A prototype battery module packing 38kWh and up to 200km range aiming to keep early model all-electric Nissan Leafs on the road is being developed by New Zealand electric vehicle dealer and rental company Blue Cars.
The new prototype builds on a previous battery pack that was developed by the company with funding from NZ's Low Emission Vehicles Contestable Fund (LEVCF).
Based in New Zealand's north with offices in Auckland and Waiheke Island, Blue Cars focus is on replacing the ageing batteries in the substantial fleet of early model Nissan Leafs in the island nation
'At the moment we are targeting at the moment the Generation 1 Leafs which are less efficient but will need batteries first … as they are coming to an age where the batteries will need replacing,' director and operations manager of Blue Cars Bill Alexander tells The Driven.
While the original 30kWh prototype – which was a proof-of-concept and not commercially available – boosted the range of an older Nissan Leaf 24kWh battery by 45 per cent, the latest version of the battery pack goes even further.
The newest 38kWh improved battery pack prototype, which has now been successfully tested using third party cells, could boost the range of 2011-2012 models to up to 200km range, a 70 per cent increase on the first generation Leaf's original 117km range
To read the full story on RenewEconomy's electric vehicle dedicated site, The Driven, click here…
Bridie Schmidt is staff writer for The Driven
, and Renew Economy
. She specialises in writing about new technology, as well as using her technical skills in managing our websites.