Nissan, in cooperation with JVCKenwood Corp. and 4R Energy Corp., has developed a portable power source that uses reclaimed modules from old Leaf electric hatchbacks, in a bid to offer a second life for used high-voltage EV batteries, according to the Associated Press.

The 14.4-kilogram (32-pound) portable generator incorporates two modules from a first-generation Leaf and sells for 170,500 yen (approx. £923) in Japan, but details about the capacity were not published. Plans for shipping the power source overseas are also unknown.

By the looks of it, the unit has two high-power outputs, two USB-A and two USB-C outputs, a 12V socket, and what seems to be a solar power input.

JVCKenwood says that a prototype of the consumer battery generator was released in April 2022 and that development was accelerated to make the prototype a viable mass-produced item.

A first-gen Nissan Leaf battery module was rated at 64 amp-hours (Ah) when new, meaning that a two-module setup could, in theory, result in a total capacity of 128 Ah. That’s 28,160 watt-hours (or 28.1 kilowatt-hours) at a nominal voltage of 220V or 14,080 Wh (14 kWh) at a voltage of 110V. In other words, an appliance that draws 1 kW of power at 110V will deplete the pack in 14 hours.

 

But these being used packs we’re talking about, the capacity might be lower than 64 Ah, so the time it takes to deplete them might also be shorter. In any case, it’s interesting to see that even though old EVs might be headed for the junkyard, their batteries can live on in other devices for more years to come.

Nissan itself said back in 2019 that Leaf EV batteries have the potential to outlast the vehicle by up to 12 years, considering the vehicle’s 10-year average lifespan. This means that a high-voltage battery has an expected life of 22 years, be it powering the vehicle it came in or in other consumer tech.

According to the Japanese automaker, over 650,000 Leaf units have been sold worldwide since the model debuted in 2010.