Consumers Complain Nissan Leafs Lose Power in Hot Weather

By Paul Chesser, National Legal and Policy Center

So far American taxpayers have been forced – through stimulus loan guarantees from the Department of Energy – to “invest” $1.4 billion in a Japanese car company to build an unproven, impractical, expensive vehicle at a Tennessee power plant.

And now it can’t stand the heat.

Nissan has been dealing with complaints from owners of its Leaf electric car who reside in hot-weather states like Arizona, who say their vehicles have lost range capacity.

“When I first purchased the vehicle, I could drive to and from work on a single charge, approximately 90 miles round trip,” said one Phoenix-area Leaf owner to CBS television affiliate KPHO. Now, “I can drive approximately 44 miles on this without having to stop and charge.”

The usefulness of an electric car that costs at least twice the equivalent gas-powered vehicle, at a 90-mile range, that requires hours to fully recharge, is dubious at best. At 44 miles it’s nearly worthless to the average American traveler. Yet the two owners interviewed by the TV station said every time they’ve visited a Nissan dealership about the problem, they were told it is “normal.”

A 50-percent capacity loss in one year is far from acceptable, especially when Nissan only warranties the Leaf battery for eight years or 100,000 miles. But the heat problems owners are experiencing aren’t limited to Arizona; a Web site forum called MyNissanLeaf.com has hosted an extensive discussion among owners who have experienced the capacity loss in other hot locales such as Texas and California.

For its part Nissan has said it will test some of the Leafs to determine what the cause of the loss is, but with the growing discontent customers will undoubtedly ask the company to make concessions like extended warranties or replacing the expensive batteries sooner. Hard to tell whether the company will comply, however, with the posture that dealerships have taken.

The official message delivered in response to discussions on the Web forum doesn’t sound promising, either, as Nissan Senior Vice President for Research and Development Carla Bailo said, “Battery capacity loss of the levels reported may be considered normal depending on the method and frequency of charging.” She also added, “lithium-ion batteries exhibit a higher loss of capacity early in life, with the rate of loss decreasing over time.”

That would seem like zero consolation for owners who were told they would get nearly 100 miles per charge. And with the limitations on owners’ existing warranties, and the amount of money they paid up-front for their Leafs, telling them the capacity loss is their fault might inspire a revolt.

As NLPC has reported before, heat isn’t the only problem Nissan has had with the Leaf. Cold weather, requiring the use of the car’s heater, also diminishes capacity. Hilly terrain demands more power from the battery as well, which reduces range.

Leaf sales this year have been horrendous (3,148 through June) – even worse than last year’s bad numbers (9,674 units), when it was rolled out. According to some reports Nissan is now marking the Leaf down by $5,000.

Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn has said in the past his strategy for electric vehicle sales depends on where countries offer the most government money to subsidize them. The $1.4 billion from U.S. taxpayers to build Leafs and their batteries in Tennessee certainly meets that qualification.

Only now it looks like a sizable amount of that plant’s productivity might go toward the replacement of early-adopting Leaf owners’ batteries, much like what government-subsidized EV battery manufacturer A123 Systems is doing now.

That’s what passes for “normal” with the everyday conduct of business in the world of taxpayer-financed companies.

Paul Chesser is an associate fellow for the National Legal and Policy Center and publishes CarolinaPlottHound.com, an aggregator of North Carolina news.

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Prominent physician and surgeon Dr. Robert McMurtry calls for wind turbine moratorium

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Dr. Bob McMurtry, a prominent member of the Canadian health establishment, joins the victims of industrial wind turbines (IWT’s) in their call for Health Canada to turn over their future wind turbine noise study to Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). While the study is being conducted, they demand an immediate moratorium on all pending and proposed IWT projects.

The victims are represented by the North American Platform Against Wind Power (NA-PAW), and the European Platform Against Windfarms (EPAW), which regroup over 600 associations of victims from 26 countries. These federations, and Dr. McMurtry, are dissatisfied with the way the study is to be conducted. Health Canada (HC) being an arm of the Canadian government, they say, it offers no guarantee as to impartiality, which is the most crucial point in this matter.

Arm’s length studies could be assured with involvement from CIHR, according to Dr Robert McMurtry: “research into adverse health effects is a good idea, but is being addressed by the wrong agency which is a regulatory branch of Health Canada. A better approach is to assign the task to the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, which reports to Minister Aglukkaq and is more capable of establishing causation, prevalence, and answering other important questions.”

