MikeD
Posts: 701
Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2010 6:14 am
Delivery Date: 12 May 2011
Leaf Number: 592

Re: Battery Upgrades are very possible

Sat Jan 25, 2020 3:58 pm

Dala: I was under the mistaken impression that the only re-wiring necessary was under the dash -- away from high voltage. If I recall correctly the dash rewiring is only for the 2011-12 Leafs -- please say if that is not correct.

mux
Posts: 265
Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:52 am
Delivery Date: 13 Oct 2011
Leaf Number: 6177

Re: Battery Upgrades are very possible

Sun Jan 26, 2020 1:43 am

For all model years of Leaf, all low-voltage wiring modifications are inside the passenger compartment of the car. The electronics we supply are not weatherproofed, although this is possible in principle.

The main reason for doing it this way, apart from arguably the weatherproofing aspect, is to make sure customers can easily either swap our MITM electronics or do firmware upgrades on them. There's a USB port that facilitates it, as well as a PDI programming port. Considering we are rolling out new firmware versions every few weeks right now, and will likely not stop updating and upgrading functionality for the forseeable future, this is a very important function.

In the gen1 Leaf (2010-13), there is no convenient place to put a connectorized splice, so you basically HAVE to physically cut the CAN wires to splice in our electronics. In gen2 and gen3 (2013-17), there is a convenient connector. Then in gen4 and 5 (2017+), it's cutting and splicing again.

Oilpan4
Posts: 1244
Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:51 pm
Delivery Date: 10 May 2018
Leaf Number: 004270

Re: Battery Upgrades are very possible

Sun Jan 26, 2020 6:55 am

I'd do it.
2011 white SL leaf with 2014 batt.
Chargers: Panasonic brick moded for 240v, duosida 16a 240v and a 10kw setec portable CHAdeMO
Location: 88103

User avatar
SalisburySam
Gold Member
Posts: 363
Joined: Thu Sep 27, 2012 11:01 am
Delivery Date: 24 Feb 2012
Leaf Number: 018156
Location: Salisbury, NC

Re: Battery Upgrades are very possible

Sun Jan 26, 2020 8:17 am

I would not.
Nissan 2012 LEAF SL, 13,500 miles, 9 bars, 30-mile max range

Tesla Model 3: Long Range Rear Wheel Drive | Extended AutoPilot | Full Self-Driving
Delivered: July, 2018 | 13,500 miles
Get 1000 miles free Supercharging: https://ts.la/john70942

coleafrado
Posts: 156
Joined: Fri Oct 11, 2019 11:58 pm
Delivery Date: 17 Dec 2011
Leaf Number: 17123

Re: Battery Upgrades are very possible

Sun Jan 26, 2020 9:03 pm

The dominant strategy in this industry, at least in the realms of the US and Britain, is to have a company that either provides refurbished whole batteries from Nissan or completely re-engineers the battery and BMS and HVAC such that a larger, newer, thermally managed pack can be installed in the same volume but not necessarily in the same case. Doing it on your own is too selfish - your work on your own car is effectively a dead end - and you could make substantially more profit (enterprise-wise or cash-wise, pick one) by sharing your efforts and protecting yourself via the additional engineers, safety, insurance, and testing facilities that a company can ordinarily afford.

The really dominant strategy is to be Tesla, and skip all the faffing about with crappy uncooled batteries and frog-shaped cars, but that spot's already been taken.

mux
Posts: 265
Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:52 am
Delivery Date: 13 Oct 2011
Leaf Number: 6177

Re: Battery Upgrades are very possible

Mon Jan 27, 2020 12:02 am

It's not really necessary to be particularly big or make lots of money in this business, though. Our mission is to keep the old EV generation driving around - they're mechanically fine, all they need is a few small updates to be usable for another decade. A few hundred customers is all we need to be a profitable business, serve our customers personally and provide a decent product they can enjoy at a reasonable price. That's it. We don't need to be Tesla, we don't even need to be Nissan, we can just be muxsan. With that particular type of scale, some types of development are just out of the question.

And this isn't new by any stretch of the imagination. We're on an industrial estate with literally dozens of custom car shops, serving maybe a dozen customers a year with their weird and wonderful requests. This is just car modding, it's a niche.

