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It turns out there's a way to stuff an extra 0.7 percent of energy into a Nissan LEAF battery pack and it's easier than you might expect.
According to Automotive News:
"To cram more charge into the lithium ion battery of the Nissan Leaf electric car, Nissan Motor Co.'s battery engineers turned to the tap for inspiration."
"Their breakthrough: Top off the battery with three extra minicharges at five-minute intervals at the very end of charging. It is similar to an expert bartender waiting for the foam to die down before topping off a beer with a couple of tap blasts."
News of this topping off method comes from Taiichi Onoyama, leader at Nissan's electric and hybrid system engineering department, who stated:
"In our company, we talk about additional charging using this example of how to pour beer."
0.7 percent isn't much, but it could be the different between arriving at your destination and getting stranded with no charge on the side of the road.
As Automotive News explains (via slides shown at a conference in Tokyo):
"The secret lies in allowing the cell voltage to dip a bit between charges, just like the foam on a beer. The lower voltage allows the battery to accept more charge."
Of course, it does take a bit longer to get the extra charge into the LEAF, but it may be worth the wait in some situations.
Source: Automotive News