Currently reading: Tesla: 'Nissan Leaf is primitive'
Tesla CEO Elon Musk hits out at the Nissan Leaf's battery pack
Autocar
News
1 min read
11 August 2010

The Nissan Leaf’s battery technology has been called "primitive" by Elon Musk, CEO of electric car company Tesla.

In response to Nissan’s recent cost-per-kilowatt hour claims that it had broken the $400 (£250) barrier, Musk said, in a conference call with shareholders, he didn't believe Nissan has overtaken Tesla in reducing battery costs and claimed the Japanese firm was using a "much more primitive level of technology" than Tesla.

Read Autocar’s first drive of the Nissan Leaf

Musk said that the Leaf’s battery pack was not even as good as the first prototype his company produced because of its less-sophisticated cooling system. He added that the Leaf technology would struggle in extreme temperature conditions, suffering “huge degradation” when cold and not functioning properly when hot.

Tesla uses active liquid thermal control (which will also be used in the Chevrolet Volt), while the Leaf pack uses an air cooling system; Musk claims this battery technology would mean the Leaf's battery pack will have temperatures “all over the place".

Nissan supports its battery pack with an eight-year, 100,000-mile warranty. Musk said the battery cost in Tesla's upcoming electric Model S saloon would be around 40 per cent less than its only current model, the Roadster.

See all the latest Tesla reviews, news and videoSee all the latest Nissan Leaf reviews, news and video

Advertisement
Advertisement

Find an Autocar review

Read our review

Car review
Nissan Leaf

The electric Nissan Leaf has its work cut out competing with cheaper mainstream cars - but it does make a case for itself

Join the debate

Comments
43
Add a comment…
tonym911 11 August 2010

Re: Tesla: 'Nissan Leaf is primitive'

As mentioned earlier, the UK is heading for a big electricity shortfall even if we take EVs out of the equation because of the complete lack of investment in any sort of power station - coal or nuclear - over the last 15 years. And if Norway can't produce effectively free hydroelectric power with its topography, once the infrastructure costs have been amortised of course, then surely nobody can.

RadeB 11 August 2010

Re: Tesla: 'Nissan Leaf is primitive'

Los Angeles wrote:
they've begun the process in Scotland, and they have a ton of water.
I don't live in UK but occasionally I visit your sites,and I don't really understand the great fuss that is creating about EV vehicles in UK. As I know your main source of energy is from coal and nuclear plants( am I wrong?),and soon as you go with these EVs you'll need much more production from these plants (and import!), more pollutions and higher cost for electricity.Maybe the reason is less sunny days?Now, don,t get me wrong, I have great respect for experts in your country, and I'm sure they know the reasons,it, simply I don't understand! Hydrogen fuel cells are much better option, more expensive in the beginning maybe, but cleaner and in a longer run it pays off!

Los Angeles 11 August 2010

Re: Tesla: 'Nissan Leaf is primitive'

RadeB wrote:
Smart guys, so they can export their energy abroad for good money!
You don't have to visit Norway to see that - great country as it is - they've begun the process in Scotland, and they have a ton of water.

Find an Autocar car review