Recently obtained Health Canada Scientific Advisory Board documents reveal that HC have already agreed to not let the results be “causative,” and not become a tally of how many people have been affected. These are the first signs that, already, the study is being used as a political stratagem, says Sherri Lange, of NA-PAW. She warns: “the study, if conducted by Health Canada, may not provide the clarity and truth that is being demanded by Canadians.”

The victims are also concerned that the best specialists on the matter may not be consulted as they are not listed in the initial list of 25 experts to assist with this study. They also feel that, now that the authorities have finally admitted there could be a health problem, the principle of precaution must be applied and a moratorium must be called immediately.

Dr. McMurtry concurs: “the admission by Health Minister Aglukkaq that there are substantial gaps in our knowledge reveals the absence of evidence-based guidelines. There is thus the need for a moratorium on further IWT development until the requisite evidence of safe placement of wind turbines is available.”

Sherri adds: “several families and physicians have reported wind turbine associated heart attacks, and even suicides. When a family has lost home enjoyment and restful sleep, with no chance of recovering them, we have a recipe for despair. We cannot afford to wait another two years and a thousand more turbines till the study is done. The devastation of lives must stop immediately.”

We can’t look to Europe for a solution to the health problem, says Mark Duchamp of EPAW. “Denmark recently conducted a study on the matter, but it was done by a consultant whose main client is the wind industry. As a result, it wasn’t truthful, and monstrous 3 MW turbines continue to be installed too close to homes and workplaces at great risk to public health. Tricks were used in the measurements of low-frequency noise and infrasound, as denounced by Professor Henrik Moeller, a renowned acoustician from the University of Aarlborg (1). In the circumstances, the world is looking at Ontario for, at last, an unbiased study. That must be the work of CIHR.”

The federations demand the participation of the following specialists in the study:

Dr. Robert Y. McMurtry, M.D., F.R.C.S. (C), F.A.C.S., Canada; Carmen Krogh, BSc Pharm, Researcher Wind Turbines – Adverse Health and Social Justice, Canada; Stephen Ambrose, Acoustician, USA; Dr. Jeffery Aramini, Epidemiologist, Canada; Dr Arline Bronzaft, Noise and Health Specialist, USA; Dr Steven Cooper, ENG Fellow Australian Acoustical Society and Member of Institute of Noise Control, USA; Professor Phillip Dickinson, Acoustician, New Zealand; Barbara J. Frey BA, MA and Peter J. Haddon, BSc, FRICS, Scotland; Dr Christopher Hanning, BSc, MB, BS, MRCS,LRCS, LRCP, FRCA, MD, Sleep Disturbance and Wind Turbines, UK; Professor Colin Hansen, Acoustician, Australia; Dr Magda Havas, Biological and Health Effects of Electromagnetic and Chemical Pollution, Canada; Richard James, INCE Acoustician, USA; Dr Mauri Johansson, Specialist in Community Health and Occupational Medicine, Denmark; Dr. Sarah Laurie, CEO Waubra Foundation, Australia; Professor Henrik Moeller, Acoustic Specialist, Denmark; Dr. Michael Nissenbaum, Radiologist, USA; Dr. Carl Phillips, Epidemiologist, USA; Dr. Nina Pierpont, Author of Wind Turbine Syndrome, USA; Robert Rand, Acoustician, USA; Dr. Daniel Shepherd, Noise and Health Specialist, New Zealand; Dr Malcolm Swinbanks, Acoustician, UK; Dr.Robert Thorne, Health Sciences and Acoustics, Australia.

Windfarms in Quebec, a redundant investment

The World Council for Nature (WCFN), considering that the implantation of wind turbines in the countryside causes collateral damages to the fauna and its habitat, wishes to bring to your attention the fact that investing in windfarms will not bring any positive return to the population of Quebec or to the health of the planet. You already have more clean energy than you need and must sell it often at a loss because your neighbors no longer really need it. It is therefore absurd to invest huge sums of public funds to produce more of it, at a price four times higher (1).

It is no secret that Hydro Quebec finds it increasingly difficult to sell its surpluses, which amount to about 8,700,000,000 kWh a year. It is also paying close to 150 million dollars each year to the thermal power station of Bécancour, to produce NO electricity. This amounts to $900 million paid to date, for nothing (2). What a miscalculation! What a waste!

Yet you are presently investing considerable amounts of public money into more generating capacity, imposing to Quebeckers windfarms that they don’t need. It is simply nonsensical. Windfarms won’t make Quebec “greener”, on the contrary. It is already ahead of the world on that score, covering as it does its electricity needs with hydro power, which is “clean”.