The companies that attempt to make a reworked battery are doomed, in my opinion. Not because it's a technically bad approach, but because you just can't get to the kind of scale that makes this affordable for people to consider. Blue cars and Phoenix have tried, with hundreds of thousands of dollars of subsidies, to make a replacement battery and made maybe one or two prototypes. Prototypes that are essentially unsellable because they don't solve the core issue (the thermal management - they have practically none either) and they need to make thousands to get even the steel shell down to the price we sell our entire batteries for, let alone to get a decent battery contract. Keep in mind that even at full production, we only use about 20MWh of batteries per year. Samsung SDI won't even talk to us at that volume. ETC gives us shit prices.

And even then, if you can find 10.000 interested Leaf owners worldwide, you still have to homologate the battery in all those countries, a process that takes years and needs active involvement of Nissan, a company that on multiple occasions has explicitly said they will not support this car anymore for even the most minor of modifications like tow bars or roof racks. You'll be well into 2022 if you started this process now.

I've said this before on this forum: there is a lot of theorizing and wishful thinking in the EV community that someday, maybe, somebody will come around and make their fantasy a reality. Their technically perfect product, maybe even their hare-brained idea, could just work if only a large company would invest the time and money into it that it deserves. Battery trailers, trunk batteries, extra chargers, boattails, we've all seen the projects and ideas repeated a dozen times. It has been 9 years since the first Leafs came out. Where are all these companies making these great products at scale at an affordable price? Maybe, just maybe, these are actually niche products best served by niche companies.

mmmike
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2017 10:29 pm
Delivery Date: 05 Nov 2017
Leaf Number: 407184

Re: Battery Upgrades are very possible

Mon Jan 27, 2020 8:10 am

mux wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 12:02 am
It's not really necessary to be particularly big or make lots of money in this business, though. Our mission is to keep the old EV generation driving around - they're mechanically fine, all they need is a few small updates to be usable for another decade. A few hundred customers is all we need to be a profitable business, serve our customers personally and provide a decent product they can enjoy at a reasonable price. That's it. We don't need to be Tesla, we don't even need to be Nissan, we can just be muxsan. With that particular type of scale, some types of development are just out of the question.

And this isn't new by any stretch of the imagination. We're on an industrial estate with literally dozens of custom car shops, serving maybe a dozen customers a year with their weird and wonderful requests. This is just car modding, it's a niche.

The companies that attempt to make a reworked battery are doomed, in my opinion. Not because it's a technically bad approach, but because you just can't get to the kind of scale that makes this affordable for people to consider. Blue cars and Phoenix have tried, with hundreds of thousands of dollars of subsidies, to make a replacement battery and made maybe one or two prototypes. Prototypes that are essentially unsellable because they don't solve the core issue (the thermal management - they have practically none either) and they need to make thousands to get even the steel shell down to the price we sell our entire batteries for, let alone to get a decent battery contract. Keep in mind that even at full production, we only use about 20MWh of batteries per year. Samsung SDI won't even talk to us at that volume. ETC gives us shit prices.

And even then, if you can find 10.000 interested Leaf owners worldwide, you still have to homologate the battery in all those countries, a process that takes years and needs active involvement of Nissan, a company that on multiple occasions has explicitly said they will not support this car anymore for even the most minor of modifications like tow bars or roof racks. You'll be well into 2022 if you started this process now.

I've said this before on this forum: there is a lot of theorizing and wishful thinking in the EV community that someday, maybe, somebody will come around and make their fantasy a reality. Their technically perfect product, maybe even their hare-brained idea, could just work if only a large company would invest the time and money into it that it deserves. Battery trailers, trunk batteries, extra chargers, boattails, we've all seen the projects and ideas repeated a dozen times. It has been 9 years since the first Leafs came out. Where are all these companies making these great products at scale at an affordable price? Maybe, just maybe, these are actually niche products best served by niche companies.
mux

If I could give a "Thumbs UP" on here for your post, I would. I commend you for trying to fill the niche that I really so want someone to fill. That niche is to save what otherwise is such a great car. I personally love my leaf. My wife and I drive it in comfort for 90% of our everyday needs. I would say that the group you are working to help is the group with folks like myself who can't stand for something good to go to waste when it could be fixed! It seems to me the most earth conscious and sustainable car is the one that doesn't have to even be built so if I can get many more years out this car it serves that purpose. So kudos to you!

