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16 blade actively cooled after market Leaf battery

5753 Views 17 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  DBMandrake
An interesting development for the Leaf - our friends at EV's Enhanced in New Zealand have been developing a completely after market replacement battery for the Leaf which includes a fully active liquid cooling system - and not just using heat exchangers as is usually done, the cells are actually directly bathed in the (non conductive) cooling fluid....

Will there be enough of a market for it as Leaf's age ? Who knows, but depending on the cost it would beat replacing an old degraded or failed battery with another one of the same design with the same lack of cooling that will just suffer from the same fate and have the same rapid charging limitations...
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I'm not sure who this product is for?
On a technical level, it's a great feat of engineering to put a very good (better than average, as it uses immersion cooling of the cells) liquid active cooling (and heating, btw) system into a car that was never designed for it, and without taking up any meaningful extra room in the car. (Just a few extra bits stuffed under the bonnet in what were previously large open spaces, and the battery enclosure itself is no bigger) And aside from the limitations of the battery, the Leaf is actually a solid, reliable car that is quite good to drive.

However on an economic level, I have to agree with you. Who is this for ?

Back when the Leaf first came out and there were concerns about battery longevity the party line from Nissan and EV fanboys was "by the time the Leaf gets old enough to need a new battery, replacement batteries will be cheap and plentiful!"

As we all know, that never happened. Nissan reneged on their promise to make new replacement batteries available at affordable prices, so when a Leaf reaches the age where the battery is seriously degraded (say 70% SoH) and out of warranty the value proposition of putting an expensive new battery into a car that is worth less by that time than the battery that is going into it just doesn't make sense.

It might make a little sense if an old Leaf with a new battery was equally as capable as a current new EV, but that's obviously not the case. The Leaf is old tech now, particularly in the area of the battery, and more modern competitors stomp all over it. We're still too far down the adoption S-curve for this to make sense, and the battery is still too big a chunk of the total price of an EV.

In another 10 years when battery tech has "plateaued" and a new EV has a similar range and usefulness to a 10 year old EV with a new battery things might be a little bit different. But until then EV's are going to be fairly disposable unfortunately.
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The LEAF has a number of issues, the absence of battery cooling, the battery chemistry, and the rapid changes in safety equipment since it was launched. It is the unhelpful combination of these that means that even dealing with the battery cooling and chemistry leaves a car not suited to an extended life.
Given that the Leaf has a 5 star NCAP rating, what rapid changes in safety equipment are you thinking of ?
Automatic Emergency Braking is the only thing in that list the older Leaf lacks that is safety related.

AEB is nice to have but we have to keep in mind what it's intended to do and what its limitations are.

It's not a system designed to avoid a crash/collision completely, it's only designed to brake at the very last moment when a collision which is unavoidable is anticipated to lessen the impact force. It won't stop you crashing into something or someone but hopefully there will be less injury. It's there to help out when the driver is not paying attention but it is not intelligent in any way like self driving, with a very short anticipation window to avoid false positives. (It only acts when a crash is inevitable)

So, nice to have but not a "I won't ever buy a car again without it" feature like airbags and ABS was. The crash worthiness of the Leaf is still extremely good (watch the NCAP video) and it has a full complement of front, side and rail airbags as good as any other modern car. So I doubt that it would rate 2 stars if retested today, and in real world terms its still a very safe car in a crash.
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I would suggest that the price must be limited by the differential between the price of a LEAF with a poor battery and a new MG4 SE SR. In the UK those seem to be £7k upwards and £26k currently, and in the EU a Dacia Spring at £18k or less. Hard to see anything more than £10k which is about the current "value" associated with a used 62kWh battery when they are available.
The Leaf is not sold officially in New Zealand since the 24kWh model.

So all 30/40/62 kWh Leaf's in NZ are grey market imports mostly from Japan with zero support from the local Nissan stealers (sorry, dealers!) anyway....

Nissan won't even do safety recalls like the brake controller firmware update in New Zealand on the basis that they didn't sell those models (after 24kWh) there.
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