What you are actually doing is replacing a clean and cheap energy which has no ill effects on the health of neighbors or on birds and bats (hydro), by another which causes multiple collateral damages and costs four times as much (windfarms) (1).

Windfarms destroy landscapes and kill millions of birds and very useful bats (3) for no gain whatsoever. They emit infrasound that cause sleep deprivation to neighbors, up to 10 km away for the larger models (e.g. 3 MW). Coming on top of plentiful hydro they duplicate the ecological impacts and financial investments, and this to satisfy the same demand for electricity. It is the opposite of ecological, and amounts to throwing away billions of dollars of public funds as wind energy is heavily subsidized.

Windfarms in Quebec are a redundant investment, completely useless because you already have too much energy, clean and cheap to boot. They are also redundant in the rest of the world, but in the case of Quebec it is plain as the nose in the face.

I live in Spain, a country which is technically bankrupt in part because of subsidies to renewable energies, which have increased the country’s sovereign debt by some 30 billion dollars to date, plus 8 billion more each year because the subsidies are guaranteed for 20 years. We produce the same amount of electricity as before, but it costs much more. As for our 18,000 wind turbines, they haven’t even reduced our consumption of fossil fuels, because of problems caused by their intermittency (4).

Have you considered the loss of value of properties that are or will be affected by the sight of these industrial installations, and by the infrasound they emit, which cause sleep deprivation? We are talking about cumulative losses in the billions of dollars, which will impoverish Quebec as a whole, in addition to rising electricity bills and the loss of tourism potential.

Last but not least, economists have shown that large subsidies and high energy prices both contribute to the destruction of jobs across the economy, whereas wind farms create very few permanent ones (5). Spain is a good example, with 25% unemployment.

Please, Mr Charest, do not destroy la Belle Province, its nature, and its future

Contact :

Mark Duchamp
President
Tel : +34 693 643 736
save.the.eagles@gmail.com

Références :

(1) – «The wind-power rates are more than twice as high as nuclear, and four times those of hydro. » http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/rob-commentary/the-sorry-lessons-of-green-power-subsidies/article4103467/

(2) – Globe and Mail: “did Hydro Quebec miscalculate? ” http://www.sqwalk.com/blog2008/001187.html

$900 million wasted with Bécancour, and a surplus of 8.7 TWh: http://www.lapresse.ca/le-soleil/affaires/actualite-economique/201206/29/01-4539655-becancour-900-millions-pour-garder-la-centrale-fermee.php

(3) – Wind farms kill millions of birds and bats a year:
http://savetheeaglesinternational.org/?page_id=770

(4) – Wind farms are redundant: http://www.iberica2000.org/Es/Articulo.asp?Id=4540

(5) – Five jobs destroyed for each “green job” subsidized:
http://washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/beltway-confidential/new-study-finds-five-real-jobs-lost-each-green-job-government-subsidizes

AUDITOR GENERAL of ONTARIO:
Green jobs kill other jobs in the economy:
http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cfra.com%2Fchum_audio%2Fae.Jim.McCarter.11.12.05.mp3&h=iAQHmNG9s

His radio interview:
http://www.ontariopc.com/news/auditor-general-confirms-dalton-mcguinty%E2%80%99s-energy-policy-actively-killing-private-sector-jobs/?utm_source=2011+Ontario+PC+Campaign+Master+List&utm_campaign=0c3511ab94-2011-Dec-5-energy&utm_medium=email

GREEN JOBS ARE A BURDEN, NOT A BENEFIT FOR THE ECONOMY
The Beacon Hill Institute, 25 June 2009
http://www.beaconhill.org/BHIStudies/GreenJobs09/PressReleaseBHIGreenJobsStudy090625.htm

Polar Bear Scare: A Letter To The Economist Letter To The Economist

Friday, 06 July 2012 12:15 Matt Ridley, Andrew Montford, Benny Peiser

SIR – In your special report on the Arctic (“The melting north”, June 16th) you said polar bears are “struggling” and it is “nonsense” that they are thriving. Anything other than a cursory reading of the data shows no such thing.

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature estimates, polar bear numbers are at least twice as high as in the 1960s. Of the eight populations said to be decreasing, the official data table and map produced by the Polar Bear Specialist Group shows that two are only “thought” or “believed” to be declining entirely due to hunting; four are in decline only according to computer models, despite some claims by “traditional ecological knowledge” (ie, locals) that they are thriving; one has more than doubled but is now said to be “currently declining” because of crowding; and one showed a real decline that has recently been reversed. Meanwhile, the four populations you described as unknown include the huge Barents Sea population, which has seen dramatic increase in sightings, damage to huts and devastation of barnacle goose colonies on the west coast of Svalbard, all prima facie evidence of “thriving”. There is a strong smell of “policy-based evidence making” here.

