Along with concerns like range anxiety, many potential electric car buyers express concerns about high voltage electric shocks.
With the Nissan Leaf being an entirely new type of vehicle, before it came to market engineers sat down and postulated all the possible “what ifs” of things that could go wrong, making sure to test the electric car in new ways never even dreamed of before.
“What are the dangers for an electric vehicle? What kind of tests should be done? We had to really find out through feeling our way,” says Kouji Tanaka the man in charge of the EV Safety Protection Project Technical Development team for the Leaf.
Engineers tallied up a list of possible scenarios that owners might experience during real world ownership, ranging from what might happen if their dog chewed the charge cord, to what would happen if a woman charged the car wearing a conductive necklace. Other scenarios included adding conductive liquid to the seat belt, pouring water over the charge port while plugging it in, and driving the Leaf through deep water at speed.
In total over 1,000 different test cases were dreamed up before engineers got to work acting out the most likely hypothetical situations.
Making the task more complex was the time schedule that the Leaf was under in order to make it to market. In fact, rather than perform tests on a test car, Tanaka and his team were working alongside the engineers who built the car.
Helping get the Leaf out on time and meeting all of the safety requirements earned Tanaka Nissan’s COO Award, the highest honor the company gives among its 28,000 employees.
For more on just how different the testing method for the Leaf was, watch the video below:
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