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MikeT

Battery hell at the office

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Our office fleet has three cars with that used electric propulsion (partially in two cases): a 2008 Honda Civic Hybrid, a 2009 Honda Civic Hybrid and a 2012 Nissan LEAF.

 

Whether it was in sympathy with the legal demise of the head of Nissan or not, the LEAF today was found unresponsive after a cool weekend, spent plugged as usual into the 120V charger.  It would not charge and although the doors would open with the key fob, the key was not recognized and there was no way to get the car to go into neutral to allow the tow truck to access it easily.  So it went on the dolly.....we will see whether it's a big bill or a BIG bill, but this is potentially "the" nightmare scenario for electric car owners.

 

Then there are the two HCH cars.  

 

The 2008 has its original battery pack still and it has been dying for a couple of years.  Now it probably holds 2kWh if that and it's both filled and depleted completely according to the onboard gauge in a minute or less, while driving.  Half the time, the CEL is on with a battery failure warning.  85,000 km.  The car was crap from Day One, with faulty rear suspension that ate tires and being just cheaply built and quite nasty to ride in.

 

The 2009 had a battery pack failure in the last weeks of warranty.  So around 2014 it had the new battery installed, and this past weekend, when a staff person was in Vancouver with the car, it died completely and the car was limped home on the wheezy engine alone and the soul sucking CVT.  It looks like three of the supposed workhorses in the fleet are duds.  It's not easy being "green".

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Well that's a bummer. I wonder if there are private entities gearing up to start reclaiming/recycling old EV battery packs? Whether it's dismantling and saving the "best" cells to rebuild a pack, or whether it's basically re-refining the base elements and selling them back to the battery producers.

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Preliminary diagnosis of the LEAF is battery failure.....the CHEAP one!  They've ordered one in and will retest afterwards.  If that's all it is, the breakdown only cost about $500 including tow.  Will update later...

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Brutal. That’s really surprising about the Leaf. Honda always seemed to half-ass their Hybrid efforts. My brother had a Prius that was totally trouble free until it died in a flood. My dad had a Camry hybrid that was also flawless. 

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It was only the small battery so the total cost was $500 and two days with no car.  Still annoying for a newish car.  My Mercedes has 267,000 km and is 11+ years old and the battery is the original.

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