Can the leaf charge while driving?

The web's first forum dedicated to Nissan's groundbreaking electric car, the Nissan Leaf.
User avatar
gwoods
Posts: 3896
Joined: Fri Jul 27, 2007 11:57 am
Car: 2013 Infiniti M37x
1999 Nissan Altima SE limited 5spd
1992 Miata (soon to be turbo)
1965 Cj-5 with 327 v8
2012 Toyota Sequoia Limited
Location: Phoenix

Can the leaf charge while driving?

Postby gwoods » Tue Apr 20, 2010 3:37 pm

I am looking at this car thinking what would I hate about it?

I don't like the idea of being stranded if I completely deplete the battery. I don't like the idea of having to wait for it to charge while being stranded.

I can think of a couple solutions. Solar panels on the roof could be charging the battery during the day but would they be able to charge it while I am driving?

What if I wanted to drive farther then 100 miles without stopping? Could I rig up a diesel generator to charge it as I drive?

Although my questions seem crazy they are serious questions


User avatar
relytgerg
Posts: 25
Joined: Fri Nov 13, 2009 8:19 am

Re: Can the leaf charge while driving?

Postby relytgerg » Tue Apr 20, 2010 3:58 pm

"Can the leaf charge while driving?"

I don't know if the LEAF can charge while driving, but if it could, you would probably have to do some rewiring since the charging ports are on the front.

Some who have converted cars to electric have this capability and can tow a generator (or put it in their pickup bed) and run the generator to charge the car while driving, giving them extended range. I suggest you post your question to the Nissan Leaf live chat on the main page: http://www.nissanusa.com/leaf-electric-car

Your other option is the Chevy Volt which will be released about the same time as the LEAF, but comes with a built in "range extender" gas engine generator. This is a true electric vehicle, but tackles extended range with this approach. This will sell for more than the LEAF, but might be a preferable option for many.

earth4ever
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Apr 20, 2010 11:34 pm

Re: Can the leaf charge while driving?

Postby earth4ever » Wed Apr 21, 2010 12:07 am

I'm pretty sure Nissan would have to make some software changes to allow it. Their 120V and 240V charging uses the new J1772 connector which is now the standard for EVs. That is a "smart" connector rather than a simple plug, which has five terminals altogether, and includes a communication protocol whereby electronics in the car works together with electronics on the other end of the charging cord to make sure that there is no chance of a short or a shock. One of the features is that the car is supposed to keep you from accidentally driving away while you are still plugged in. ... I think you can see where this is going.

Incidentally, you can forget about running from solar panels built into the car. There's not enough surface area on the car to generate more than a trickle of electricity. If you covered the car with solar panels you might be able to get 40 watts at high noon, tapering to zero, of course, from sunup and to sundown. So figure an average of 20 watts times 12 hours on a sunny day. That's 0.24 kWh for the whole day, which is enough to go a little more than a mile. The designers would have to work pretty hard to keep from losing that mile through the solar panels' effect on the car's coefficient of drag.

The SL model of the LEAF does have a spoiler with a solar panel on it, but I believe it is only used to run a fan to keep the car a bit cooler when parked in the sun.

User avatar
Promise Land
Posts: 2168
Joined: Tue Mar 10, 2009 6:52 am
Car: 2011 Nissan Versa
2001 Chevy Suburban
1992 Ford Mustang
Location: Sprague River, OR
Contact:

Re: Can the leaf charge while driving?

Postby Promise Land » Wed Apr 21, 2010 10:39 am

It's not a "zero emission" vehicle if it has a gas engine to produce electricity. that's more of a hybrid then, so just go buy an Altima hybrid.

Remember what the leaf is designed for, metro commuters that travel less than 100 miles per day. There won't be any infrastructure on the open highways to really plug the car and charge it. I don't know if you could charge it from an extension cord from a hotel room either (I've never looked into it).

earth4ever
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Apr 20, 2010 11:34 pm

Re: Can the leaf charge while driving?

Postby earth4ever » Wed Apr 21, 2010 6:59 pm

I'm afraid I have to disagree partially with you, "Promise Land". True about zero emission, but there is a big difference between a hybrid like the Altima which has to have the gasoline engine running most of the time, and the concept gwoods is aiming for, more of an emergency generator. As relygerg indicated, the Chevy Volt might better fit gwoods needs. But people have also long talked about the possibility of pulling a genset trailer behind an EV, only for long trips.

