Nissan and General Electric have conceded a problem with the Leaf EV, though drivers are left waiting in the middle for a fix. After Nissan Leaf owners were informed that GE Wattstation chargers could in fact damage the car during a recharge, General Electric has issued a statement blaming Nissan’s tech for the flaw, rather than its own systems.
According to GE, rather than the quality of the electricity supply coming through the Wattstation systems, it’s actually how the Leaf handles that power that’s the problem. Although the company tacitly admits that the juice can fluctuate, apparently it’s the Leaf’s software that needs to be tweaked, not its own supplies:
“Nissan and GE have completed their investigation into the instances of Nissan LEAFs experiencing on-board charging (OBC) issues when using certain EV chargers. Nissan has traced the root cause of the issue to the LEAFs OBC software that can allow damage to occur to its OBC components while using certain chargers and in certain instances, such as when a brief under voltage or blackout condition occurs” General Electric
The solution, GE claims, is a software update that will allow the Leaf’s systems to better handle the potentially wonky power supply. Until then, however, the advice is to avoid recharging at times when it’s possible that the Wattstations could be unsteady:
“Nissan is working to address this issue as quickly as possible, and in the meantime is advising customers to avoid charging during times when brownouts or momentary power dips may be likely, such as during electrical storms or high power usage on the grid” General Electric
Recharging via a regular 120V outlet is still supported and apparently unaffected by the OBC issue, though the recharging process itself will take longer than through a higher-power Wattstation.