My friend +John Voelcker
spoke with officials from +Nissan
about the results of testing they did on the some of their customers Leafs (Leaves?) following complaints that the batteries were losing capacity. Bottom line from Nissan? These cars had accumulated higher than average mileage (about 19,000 miles on average in about a year) and the losses were right in line with projections based on the mileage.
While consumers are accustomed to their laptops and phones losing capacity over time, those batteries are relatively inexpensive compared to a car and easy to replace (unless you have an iPhone, iPad or a Macbook Air). Loss of battery capacity is also more of an annoyance on these devices compared to the loss of driving range in a car which can leave someone stranded.
Nissan opted to go with air-cooling for its battery which reduces the weight and cost, but will inevitably have a cost in longevity. We haven't heard of any similar issues yet with the liquid-cooled battery in the +Chevrolet Volt but it may not be as noticeable in this range-extended machine. The +Ford Motor Company Focus Electric hasn't been on the road long enough and there aren't enough out there to see if this will be a problem with its liquid cooled pack.
Average consumers are used to driving their cars for years on end without losing significant functionality. If plug-in vehicles continue to exhibit this sort of degradation, it certainly won't do the effort to electrify transportation any good.