This Company Offers To Install Double Batteries on Nissan LEAF Increasing Range to 160 Miles
Hybrid Industries says "We are upgrading any year any model Nissan Leaf. The system is now 2 times larger, the factory battery system is 24KWHR which is good for 80 miles, this is now 48KWHR which is good for 160 miles total. No additional computers necessary, this is a complete battery system upgrade. This upgrade is much more reliable, gets 160 miles per charge, the factory charger charges the second battery as well, no need for any additional components."
LEAF owners are suspicious.
Conrad Encarnacion asked in the group if any of the Leaf owners are with this site before he can inquire on a similar setup, but on a different car. Here are some of the replies from number of LEAF owners in the area, which will give you a pretty good idea how they feel about this offer. "If its installed properly this should work! In the past we've heard and seen something like this done only in a import cars like the Prius and now the Leaf. So far never seen done in domestic car like the Volt," writes Encarnacion.
I checked their web site. It costs $6500 to add 24 kWh, with only a 2-4 year warranty . I have never heard of the company before and who knows if they would still be around to honor the warranty by then.
Presumably, one wouldn't get more than 160 miles because the existing Nissan battery is likely already degraded to some degree by the time you would add theirs. The new battery also adds weight, which reduces miles/kWh. And of course it depends on driving patterns. Even with a brand new 2012 Leaf, I never got 80 miles per charge, so I wouldn't expect 160+ even with a brand new 48 kWh battery.
I think it's great that this option exists, but at this cost, if I still had a Leaf, I would probably be too worried about the terms of the warranty & support to go for it. With a better warranty - say, a Leaf with a 48 kWh Nissan battery that costs $6,500 more - it would be a much more useful option. There isn't any vehicle with that size battery currently. Even the RAV 4 EV only had 41.8 kWh. And Tesla starts at 60 kWh. So, 48 kWh is an interesting positioning with nothing on the market today.
While interesting, the installation will turn a 5-seat LEAF into a 2-seat LEAF with ~ 2/3 of original cargo volume. One concern is no cover is pictured to enclose the battery cells internal to the cabin. (The pack voltage is ~400 volts and would be capable of delivering ~180 kW power, ie: great balls of plasma). Overall a good idea, but comes with some constraints.
Editor's Note: Judging from the picture, it looks like this is not going to effect the back seat, but may effect the cargo space.
Looks like it is installed in the trunk/cargo space, so don't think you would loose 2nd row seating. This is completely DIY and not sure if LCU will communicate to VCM. There is gonna be a lot of unknowns.
Interesting to know if they simply double each individual cell, and rely on the Leaf's BMS to understand the new capacity. That's been my only theory as to how someone could extend the Leaf's range - by pairing a second cell with each existing cell to make the whole system "bigger". It'd require a hell of a lot of wiring!
Doesn't look like an upscale operation. Notice the overturned Rubbermaid tub over some electronics in the first pic and the dart-board and milk-crates in the fourth pic. Now, having said that, if you need your EV to go further than 100 miles (and you don't want it to be a total Frankenstein EV conversion freak show), right now one of your only choices is to drop $70k on a Tesla. So, spending $6,500 to make your Leaf do that is very compelling.
It also looks like they do this without compromising the back-seats (as you can see the backs of the 60/40-split seats in the first pic. I doubt that they have a nice cover, yet, but I imagine that they're working on that.
Sure, these guys look like a startup, but it's a cool idea, and there *is* demand, and the price is reasonable. At this early stage, I figure that you're going to have some issues with it, which I'm sure they'll work hard to fix, as they want the early adopters to have good things to say, or they're doomed. For this reason, unless you work nearby (so that they can easily come tweak it), I'd pass.
Somewhat dismayed by how they say "ask about the 12KWHR charger" though, like they have little grasp of the kW/kWh terminology. That's... unsavory.
Editor's Note: Could this be a carry-along emergency charger?
Hats off to these guys for making something new and cool available to the public. Of course there are bugs it is an all new product. I would love a long rang kit in my leaf.
I'd like to hear an independent audit of the system to see if it is for real. If so could be great for the Leaf! I'd be 4x happer with the car with 2x range.