Since the 1970s the population of white whales around Svalbard has increased, as have walrus and barnacle geese numbers. Protection from hunting has had, and is likely to have, a much bigger impact on Arctic wildlife than climate trends.

Matt Ridley
Newcastle-upon-Tyne

Andrew Montford
Milnathort, Kinross-shire

Benny Peiser
London

The Economist, 6 July 2012

Monbiot: wrong again – ‘Peak Oil’ this time

By James Delingpole, The Telegraph

Purty, ain’t it, George?

Until recently George “Reverse-Cassandra” Monbiot was very, very worried about Peak Oil.

Here’s what he wrote in 2007:

The disasters invoked by the peaking of global oil supplies can be avoided only with a “crash progamme” beginning 20 years before it occurs. If some of the estimates in the department of energy’s report are correct, it is already too late.

Here he is conspiracy-theorising in 2009:

Last week two whistleblowers from the International Energy Agency alleged that it has deliberately upgraded its estimate of the world’s oil supplies in order not to frighten the markets…….If the whistleblowers are right, we should be stockpiling ammunition. If we are taken by surprise; if we have failed to replace oil before the supply peaks then crashes, the global economy is stuffed.

And here he is again, frightening Guardianista types, in 2009:

If we leave it any longer, and no politician seems to be taking Peak Oil seriously, then we are going to see total economic collapse.

So you might not unreasonably imagine that, were he ever to discover that the “Peak Oil” threat was nothing to worry about and that there was more than enough extractable oil to supply our needs for the foreseeable future, the Moonbat would be over the moon. Right?

Wrong!

Here is what George Monbiot airily declared yesterday – sounding for all the world as if he’d read neither Watermelons nor a James Delingpole blogpost in his entire life. (“We” were wrong? Less of that “we”, thank you, George)

Peak oil hasn’t happened, and it’s unlikely to happen for a very long time.

And here’s the conclusion he drew from this excellent ‘news’:

There is enough oil in the ground to deep-fry the lot of us, and no obvious means to prevail upon governments and industry to leave it in the ground. Twenty years of efforts to prevent climate breakdown through moral persuasion have failed, with the collapse of the multilateral process at Rio de Janeiro last month. The world’s most powerful nation is again becoming an oil state, and if the political transformation of its northern neighbour is anything to go by, the results will not be pretty.

Is there anything on earth which would ever make George Monbiot happy? If the sun started shining at all this summer, he’d see it as a terrifying portent of the return of global warming. If every child in the land were suddenly given a cute puppy he’d be railing against the potential toxoplasmosis epidemic. If eternal world peace were to break out, he’d be warning of the catastrophic population explosion brought about by the lack of war casualties….

Needless to say, some of the Kommenters at Komment Macht Frei have been ribbing George mercilessly about his latest volte face.

“Do you ever get bored of the-end-is-nigh catastrophising?”

and

“George,

So it turns out that yet another prediction of yours has turned out to be factually incorrect.

Why should you be believed about anything?”

and

“And the award for “finally seeing the light” goes to…
Monbiot. G.

Of course there is plenty of oil left. Next you will realise that AGW is actually just due to the earth emerging from the last ice age after all.”

Some people might find themselves feeling sorry for George as his belief system continues to collapse about his ears. But they really shouldn’t. I’ve no doubt that George is agonisingly sincere and principled in everything he does, but his Weltanschauung is the philosophy of the devil. George is the embodiment of the phenomenon I describe in Watermelons – one of those bitter, misanthropic, control-freak kill-joys, green on the outside but red on the inside, the true purpose of whose “environmentalism” is not so much to save the planet as to end Western industrial civilisation.

And over the last couple of decades, the watermelons have made a pretty good job of it too. They’ve driven up energy prices and squandered scarce resources with their vainglorious quest for renewables. They’ve driven up food prices with biofuels. They’ve hamstrung economies with higher taxes and greater regulations. They’ve generated a climate of fear and excessive caution which makes it harder for businesses to do business.

A Wired profile of the brilliant US economics professor Julian Simon (aka “the Doomslayer” ) once noted how perverse it was that while Simon was treated as a right-wing crank for most of his lifetime (despite always being right), those of his opponents (such as the catastrophist Paul Ehrlich) who kept getting their predictions wrong were forever being feted with awards and accolades by the science establishment.

