We have been looking at reconditioning EV batteries like in the Nissan Leaf for some time now. Recently we have had some success with a Gen 1 Nissan Leaf. The owner brought us a 8 bar 2011 Nissan Leaf, their average total mileage after a full charge was 113kms, that for all practical purposes suited their lifestyle but they were willing to allow us to experiment with it.
We spent about a week just trying to get data to identify the issue with the EV battery. We found that the Leaf was quite good at keeping the EV battery even under stress. While it was good for the car it is not so good for us when looking for the reason the vehicle is just 8 bars in capacity. Additional issues included getting Leaf Spy to run on a desktop we found the emulator we used worked but still not great.
After a lot of tears we found a way to get around this and were able to identify specific areas in the EV battery that showed deterioration. We pulled the EV battery down and then manually tested the EV Cells to see if we could verify what we could see on the scan tools. What we saw did not really lineup but we persisted anyway making adjustments to the EV bank as we saw fit.
After reinstalling the EV battery we recharged and found the vehicles total mileage on a full charge had now increased to 130kms. However we did not see any capacity bar levels raise, we suspect this was due to some initial errors we made.
The goal now is to repeat this process to try replicate results and fine tune it to ultimately see bar recovery on the leaf. Long term we want to be able to bring the cost of such a process down to an equivalent regular petrol engine service. For now if you own a 8 bar or less Nissan Leaf and are willing to let us tinker with it. Please get in touch.
November 2018 Update: Success!!!
We have been trailing and debating different options and techniques for reconditioning EVs like the Nissan Leaf for more than a year now. It has taken a back seat to our Hybrid work but we had some recent success over the weekend.
Our main issue was proving concept was it even possible to increase the capacity bar level of a Nissan Leaf? Today I am happy to say that it is absolutely possible! We successfully increased the capacity of this 8 Bar 60% SOH Nissan Leaf to 12 Bars 93% SOH. In the photos to the right you can see the capacity bar level increase of this 2011 119,000 km Nissan Leaf and below is the before and after Leaf spy data.
The second stage of this project will be looking at how we can reduce the cost of repair. Because currently the costs outweigh the value of the vehicle. So watch this space EV Owners help is coming!