Originally Posted by marswill
In a nutshell, the Tesla has better batteries than the Fisker and the Fisker has better batteries than the Leaf. Also, heat is the biggest enemy of Lithium batteries. That's why active cooling for the batteries can make a big difference on battery life. The Tesla and the Karma both have active cooling.
2011 and 2012 LMO Leaf batteries had the issues... Nissan made a change to the pack in 2012 which mitigated these issues in extremely hot climates (Arizona).
The new Leafs have actually moved to NMC cathode with the 30kwh/40kwh in the vans.. so this is no longer an issue.
Just recently A123 has moved into this space... essentially abandoning Iron Phosphate and using their existing inventory for 48v start/stop batteries.
The A123 pack in the Karma is quite antique as I do not think any OEM in North America uses this Iron Phosphate chemistry. I know a lot of hobbyists use this chem and it is quite popular (you really don't need much thermal management).
The Karma is also antique in that it does not actively heat the pack so you see huge issues such as voltage drop and a myriad of other issues (although there is a claim that the new Revero's EXT chemistry negates the need for active heating- not so with the Karma). The battery balancing algorithm also actually uses resistive bleeding which is very archiac (that is why it takes many hours even days to balance a pack and even then will not really be able to balance it). Saying that the A123 Karma pack is better than anything maybe a huge overstatement.