The high-voltage battery pack is the heart of any electric vehicle. An electric vehicle’s range and performance are both dictated by what can be delivered by the HV battery. Battery upgrades are therefore the key to allowing existing electric vehicles to become far better than they ever were, even when new. This is entirely achievable and is already being offered by some automotive manufacturers in some markets around the world (HV battery upgrades on the Renault Zoe, BMW i3 and some Tesla models spring to mind). Nissan had previously claimed that earlier cars were not compatible with newer batteries, however several EV specialist companies including ourselves put in the effort to figure out how to correctly perform these upgrades and therefore demonstrate that these initial claims were false. Perhaps coincidentally, in late 2019 Nissan USA released a 40kWh pack pre-programmed to be compatible with 2016-2017 Leafs which were originally fitted with 30kWh packs. This clearly goes against their earlier claims. At this point their official upgrades do not extend to earlier 24kWh Leafs. You can learn more about this over on our news page.
In our home country of New Zealand, not only are official battery upgrades not an option, but even purchasing a replacement battery of the original capacity isn’t an option through Nissan NZ.
But necessity is the mother of invention, so EVs Enhanced in collaboration with some of our partners have been working hard to make Nissan Leaf battery replacements and upgrades available in NZ. Our HV Battery Pairing Tool allows for safe and efficient replacement of the battery pack with another battery of the same type, while our range of HV Battery Translators allow upgrades to higher capacity battery packs from newer model Leafs. In both cases the battery replacement or upgrade is achieved without the need to open either the new or old battery pack and can be performed by any skilled mechanic after engaging in a small amount of training. In addition to releasing these technical products, we have been working with others to improve the the supply of good replacement battery packs in our country.
How can I upgrade my battery?
Battery upgrades are available via our own EVs Enhanced Centre in Christchurch, New Zealand and through select EVs Enhanced partners. Alternatively, the same products we use in-house are available individually to allow battery upgrades to be performed by any skilled mechanic interested in learning how to correctly perform this work.
Using our HV Battery Translators we offer a wide range of options for fitting upgraded battery packs into older Leafs. To see what translators are currently offered and which are in development you can check the latest on our HV Battery Translator page. New Translators are added here as they enter active development.
Where do you source your replacement batteries?
As mentioned earlier, you cannot purchase new battery packs from Nissan in New Zealand or through official Nissan channels overseas. Our replacement packs are primarily sourced from lightly damaged vehicles that are not deemed economical to repair. Each pack is fully checked, and capacity tested before being fitted into a customer’s Leaf. In addition to this, we are also working with others to improve the the supply of good replacement battery packs in our country. Alternatively, if you wish to supply your own battery pack, we are happy to fit this for you.
What happens to my old battery?
When performing a battery upgrade through our Service Centre, we are happy to trade in your old battery pack to offset the cost of your new replacement battery. These packs sometimes go on to use within older Leafs with even lower capacity battery packs. When no longer suitable for use within a vehicle, the modules from these packs can begin a new life as stationary storage solutions often in conjunction with solar power.
How much does it cost?
There are a few factors involved in a battery upgrade including the capacity and state of health of both your replacement pack and your trade in pack, whether you require a Battery Translator, and the build year of your Leaf. For an approximate price, try out our Nissan Leaf Battery Upgrade Calculator. For a quote specific to your Leaf, please get in touch, we’d love to hear from you!