battery upgrade for old leafs?

Discussion in 'LEAF' started by Enrique Segre, Jan 18, 2018.

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  1. Enrique Segre

    Enrique Segre New Member

    I have a 2012 leaf, will it be possible to upgrade the battery?
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  3. I believe you can only replace the 2012 battery with another 2012 battery. If anyone knows better, I'm happy to stand corrected.
  4. Marcel_g

    Marcel_g Member

    I seem to remember someone asking that in the mynissanleaf forums, and the answer was that no, you can't replace a battery with an upgrade. Even though the 24, 30 and 40 kwh batteries all fit in the same physical space, there are other electronics issues (or something, can't remember) that make them not interchangeable.
    Domenick likes this.
  5. Steven

    Steven New Member

    There is youtube channel where a 2012 Leaf battery went bad and just barely got replaced under warranty. The new range was over 120 miles so it looked like a 30 kWr had been put into the car. Comments suggested that the battery management system in the battery pack was changed some how to work with the older car. The car didn't know the difference. It's all in the battery case. Comments also said that Nissan no longer makes the 24 kWr battery. Only the 30 kWr battery is being manufactured to save on costs, so they just modify the battery management box in the battery case to work with the older car. The result is more range. I can't verify this youtube channel, but it seems to be genuine. If it is true, older Leaf owners may be in for good news when it comes time to replace a worn out battery. It would be wise for Nissan to do this being these cars may be around for a long time.
  6. I think this might be the video in question. He gets 128 miles showing on the guess-o-meter at the end. Hmm.

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  8. You should call your dealer and ask. I originally thought it wasn't possible, but it sure seems like the guy in the video above managed to get his upgraded.
    Steven likes this.
  9. Steven

    Steven New Member

    yes, it is interesting.
  10. Paul Schlueter

    Paul Schlueter New Member

    You can only upgrade to the newest revision of the 24Kwh battery. After the new battery is installed, if you drive very conservatively, the Guess O Meter may occasionally give you range estimates of over 120 miles. However, it is unlikely that you could actually achieve that range. I know this information from personal experience. I have a 2012 SL and a 2011 SL, both have had the battery replaced under warranty with the most recent revision 24Kwh battery. the 2012 battery was replaced in December 2016 and the 2011 battery was replaced in May 2017. In case you may be wondering how I managed to have 2 cars get new battery under warranty, I carefully searched and intentionally purchased cars which had 8 battery bars showing and were still under warranty. The G.O.M. on either of these will occasionally give a very optimistic reading of 120 miles or more, however, the most I have ever been able to achieve was about 98 miles with very conservative driving. That being said, the newer 24Kwh battery is certainly an upgrade to these cars. Neither of these cars would have been able to go 98 miles on the original first generation battery and with the new battery, just like any 2015 or newer, you no longer need to worry about charging to 100% on a regular basis. Additionally, these newer batteries should maintain reasonable capacity for at least 8 years. I certainly consider these newer 24Kwh battery packs to be a significant upgrade even though they are not as much as a 30Kwh would be.
    Domenick likes this.
  11. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    In general, auto makers are not going to sell you an upgrade for your existing car, because they want to sell you a new car instead. This is probably even more true than normal for battery packs and older plug-in EVs, because batteries for EVs are in limited supply at all EV makers other than Tesla and BYD. Of those other auto makers, why would any of them sell a new battery pack for an old car, when production of new cars is limited by how many battery packs they have contracted for?

    Now, that's not to say that you can't find a few rare exceptions (and Tesla is selling a high-priced upgrade pack for the original Roadster), but your personal chances of being able to upgrade your old Leaf are very slim and none.
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  13. This is what I need to do. Do you reckon it's still possible to find these kind of deals? How did find them? I haven't seen the number of bars stated in online ads.

    So, you are getting 98 miles of range from these newer 24 kWh batteries? That's pretty durn good!
  14. ColoradoLeaf

    ColoradoLeaf New Member

    I have a quote from the dealer last week to replace my 24 kWh battery for $6500 with a core exchange (why would I want to keep 192 well used lithium batteries?). But he said they had only done one replacement so far and it would take a month. I didn't ask if they would take a month to GET the batteries or to perform the installation, must be the former. But they claimed it would merely restore the car to its original 74 mile range.
  15. A 24-kWh replacement would give you the sort of range you got when it was new, if you drive the same terrain in the same fashion.
  16. Paul K

    Paul K Active Member

    This is one area where criticism of the Leaf and Nissan are justified. I don't believe that a 30kwh pack couldn't be installed in these older Leafs. It's all software that has to be updated. PMPU is right. They just don't want to do it. But think of the PR points and customer loyalty they would score if they did. Any EV manufacturer that says upgrade battery packs will be available at a reasonable price will have my attention come replacement time. I have a well maintained 19 year old gasser and am hoping that electric cars will prove as long lived and durable. If the service life of a product is cut short because it's too expensive or impossible to repair as it ages then it sure as hell ain't green.
  17. Rod MacPherson

    Rod MacPherson New Member

    Give it some time. Just as there are non-dealer repair shops that specialize in glass repair, muffler repair, oil changes, starter motor rebuilds, stereo upgrades, after market body and performance modifications... there will be battery repair and upgrade shops too once there is sufficient demand for them. A Li-ion battery pack "dying" is usually one bad cell in the pack. This will become a thing shops do much like the starter motor rebuild. A mechanic invests in the tools to take it apart and re build it, goes out and gets a bunch from scrap yards, takes them apart and recombines the good parts into one good pack and sells it. I have personally taken apart a ton of laptop batteries to rescue the good cells for other projects. one bad cell in a 4 or 6 cell laptop battery will make it unusable, but toss that one cell and you have 3-5 good ones ready to keep going for years more.
    Kenneth Bokor likes this.
  18. Rick SantAngelo

    Rick SantAngelo New Member

    I have one of the very first 2011 Leafs and replaced the battery pack two years ago They fitted a new 2016 battery pack (probably 30KWh dumbed down to look like 24KWh). Outside of a few mounting brackets and a revised electrical plug no modifications were necessary.
  19. Rick SantAngelo

    Rick SantAngelo New Member

    You would think by now that third-party replacement packs would be available by now. I saw one company that had a larger battery pack for $7800, but I cannot find it now.
    As far as the one or a few cells taking the pack down, it doesn't work that way. My 2011 battery was at about 60 percent when it was replaced and all the cells were within a few mV of one another. The Battery Management System protects cells from over-/under-charging.
  20. Rick SantAngelo

    Rick SantAngelo New Member

    not at all true. I replaced my 2011 battery and my mileage is 15-20% better. I am sure they refined the BMS and the cells are simply better yielding better regenerative braking. My range is now over 100mi if I were to charge to 100% but I only charge to 80% and get the same or better than my original mileage at 100%.
  21. Rick SantAngelo

    Rick SantAngelo New Member

    My 2011 battery pack was replaced with a 2016, the electronics recognized it without any modifications. I recently saw where a 3rd party made a 60KWh replacement pack and it registered 350 miles range without modification to the electronics. The Battery Management System is part of the pack and is engineered to be backward-compatible.
  22. Rick SantAngelo

    Rick SantAngelo New Member

    Wrong, but most dealers don't know, you should call Leaf Tech Support or have your dealer look on their internal for Leaf Battery Replacement. In addition to a new battery they are supposed to be selling refurbished for $2850.
  23. Interesting you bring this up, because I just missed out on buying a 2011 LEAF with a battery replaced under warranty in 2016.

    That refurbished deal sounds promising. I'm still looking, though I'm leaning toward the i3 (used).

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