Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

CleanTechnica

Batteries

A 2012 LEAF With 150 Miles Of Range

A shop in Quebec is fixing up older Nissan LEAFs and giving them around 150 miles of range. Compared to the 80 or so miles of range they came with from the factory, and the much lower ranges many have after degradation, this is a huge improvement. Swap services will be available both in their shop or using an upcoming DIY kit.

Unlike my previous post about a hypothetical LEAF with 380 miles of range, this is the real deal, and has been done to three vehicles. A shop in Quebec is fixing up older Nissan LEAFs and giving them around 150 miles of range. Compared to the 80 or so miles of range they came with from the factory, and the much lower ranges many have after degradation, this is a huge improvement. Swap services will be available both in their shop or using an upcoming DIY kit.

The donor and recipient LEAFs. Image provided by Véhicules électriques Simon André.

Mechanically, the process is fairly straightforward. The techs at Véhicules électriques Simon André find a 2018 or newer 40 kWh LEAF that has been in a serious enough accident to be totaled out by insurance, but that hasn’t sustained damage to the battery pack. Because the battery pack is mounted in the middle of the car and down low, most totaled LEAFs have a salvageable battery pack. The bolt pattern (the position of the bolt holes on the car and battery) is the same for older LEAFs and the newest ones, so mounting the newer pack is just a matter of removing it from the newer totaled LEAF and bolting it under the older one that has a degraded 24 kWh pack. No adapter plates, welding, drilling, etc. is needed to perform the swap.

There are a couple of challenges, though.

The small modification to the lid of the pack (left side). Image provided by Véhicules électriques Simon André.

One big problem is software. While both the old pack and the new pack speak the same language (CAN bus messages), the car’s computers are expecting the kind of messages they’d get from the 24 kWh pack, and the newer pack’s data wouldn’t look right. If not addressed, the car will still run, but will show errors and probably only allow “turtle mode,” a limp-mode that only allows a small amount of power. To address this, they use an aftermarket “gateway module” that translates the CAN messages to and from the pack to give each part what it’s expecting to see. Not only does this allow the car to run properly, but it also allows the car’s gauges to show the correct information. It will give a reasonably accurate “guess-o-meter,” battery percentage, battery health, temperature, etc.

Perhaps most importantly, the car does charge properly using both the J1772 and CHAdeMO ports. Level 1 charging works as expected, but level 2 charging will still be at the speeds the car came with (3.3 or 6.6 kW). Level 3 CHAdeMO works as it should for rapid charging.

For those living in or willing to travel to Quebec, they’re doing upgrades now in their shop. For the rest of us, they’re developing a kit you can use to do the swap yourself or at the facility of your choice. The kit is expected to be around $1000 (not including the salvaged 40 kWh pack), and will be programmed for the year of car and pack you specify. They also told us that they plan to offer a kit to swap 62 kWh packs from the LEAF Plus to other years, but that will come later.

The donor vehicle. Image provided by Véhicules électriques Simon André.

Featured image of gauge cluster provided by Véhicules électriques Simon André.

 
Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.
 
 

Advertisement
 
Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

Written By

Jennifer Sensiba is a long time efficient vehicle enthusiast, writer, and photographer. She grew up around a transmission shop, and has been experimenting with vehicle efficiency since she was 16 and drove a Pontiac Fiero. She likes to explore the Southwest US with her partner, kids, and animals. Follow her on Twitter for her latest articles and other random things: https://twitter.com/JenniferSensiba

Comments

You May Also Like

Cars

Despite smaller growth rates, the European passenger plugin vehicle market is still in the fast lane. More than 221,000 plugin vehicles were registered in...

Cars

Nissan takes a 1986 Bluebird into the 21st century with 2022 Nissan LEAF power!

Cars

So many settings on a Tesla increase the comfort and relaxation of driving.

Cars

Despite an artificially inflated November 2020 (CO2 fleet mandates + fiscal changes), the Dutch plugin vehicle (PEV) market managed to stay in positive territory...

Copyright © 2021 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.