Larry Gales
Thanks for the data; I did not realize how extensive the electronics had
become in terms of weight.

-- Larry

On Sat, Feb 12, 2011 at 1:26 PM, Lee Hart <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 2/12/2011 3:01 PM, Larry Gales wrote:
> > Well, modern electronics (compared with 10 years ago) should actually
> weigh
> > LESS and not more. I know that the EV1 had airbags, and so it had a fair
> > amount of safety equipment back then.
>
> One would think so. But the fact is, the amount of electrics and
> electronics in modern cars is growing faster than the reduction in the
> size of the components.
>
> Machine Design had an article a year or so ago. It tabulated the total
> amount of wiring, motors, connectors, switches, and electronic "black
> boxes" in cars over the years. The numbers have steadily increased year
> after year. A few statistics (if I remember correctly) for the average
> car today:
>
> - 30 microcomputers
> - 40 pounds of wire
> - 20 electric motors
> - 80 switches
>
> --
> Lee A. Hart             | Ring the bells that still can ring
> 814 8th Ave N           | Forget the perfect offering
> Sartell MN 56377        | There is a crack in everything
> leeahart earthlink.net  | That's how the light gets in -- Leonard Cohen
>
> _______________________________________________
> | REPLYING: address your message to [hidden email] only.
> | Multiple-address or CCed messages may be rejected.
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--
Larry Gales
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Re: Why is the Nissan Leaf so heavy?

Zeke Yewdall
In reply to this post by Larry Gales
Someone said that the Leaf had two more doors than the Versa which made it
heavier... I know that at least some of the Versa's are 4 door, not 2 door,
as I was in one this weekend, and it had four doors :)

I wonder why they would use a different chassis for the leaf... I thought
the Versa was a very nice car (would be nicer as an EV though...)

Z


>
> On Sat, Feb 5, 2011 at 4:38 AM, Neil Blanchard
> <[hidden email]>wrote:
>
> >
> > The Versa is similar to the Leaf, but is not the same chassis.  The Leaf
> is
> > longer and wider and taller than the Versa:
> >
> > Versa is 169.1" long, 102.4" wheelbase, 66.7" wide with ~58.5" track, and
> > is 60.4" high
> > Leaf is 175" long, 106.3" wheelbase, 69.7" wide with ~60.6"  track, and
> is
> > 61" high.
> >
> > The track width difference in particular means that it is a different
> > chassis.
> >
> > Weight is important, but mostly for stop and go traffic.  Weight does
> make
> > it better coasting (more kinetic energy), so you can regain energy used
> to
> > accelerate.  And there is regenerative braking to regain some of the
> energy
> > "invested" in weight.
> >
> > Aerodynamic drag is a total loss; and therefor is much more important to
> > low energy consumption.  Even at 35-40MPH, the energy lost to aerodynamic
> > drag is about 50%, and above 60-65MPH, the loss is about 75% of the total
> > used.
> >
> > Drivetrain efficiency is the most important, obviously.  The Versa is
> > 28/34MPG, while the Leaf is 106/92MPGe.  So, despite it's added weight,
> the
> > electric drivetrain and slightly better aero make it ~3X more efficient.
> >
> > Sincerely, Neil
> > http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/
> >
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > | REPLYING: address your message to [hidden email] only.
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> >
>
>
>
> --
> Larry Gales
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