I also don't think you are being fair to Nissan's vision here. They are working hard to get recharging infrastructure in place, starting first in their initial target regions. Why do you think every LEAF sold will have a special 440V DC quick charge connector for an external charger when you can't even get one for your garage? Answer: Because there WILL be on-road infrastructure for recharging in 30 minutes or so.

Finally, yes, you could charge using an extension from a motel room, if the motel didn't mind, and you were willing to live with a partial charge or stick around for 16 hours. Much more likely, though, would be to recharge at an RV park while staying overnight in one of the cabins that many of them provide. RV parks often supply 50 amp 240 volt service, and although Nissan and the electrical codes wouldn't like it, you could put together something that would let you charge completely from that in about eight hours. I wouldn't be surprised if some parks start putting in approved 240 volt EV charging adapters, now that there is a single standard for them.

User avatar
CRyan
Posts: 1403
Joined: Tue Dec 21, 2004 6:53 pm
Car: 1997 Nissan 240SX
Contact:

Re: Can the leaf charge while driving?

Postby CRyan » Wed Jun 02, 2010 12:35 pm

Just out of curiosity, why can't the wheels actually turning underneath the car be used to essentially "charge" the batteries? It would make sense, and seem to me as it would then never die. Just a thought, or in the case it has already been discussed, refresh me :)

User avatar
relytgerg
Posts: 25
Joined: Fri Nov 13, 2009 8:19 am

Re: Can the leaf charge while driving?

Postby relytgerg » Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:38 pm

The wheels do recharge the battery. When slowing, regenerative braking is used to recharge the battery. When cruising or accelerating however, the wheels are not regenerating power, they are using it. You can't get more more power than you use, so it makes no sense to try to use power and generate it at the same time. If this were possible, we'd all already be driving perpetual motion machines.

User avatar
CRyan
Posts: 1403
Joined: Tue Dec 21, 2004 6:53 pm
Car: 1997 Nissan 240SX
Contact:

Re: Can the leaf charge while driving?

Postby CRyan » Wed Jun 09, 2010 3:42 pm

Thank you for the insight! I see now where it wouldn't make sense - But I figured I'd bring it up, anyway.

Queensbridge
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Jun 21, 2010 7:25 am

Re: Can the leaf charge while driving?

Postby Queensbridge » Mon Jun 21, 2010 7:31 am

I doubt it. Charging only when stationary/parked.

User avatar
float_6969
Moderator
Posts: 19391
Joined: Mon Aug 26, 2002 1:55 pm
Car: CA18DET swapped 1995 Nissan 240sx (toy)
2003.5 Mazda Mazdaspeed Protege (lightly modded DD)
Location: Topeka, Kansas
Contact:

Re: Can the leaf charge while driving?

Postby float_6969 » Mon Jul 05, 2010 8:30 pm

As others have said, the aim of the LEAF right now is for those commuting less than 100mi/day, and you would have to re-write the software to allow it to charge while in motion, which wouldn't be an easy task.

DDS
Posts: 40
Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2010 4:36 pm

Re: Can the leaf charge while driving?

Postby DDS » Thu Jul 22, 2010 7:46 pm

The leaf will be a Hybrid, an EH or electrical hybrid. The motors will act as generators to replenish the batteries during deceleration - just as every other gas Hybrid does. This function of the Leaf will extend it's range in the exact proportion as does any gas Hybrid, it is not an insignificant addition. Just like the gas Hybrids this recharging will only be a factor in city driving, it will have almost no benefit on the open road.

User avatar
WDRacing
Moderator
Posts: 23871
Joined: Mon Nov 25, 2002 2:00 am
Car: 95 240SX, 99 BMW 540i, 01 Chevy Express, 14 Ford Escape
Location: MFFO
Contact:

Re: Can the leaf charge while driving?

Postby WDRacing » Wed Sep 15, 2010 5:34 am

You could keep a Honda generator in the trunk for longer trips? Sounds retarded, but they come is really small sizes...I like to think outside the box.

huiru
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Sep 26, 2010 12:38 am

Re: Can the leaf charge while driving?

Postby huiru » Sun Sep 26, 2010 1:23 am

I don't know if the LEAF can charge while driving, but if it could, you would probably have to do some rewiring since the charging ports are on the front.

