Nissan Employees Build 48 kWh LEAF Prototype In Their Spare Time (Video)

JUL 21 2016 BY MARK KANE 23

While we are impatiently awaiting new Nissan battery options for the 2017 LEAF, Nissan’s employees have built their own 48 kWh battery in their spare time…and are showing it off first.

48 kWh Nissan LEAF prototype

48 kWh Nissan LEAF prototype

The 48 kWh LEAF is just that – an employees project, and simply doubles the existing 24 kWh pack, taking up additional space in the rear, so no one should confuse this project with anything upcoming from Nissan itself.

“In a demonstration of their passion for innovation, Nissan engineers have created a prototype Nissan LEAF with a 48 kWh battery – in their spare time.

Following the manufacturer’s principles of on-going research and development of electric vehicles, the 48 kWh prototype carries a battery twice the size of the original Nissan LEAF production model, with a 75 percent increase in driving range in everyday conditions.

It was created by a group of engineers at Nissan’s Technical Centre in Barcelona (NTCE-S), whose passion and commitment to their work has given rise to the Nissan Innovation team. The team of volunteers take on a range of exciting endeavours, pushing the boundaries of what is possible with electric vehicle technology.

The prototype, codenamed “Cocoon” in reference to the American sci-fi film of the same name, was built to compete in the Spanish motorsport event, ECOseries – a new initiative which rewards “efficiency and fuel economy rather than outright speed.””

“These extra-curricular projects feed in to Nissan’s Intelligent Mobility vision and allow employees to draw on their expertise, skills and experience to experiment with technology, design and engineering. The Intelligent Mobility framework informs all of Nissan’s future products and technologies, with the aim of developing a smart, connected, sustainable zero emission transport network.”

Labour of love: Nissan employees build 48 kWh LEAF prototype in their spare time

Labour of love: Nissan employees build 48 kWh LEAF prototype in their spare time

Labour of love: Nissan employees build 48 kWh LEAF prototype in their spare time

Labour of love: Nissan employees build 48 kWh LEAF prototype in their spare time

Dario Fernandez, Senior Engineer at NTCE-S, said:

“It has been a great privilege to work on this project and to see our finished prototype race in the ECOseries. We all have a real passion for what we do and being able to work on prototype projects gives us the creative freedom to be as innovative and forward-thinking as we possibly can.

“Battery range improvement is important to the on-going adoption of electric vehicles, so this was a great opportunity to utilise our knowledge of zero-emissions technology to look at how battery range could potentially be extended in this particular application.”

Gareth Dunsmore, Director of Electric Vehicles at Nissan Europe, said:

“As a pioneer of the electric vehicle market, Nissan has consistently innovated and advanced its technology to remain at the forefront of the zero emission sector. Whilst there are no plans to put this prototype into production, it serves as a useful exercise in thinking outside the box, something our engineers and designers do on a daily basis. The Nissan LEAF 48 kWh showcases the passion our employees have for their work.”

Labour of love: Nissan employees build 48 kWh LEAF prototype in their spare time

Labour of love: Nissan employees build 48 kWh LEAF prototype in their spare time

Labour of love: Nissan employees build 48 kWh LEAF prototype in their spare time

Labour of love: Nissan employees build 48 kWh LEAF prototype in their spare time

Categories: Nissan

Tags:

Leave a Reply

23 Comments on "Nissan Employees Build 48 kWh LEAF Prototype In Their Spare Time (Video)"

newest oldest most voted

So….a group of employees with a budget remove the seats and drop in a second battery…wouldn’t really call that a prototype…

In their spare time, Toyota engineers should try to one up the Nissan Engineers and modify a Prius Prime with a ginormous extra battery. Maybe Toyota execs including CEO Toyoda will take notice of their effort and its results.

Why stop at 48 is what I wanna know!

Do you see the rear suspension in that video? That’s why.

Lipstick on a pig….

I agree, makes it even more prettier.

So, they turned it into a 2-seater.. but it still has a lot of cargo area, by the look of it. I wonder if Nissan had offered something like this as an option on the original Leaf, how many people would have opted for the 2 seater with 140 miles of range?

Hmm, looks like a good start for a leaf based small pickup truck. Stretch it out a bit .. battery pack under the bed? ??

A panel van with 150 mile range.

The eNV200 is due out in a year or two and is exactly that.

Wasn’t there a company in Vegas that put second 24kWh batter in Leaf trunk? At least that would save all the seats, unlike this one.

Still, EV brings out something in people to do things. I don’t think they would’ve done “extra curricular” work for other cars.

Now we just need some Nissan employees to build a new Nissan management in their spare time.

————————
Rid of my 2013 leaf on June 31st! On to the future!

Getting rid of my 2011 LEAF was one of the two happiest days owning it…

They must have new calendars in the future, eh? 🙂

Nissan should have had an updated production model with 200 miles of range and active battery cooling at least a year ago. But they didn’t and still don’t, so apparently this is what they think passes for news now. Meh.

So disappointing.

No doubt John!

How do they know it had 75% more range – from the lying ‘guess-o-meter’?

So in the depths of winter, if my 12 Leaf had this setup, my range would have jumped from 36 miles to 63 miles. *golf clap*

Honestly, this shows how hapless these people’s employer is – the employees had to cobble their own car together because Nissan has done nothing in 6 years.

Nissan batteries are bulky. Why don’t they lay those modules flat instead of run them vertically?

I would call it a Proof-of-Concept. Hopefully, it attracts some executive interest in doubling the battery capacity of the Leaf. Nissan is going to take a pretty serious hit next year in the EV sector when the Model III and Bolt are both available. Nissan needs to innovate, not stagnate.

The upcoming 60 kWh pack is roughly the same size as the 24 kWh.

Vertical cell disposition is better for heat dissipation.

Horizontal cells on top of each other is a bad idea and one of the reasons why the Leaf’s battery is bad at heat dissipation.

… because they just bolted a second pack in.

I’d guess they made a firmware change, too. The should make it available along with a parts list.

Sweet!

What I want to hear, is how fast it with a Nismo ECM.