By Eamon Stack – June 21st, 2020
When Emile of Muxsan turned on his Gen 1 Leaf to display a range of 440km, I was truly amazed. I only need half that range in Ireland to make my Leaf more than a city car. Was this YouTuber for real? I discovered that Emile and his colleague Sjaak had developed a range of upgrade options for all Nissan Leafs and are working on upgrade options for other EVs.
The problem is that Nissan, while offering rather expensive replacement battery packs, have not offered an upgrade. The EV community needed someone to develop a solution. In Europe, Emile Nijssen and Sjaak Bloemberg formed a cooperative, Muxsan, and have developed a range of options for community members. There is a Canadian option also (used by Robert Llewellyn) and others projects in development.
A small group of Irish EV friends have Vectrix VX-1 electric motorcycles and have had to upgrade their battery packs over the past 5 years. We are also Leaf owners. We decided to explore Muxsan options. We were not disappointed! Muxsan developed the software to tell a Leaf that its pack had increased in kWh capacity, for charging and discharge, and the hardware (CAM-bridge) to communicate with the Leaf. They had delivered a reliable solution. What’s more, their battery extension packs protect and extend the life of the more vulnerable Leaf packs.
Muxsan gives two options to increase range: 1. Add an extension pack in the boot; or 2. replace (swap) the modules in the battery pack with higher capacity modules. Or you can do both and get 440km range they call Leaf+. The extension packs come in two sizes: 9kWh or 18kWh.
Barry and I have opted for option 1. (18kWh) and Sean went for option 2. Sean has already completed his upgrade and boasts a range of 250km. I have booked in my blue 2012 Leaf for the extension pack in September. Barry and I will bring the car over on a trailer via Holyhead and Channel Tunnel. And we will bring back a kit to upgrade Barry’s 2011 Leaf in Ireland.
The cost of my upgrade is €5990, the same cost for Barry’s kit. No discount for first kit (more later). Sean had sourced his own 40kWh Leaf pack (from a breakers yard in Mayo) and went to Muxsan for training (Sean is an electronic engineer). His kit cost €1500.
Muxsan also offer an upgrade to the the AC charger, to three phase electricity, increasing the charging rate to 22kW. In addition, Muxsan supply a towing hitch for a Leaf. See www.muxsan.com
We will post an update to our experience in September. Look out for our next article on the Vectrix upgrade adventure and the latest upgrades using Leaf 40kWh pack modules.
If you are interested in getting an upgrade in Ireland, we could bring back more kits from The Netherlands and upgrade your Leaf after we complete Barry’s. If there is a bigger demand, we will work with IEVOA to develop a scalable model for Irish EV battery upgrades.
EVs can last three times longer than ICE cars. This reduces the annualised carbon footprint of the vehicle manufacture threefold. To date the limiting factor for EV lifespan has been the battery. While the million mile battery is the current hot topic for future EVs, Muxsan really offer a solution for many EV drivers in Ireland today.
Stay tuned for part 2, after the summer!
You want to contact the author for more information about this upgrade ? Email Eamon Stack : firstname.lastname@example.org
About Eamon Stack
Eamon Stack is a computer engineer, award-winning social entrepreneur, co-founder and leader of diverse organisations and campaigns including technology charity Enclude, MakePovertyHistory Dublin Rally, Slí Eile and Garvaghy Road Residents’ Coalition. He has been driving EVs for over 12 years.