User avatar
LeafTalk UK
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2010 4:34 am
Car: Nissan Leaf on Order
Location: UK
Contact:

Re: Can the leaf charge while driving?

Postby LeafTalk UK » Mon Nov 08, 2010 4:48 am

Inductive charging is the future. If this technology gets off the ground we should be able to charge all our EVs whilst driving.

Check out the video: [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RnePffoZs_k[/youtube]

LEAFguy
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Jul 23, 2010 9:28 am

Re: Can the leaf charge while driving?

Postby LEAFguy » Sat Nov 20, 2010 9:04 pm

In a word - No. The only in-motion charging will come from the regenerative braking system. You will not be able to rig a generator to charge while the LEAF is in motion.

JohnEvers
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2011 9:05 pm
Car: Nissan Rogue

Re: Can the leaf charge while driving?

Postby JohnEvers » Tue Jan 04, 2011 9:27 pm

To add my two cents worth to this discussion, reading through the specs, I believe there is not only regenerative braking to charge, but also coast charging. This would allow some state of charge to occur when coasting when driving without applying the brakes such as slowing with traffic of going down hills.

User avatar
themadscientist
Posts: 29309
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2002 3:30 pm
Car: R32 GTR, DR30 RS Turbo, BRZ, Lunchbox, NSR50 Sportster 883 Iron
Location: Staring down at you with disdain from the spooky mountaintop castle.

Re: Can the leaf charge while driving?

Postby themadscientist » Wed Jan 19, 2011 2:01 am

Yes, this is part of the system. it should feel like engine braking in an ICE vehicle.

DDS
Posts: 40
Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2010 4:36 pm

Re: Can the leaf charge while driving?

Postby DDS » Mon Apr 11, 2011 12:02 pm

I am under the understanding that "coast charging" is insignificant. One of the many methods the EV and Hybrid cars use to maximize mileage is to allow unrestricted coasting. I understand the computer program does recognize some situations when regenerative braking is activated for deceleration, but I was under the opinion it was a very minor part.

At least some of the Toyota hybrid cars have a new "B" position on the transmission shifter to allow for manual shifting into "B" for the very purpose of introducing some drag. Like what is always apart of a standard internal combustion engine automobile that everyone takes for granted. However the "B" is only partially regenerative - the major portion of the drag is friction braking.

Does anyone know if my comments are incorrect, or partly incorrect?

User avatar
themadscientist
Posts: 29309
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2002 3:30 pm
Car: R32 GTR, DR30 RS Turbo, BRZ, Lunchbox, NSR50 Sportster 883 Iron
Location: Staring down at you with disdain from the spooky mountaintop castle.

Re: Can the leaf charge while driving?

Postby themadscientist » Tue Apr 12, 2011 4:44 am

Regarding EVs in general, coasting is a way to save charge. Regenerative braking creates drag and slows the vehicle. While this is an advantageous use of deceleration to provide some recharge in a braking situation, in a cruising situation it would cost more charge to regain lost momentum than would be generated.

User avatar
kerrton
Posts: 2201
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2008 8:48 am
Car: 2008 Nissan Rogue, SL FWD, Gotham Gray
Location: Southern Alberta, Canada

Re: Can the leaf charge while driving?

Postby kerrton » Wed Aug 31, 2011 8:02 am

Tons of good info here....really good discussion.

petnieto
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2005 3:00 pm
Car: 1997 Pathfinder 4WD

Re: Can the leaf charge while driving?

Postby petnieto » Sat Nov 05, 2011 10:02 am

It is possible. Studies about smart superhighways are already underway that can actually turn this from concept to reality; imagine driving the Leaf on special ev charging lanes on the interstate which have embedded induction coils to charge the batteries without stopping!

User avatar
300ZXttZMAN
Moderator
Posts: 8104
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2010 4:07 pm
Car: 1990 300zx Twin Turbo 5 spd pearl white.

My Daily: 2008 Frontier NISMO package, 4x4 Crew Cab.
Location: Sulphur, LA 70665
Contact:

Re: Can the leaf charge while driving?

Postby 300ZXttZMAN » Tue Nov 08, 2011 11:54 am

petnieto wrote:It is possible. Studies about smart superhighways are already underway that can actually turn this from concept to reality; imagine driving the Leaf on special ev charging lanes on the interstate which have embedded induction coils to charge the batteries without stopping!