Now how can I buy your extender here in the USA?
2013 SV 36k 10bars - 48.6 aHr
Charging - Maxx-16 3.8kw exclusively
Central Texas

Oilpan4
Posts: 1244
Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:51 pm
Delivery Date: 10 May 2018
Leaf Number: 004270

Re: Battery Upgrades are very possible

Mon Jan 27, 2020 11:22 am

mux wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 12:02 am
The companies that attempt to make a reworked battery are doomed, in my opinion. Not because it's a technically bad approach, but because you just can't get to the kind of scale that makes this affordable for people to consider. Blue cars and Phoenix have tried, with hundreds of thousands of dollars of subsidies, to make a replacement battery and made maybe one or two prototypes. Prototypes that are essentially unsellable because they don't solve the core issue (the thermal management - they have practically none either) and they need to make thousands to get even the steel shell down to the price we sell our entire batteries for, let alone to get a decent battery contract. Keep in mind that even at full production, we only use about 20MWh of batteries per year. Samsung SDI won't even talk to us at that volume. ETC gives us shit prices.
I agree. I have always believed the most practical solution will use as much of the original battery and case as possible.
The only way anyone would have a chance at being able to build a ground up battery that solves all the problems would be if they were already in the business of making such batteries.
2011 white SL leaf with 2014 batt.
Chargers: Panasonic brick moded for 240v, duosida 16a 240v and a 10kw setec portable CHAdeMO
Location: 88103

coleafrado
Posts: 156
Joined: Fri Oct 11, 2019 11:58 pm
Delivery Date: 17 Dec 2011
Leaf Number: 17123

Re: Battery Upgrades are very possible

Thu Jan 30, 2020 7:12 am

mux wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 12:02 am
It's not really necessary to be particularly big or make lots of money in this business, though. Our mission is to keep the old EV generation driving around - they're mechanically fine, all they need is a few small updates to be usable for another decade. A few hundred customers is all we need to be a profitable business, serve our customers personally and provide a decent product they can enjoy at a reasonable price. That's it. We don't need to be Tesla, we don't even need to be Nissan, we can just be muxsan. With that particular type of scale, some types of development are just out of the question.

And this isn't new by any stretch of the imagination. We're on an industrial estate with literally dozens of custom car shops, serving maybe a dozen customers a year with their weird and wonderful requests. This is just car modding, it's a niche.

The companies that attempt to make a reworked battery are doomed, in my opinion. Not because it's a technically bad approach, but because you just can't get to the kind of scale that makes this affordable for people to consider. Blue cars and Phoenix have tried, with hundreds of thousands of dollars of subsidies, to make a replacement battery and made maybe one or two prototypes. Prototypes that are essentially unsellable because they don't solve the core issue (the thermal management - they have practically none either) and they need to make thousands to get even the steel shell down to the price we sell our entire batteries for, let alone to get a decent battery contract. Keep in mind that even at full production, we only use about 20MWh of batteries per year. Samsung SDI won't even talk to us at that volume. ETC gives us shit prices.

And even then, if you can find 10.000 interested Leaf owners worldwide, you still have to homologate the battery in all those countries, a process that takes years and needs active involvement of Nissan, a company that on multiple occasions has explicitly said they will not support this car anymore for even the most minor of modifications like tow bars or roof racks. You'll be well into 2022 if you started this process now.

I've said this before on this forum: there is a lot of theorizing and wishful thinking in the EV community that someday, maybe, somebody will come around and make their fantasy a reality. Their technically perfect product, maybe even their hare-brained idea, could just work if only a large company would invest the time and money into it that it deserves. Battery trailers, trunk batteries, extra chargers, boattails, we've all seen the projects and ideas repeated a dozen times. It has been 9 years since the first Leafs came out. Where are all these companies making these great products at scale at an affordable price? Maybe, just maybe, these are actually niche products best served by niche companies.
Great reply! There's just no economic justification for spinning up a battery+TMS production line when the price ceiling is so low and you're competing against salvaged new-ish batteries. To be clear, Tesla could almost certainly start up a secondary production line (5,000/year?) at their Gigafactory for modules adding up to a liquid-cooled 40-60 kWh Leaf pack. It's just that they have essentially no incentive to do all that engineering when the marginal revenue for a new Model 3 pack is so much higher despite the costs being essentially the same.
... you just can't get to the kind of scale that makes this affordable...
This was essentially my point, but I could have indicated the capital difference between the two dominant strategies. One requires $30m funding, the other requires maybe $30k. Designing a new thermally managed pack is so expensive (and the fixed costs of production are so ridiculously high) that you have no other option than to capture essentially the entire secondary Leaf battery market. If you fail to do so, your company will die. That's the bit about needing to be huge or needing to be Tesla - how do you start up a business selling re-engineered Leaf batteries (to the tiny subset of Leaf owners attached to their cars, let's get real) when your competition is the Model 3?

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