For the past few months, Nissan has been investigating cases of premature battery aging and lost range in its Leaf electric car, particularly in hot climates like Arizona.

Amidst continuing pressure from Leaf owners, however, and with the results of an independent Leaf range test proving that some Leafs have lost range in hot climates, Nissan has finally asked the electric car community for help.

In this case, help comes in the form of well-known electric car advocate Chelsea Sexton, and an independent global advisory board Nissan has tasked her with founding. 

In an official announcement made on Saturday afternoon, shortly after Nissan’s Mark Perry suggested that battery capacity loss of Arizonan Leafs was due to high mileage, Nissan’s Senior Vice President of Research and Development, Carla Bailo, explained the board’s purpose.

“Recently, we’ve asked Chelsea Sexton, a passionate advanced technology advocate, to convene an independent global advisory board,” Bailo wrote in an open letter to Leaf owners. “Members would be selected by Chelsea, not Nissan, and they would recommend their own mandate, but our hope is that they would hold up a mirror to us and help us be more open and approachable in our communications and advise us on our strategy.”

Former salesperson for General Motors’ EV1 electric car, Sexton has had a long-standing career in the world of electric vehicles as both an advocate and an industry advisor. 

Sexton previously served on a specialist advisory board for General Motors prior to its launch of the Chevrolet Volt, and is known and respected for her candor and knowledge of plug-in cars.

Sexton is expected to pick fellow board members in the coming weeks.

Chelsea Sexton

Chelsea Sexton

"Thank you, I really appreciate it- and fully understand the emotions involved. Part of why it’s frustrating to watch some of these issues fester is because we all want so much for this to work in the first place,” wrote Sexton in response to a MyNissanLeaf forum post wishing the advisory board good wishes in its quest. 

“I’m also open to suggestions for the advisory board- folks who’d be particularly good at it, things you’d like to see us focus on, etc.,” she continued. “I’ve got some thoughts, obviously, but always happy for input.”

What would you like to see the Leaf advisory board work on? What issues do you feel are important in improving Nissan’s reputation in light of recent Leaf-related events?

Let us know your thoughts in the Comments below. 


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