Who would fund it though.

User avatar
nissangirl74
Administrator
Posts: 14395
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 1:15 pm
Car: 2014 Xterra Pro4X, '12 Titan 4x4, '98 240sx, '89 Pao, '77 620, '72 240Z w/RB25, '73 240Z, '68 510, '67 WRL411, '67.5 SPL 311, '63 Bluebird, '63 NL320
Contact:

Re: Can the leaf charge while driving?

Postby nissangirl74 » Tue Dec 06, 2011 5:52 pm

DDS wrote:I am under the understanding that "coast charging" is insignificant. One of the many methods the EV and Hybrid cars use to maximize mileage is to allow unrestricted coasting. I understand the computer program does recognize some situations when regenerative braking is activated for deceleration, but I was under the opinion it was a very minor part.

At least some of the Toyota hybrid cars have a new "B" position on the transmission shifter to allow for manual shifting into "B" for the very purpose of introducing some drag. Like what is always apart of a standard internal combustion engine automobile that everyone takes for granted. However the "B" is only partially regenerative - the major portion of the drag is friction braking.

Does anyone know if my comments are incorrect, or partly incorrect?
Coast charging can be quite significant. I have, however, found that while it does help recharge your battery, it significantly reduces the fuel-efficiency of a hybrid. If the battery on my Insight is in good shape, I will do my best to preserve fuel economy and let the car roll to a stop in neutral.

BadQ45t
Posts: 3043
Joined: Fri Jul 26, 2002 7:54 am
Car: 19' Leaf (Wife's new car)
11' Leaf (Wife's Car) About to be retired
05' X-Terra
97' Q45t
84 300ZX (Original Owner)
Location: Half Moon Bay, CA

Re: Can the leaf charge while driving?

Postby BadQ45t » Mon Dec 12, 2011 5:21 pm

I have owned a Leaf now for a week and driven it about 200 miles. What I can tell you is that when I go down a significant hill the car does recharge itself, but just coasting on a flat road is essentially battery neutral. You can tell from the power meter on the dash board. I have a pretty good 2k drop I go down daily and I gain at least 4-5 additional range when I hit the bottom and the charging dots are all over on the left side.

As for charging while driving, that is called the Chevy Volt.

User avatar
PapaSmurf2k3
Site Admin
Posts: 22922
Joined: Thu Nov 21, 2002 3:20 pm
Car: 2017 Corvette, 2018 Focus ST, 2001 Miata turbo, 1993 240sx truck KA Turbo.
Location: Oxford, MS
Contact:

Re: Can the leaf charge while driving?

Postby PapaSmurf2k3 » Sat Dec 31, 2011 8:42 am

I wouldn't be surprised if Nissan came out with a "charge while you drive" kit once they stop selling every Leaf they make (essentially, when Smyrna tools up and mass-produces). Right now they really don't have any incentive.

...generators typically fall under a different classification for emissions too. Being that most leaf owners are all sorts of green, they might not be too keen on hearing about the non-catalyzed exhaust pumping away.

You'd need a pretty substantial generator to keep the thing going indefinitely too... somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 kilowatts if my math is correct. That equates out to about a 27 hp generator.

BadQ45t
Posts: 3043
Joined: Fri Jul 26, 2002 7:54 am
Car: 19' Leaf (Wife's new car)
11' Leaf (Wife's Car) About to be retired
05' X-Terra
97' Q45t
84 300ZX (Original Owner)
Location: Half Moon Bay, CA

Re: Can the leaf charge while driving?

Postby BadQ45t » Wed Jan 11, 2012 10:26 pm

There is simply no place to put it. this car is a commuter car and the really big promise will be for the fast chargers that can get you back up and running in 30 minutes. The Volt is the platform if you need to recharge while you drive.

User avatar
PapaSmurf2k3
Site Admin
Posts: 22922
Joined: Thu Nov 21, 2002 3:20 pm
Car: 2017 Corvette, 2018 Focus ST, 2001 Miata turbo, 1993 240sx truck KA Turbo.
Location: Oxford, MS
Contact:

Re: Can the leaf charge while driving?

