Over on the My Nissan Leaf forum: there have been plenty of aftermarket products that have been brought to life out of the discussions and experiences of the first Nissan Leaf owners. After driving the electric vehicle, owners have realized that the Leaf could do well with some more features. One of those features is faster charging.
Forum member Ingineer (Phil Sadow) has managed to fit his 2011 Nissan Leaf with an on-board charger capable of halving the usual level 2 charge time of the Nissan Electric Car. Phil wrote “My car is indeed equipped with a prototype 6.6 kW upgrade that works properly, and more than doubles the Leaf’s charging speed (when used with a 32A capable EVSE). I can charge to 80 percent in well under 3 hours.” That puts his charge time on par with the 2012 Ford Focus Electric and the 2012 Coda Sedan with their Level 2 charging station capabilities. View the thread here.
Since Nissan initially announced the 2013 would have the faster on-board charger, some have used that as an excuse to why the 2012 Nissan Leaf sales have softened. The 2013 Leaf comes with some additional features that make it worth the wait. When Nissan first made that announcement, Mark Perry of Nissan hinted that the new charger would be designed to so it could be retrofitted to existing Leafs – “We don’t want to orphan our first-year buyers.” However, the cost and complexity of the retrofit make the official upgrade highly unlikely.
The charger upgrade required no holes driller or wires cut and had no affect on the amount of space in Nissan’s load bay, but since Phil is working on other products like the LeafScan, the charger upgrade will be on hold until it’s complete. Phil estimates the cost could be between $2000-$3000 if enough Leaf owners were interested.
Photo Credit: Nikki Gordon-Bloomfield