There seemed to be a bizarre reverse-Cassandra effect operating in the universe: whereas the mythical Cassandra spoke the awful truth and was not believed, these days ‘experts’ spoke awful falsehoods, and they were believed. Repeatedly being wrong actually seemed to be an advantage, conferring some sort of puzzling magic glow upon the speaker.

Nothing changes. More’s the pity.

Keystone is a winning issue

Romney should tour pipeline route and meet with Democrat and union leaders who support it

Deroy Murdock

With his recent swing-state bus tour behind him, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney should plan his next road trip. Romney should ride along the envisioned route of the Keystone XL pipeline. Along the way, he should invoke, meet, and even appear with Democrats and labor leaders who agree with him on Keystone and are frustrated with President Obama’s obstructionism on this vital, job-rich energy venture.

Romney should remind voters of their stark choice this November: The former Massachusetts governor favors the 2,480-mile pipeline. Each day, the completed Keystone system would deliver up to 1.4 million barrels of friendly oil from Hardisty, Canada, to refineries in Port Arthur, Texas. America’s northern neighbor is a NATO ally whose brave soldiers stormed Normandy Beach beside U.S. GIs. Canada’s 950 military trainers serve in Afghanistan along with Americans in uniform.

President Obama opposes Keystone, preferring instead to continue undiminished U.S. shipments of greenbacks to Middle Eastern tyrants whose subjects have murdered Americans by the thousands and conspire to do so again.

As Romney’s bus follows Keystone’s path to the Gulf of Mexico, he should tell Montanans what their Democratic U.S. senator, Jon Tester, said about this endeavor.

“I am disappointed in the president’s decision,” Testor stated after Obama on January 18 killed TransCanada’s application to build Keystone. He added: “I have long supported responsibly building this pipeline with the highest safety standards and with respect for private property rights.”

In North Dakota, Romney should cite former state attorney general Heidi Heitkamp, the Democratic U.S. Senate nominee. She called Keystone a “jobs program” and lamented that Obama’s decision created “a missed opportunity to put Americans to work.” Her campaign website promises: “As Senator, Heitkamp will fight alongside anyone who agrees that it’s time to move the Keystone pipeline forward – even if it means upsetting members of her own party.”

Rolling into South Dakota, Romney should invite rank-and-file members of the Laborers’ International Union of North America Local 620 to join him near Keystone’s prospective course. These construction workers, whose industry peers endure 14.2 percent unemployment nationwide, likely would echo LIUNA general president Terry O’Sullivan.

“We are completely and totally disappointed,” O’Sullivan said after Obama scotched Keystone. “This is politics at its worst. . . . The administration and environmentalists have blown the whistle on workers trying to feed their families and keep a roof over their heads. Instead of celebrating their victory by hugging a tree, they should hug a jobless construction worker because they’re the ones who are going to need it.”

Oklahoma boasts several Democratic state lawmakers who concur with Romney on Keystone. They should welcome him to the Sooner State.

“With unemployment stubbornly high throughout many parts of the country, the pipeline is expected to create approximately 20,000 manufacturing and construction jobs in the United States,” Democratic state representative Steve Kouplen noted as he pleaded with Obama to authorize this initiative. “It could also generate more than $5.2 billion in tax revenue to the Keystone XL corridor states.”

“Because the pipeline will travel through Oklahoma, the safety of the pipeline is a top concern,” state senator Susan Paddack, Democratic Caucus vice chair, similarly argued. “TransCanada has agreed to meet an additional 57 safety requirements not required for any other pipeline project – making it the safest pipeline ever constructed in the United States.”

After crossing into the Lone Star State, Romney should emphasize that Texas congressmen Henry Cuellar, Charles A. Gonzalez, Al Green, Gene Green, Ruben Hinojosa, and Sheila Jackson Lee were among 22 U.S. House Democrats who wrote Obama last fall in a quixotic bid to secure his endorsement of this “shovel-ready project,” as they called it. As they observed, “Keystone XL Pipeline will inject $20 billion of private sector investment investment into the American economy, create 20,000 direct jobs, spur the creation of 118,000 spin-off jobs, pay out $5 billion in taxes to local counties over the project’s lifetime, bolster America’s energy security, and strengthen our national security.”

As he finally reaches Port Arthur, Mitt Romney should stand atop his bus and shout: “Barack Obama will not approve the Keystone XL Pipeline. But I will!”

_______________

New York commentator Deroy Murdock is a nationally syndicated columnist with the Scripps Howard News Service and a media fellow with the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace at Stanford University. Jarobin Gilbert of Engage America, with which Murdock is a Thought Leader, contributed research to this piece. This article originally appeared on National Review Online.