Postby PapaSmurf2k3 » Thu Jan 12, 2012 4:16 pm

Word has it Infiniti will be coming out with an extended range electric vehicle (much like the Volt) based on the leaf. Makes sense that it will be Infiniti when you think about the price it will have to be.

BadQ45t
Posts: 3043
Joined: Fri Jul 26, 2002 7:54 am
Car: 19' Leaf (Wife's new car)
11' Leaf (Wife's Car) About to be retired
05' X-Terra
97' Q45t
84 300ZX (Original Owner)
Location: Half Moon Bay, CA

Re: Can the leaf charge while driving?

Postby BadQ45t » Thu Jan 26, 2012 11:15 pm

That makes sense, more upscale to compete against the Leaf, would be a wise use of the electrical power they created for the Leaf. If they had a Volt-style Infinti with say a 120 KW engine (Leaf is 80) and give it a 100 mile range on electric, and styling and interior more on the side of the M then then G, I would buy that car in a heartbeat and install my in-door charger :)

They should build that car, but not the 30-35 miles range the Volt has, for me that makes no sense. 100 miles like the Leaf, 20% faster/quicker, I'll take one.

rogUK
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Mar 24, 2012 10:24 pm
Car: nissan leaf

Re: Can the leaf charge while driving?

Postby rogUK » Sat Mar 24, 2012 10:47 pm

I was thinking for a long trip I could put 10 100AH 12V lead acid batteries in the boot and run a static inverter to power the 2.5kW charge socket, put the cable through the window. On the 4 hour journey from where I live to London this would give me an extra 10kWh. The extra weight would impact on range but I'd be hoping it might get me to the 140 mile range I'd need on a very careful 38 mph drive. I'd estimate the lead acid would last about 200 cycles, which on 1 journey per week at cost say £1000, last 2 years and work out at £10 per week. The quetion is, how easy would it be to get the car to drive while the charge port was active? Has anyone evr tried asking Nissan for this kind of special software help? Are they at all responsive?

EVsRule
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Nov 29, 2015 8:45 pm

Re: Can the leaf charge while driving?

Postby EVsRule » Sun Nov 29, 2015 9:50 pm

Though it is a different kind of battery; we have been charging 6-24 volt automotive batteries while in use for over a century. It certainly CAN be done on the leaf as well. The problem to overcome is the limitations of the built in level 1 and level 2 charging ports.

At Level1 120 volts 15 amps:
It takes 18-24 hours to recharge to a 90 mile driving range. In other words if one charged at level 1 charging voltage and amperage, it would add a whopping 6 or so additional miles of range to dead battery.

At level2 240 volts 30 amps:
It takes 4-6 hours to recharge the battery and it would add approximately 25 miles of range to dead battery.

At level3 (Unspecified Amperage and Voltage, likely 350+ Volts at 100-150 amps:
It takes 45 minutes to recharge to 80% driving range. This as well as a slightly slower charging rate could keep the battery charged while driving though it would mean working with extremely dangerous voltages and amperages while risking battery over heating, explosion, and useful life.

I am not saying any of the standard level 1-3 charging ports can or should be used for charging while driving; if they could be rigged with overrides and software programming changes made; it would certainly void the vehicle's warranty.

The question is a very valid question that any thinking, intelligent question would ask; If 80-90% of the vehicle's use will be under the normal driving range, why would a sane person want to carry the weight and loss of cargo space to a generator of battery extender pack that will rarely if ever be used?

A trailered range extending generator, could not only be used for the occasional long journey or ferry of the vehicles; but also serve double duty as home based back up electricity generation. it is an intelligent choice for intelligent people, the cranial impaired should rent a car, or better yet, take the bus.

Gizmag has sponsored several EV extender schemes:

http://www.wired.com/2010/11/range-exte ... your-gear/

http://www.gizmag.com/rinspeed-dockgo-c ... 3/pictures

http://www.gizmag.com/ev-charging-trail ... 3/pictures

There are others.

My feeling that the best scheme would be to transform and rectify filtered DC voltage and amperage directly to the battery during the long range commute and allow the normal recharging battery maintenance system maintain equal charging to the cells during recharging cycles. It would also be best to deplete the battery for recharging towards the end of long range trips in order to allow the vehicle BMS to properly equalize and maintain the battery during a full cycle recharge.


Return to “Leaf Forum”