The LEAF has a built-in charger that is rated at either 3.3 kW or 6.0 kW delivered to the battery“2013 Nissan Leaf Press Kit”. (The external “charger” is actually the Electrical Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE). It is essentially a switch with some built-in intelligence, not a “charger”.) The charger is liquid cooled: see “Drivetrain“. This charger can accept alternating current from 100 to 130 volts (level 1) and also from 200 to 250 volts (level 2). It sends direct current to the battery at a variable voltage in the neighborhood of 400 volts. It communicates with the Li-Ion Battery controller, which specifies current levels that vary during the charging. The charger meets those levels by dynamically adjusting its output voltage.
For 2011 and 2012 the charger was located within the hump behind the rear seats. For 2013 it was moved to the front of the car and is part of an integrated stack sitting on top of the motor.
2011/2012 LEAF’s gutted interior, showing charger and capacitor:
All LEAFs have a SAE-J1772 Level 1/Level 2 charging port. Some LEAFs also have a CHAdeMO DC quick charge port “Nissan LEAF Will Include Fast Charge Capability and Emergency Charging Cable at Launch“. For 2011/2012 LEAFs the quick charge port was optional on the SL model and not available on the SV model. For 2013 it is standard on the SL and available as an option on the S and SV. This port cannot be added after the LEAF is manufactured.
The U.S.-market J1772 is substantially different from ones for other markets.
The J1772 has five pinshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SAE_J1772#Connector:
- AC Line 1
- AC Line 2
- Ground Pin
- Proximity Detection pin
- Control Pilot pin
AC Line 1 and AC Line 2 pins are of the same size.
Proximity Detection pin and Control Pilot pin are of the same size.
Note that not all J1772 plugs are created equal. Here is an account of a non-UL approved J1772 plug getting stuck in a LEAF, though later plugs from the same manufacturer (Dostar) apparently work fine.
The J1772 charge gun’s latch button has an interlock such that, when plugged in and powered, pressing the latch (to remove the charge gun) will cause the car to immediate stop drawing current.
|Level 1 charging: OEM EVSE on household 110/120V||22 hours http://gas2.org/2010/05/27/nissan-leaf-will-include-fast-charge-capability-and-emergency-charging-cable-at-launch/ Nissan LEAF Will Include Fast Charge Capability and Emergency Charging Cable at Launch|
|Level 2 charging: EVSE on 240V 40A circuit||8 hours http://www.nissanusa.com/leaf-electric-car/index#/leaf-electric-car/faq/top/charging “answers: charging” at nissanusa.com/leaf-electric-car/|
|Level 3 charging: “CHAdeMO DC fast charging”:
“A 480V quick-charging capability will eventually be
available in many markets once a standard is set.“
Nissan’s Charging Recommendations
- Info on charging in LEAF Owner’s Manual: “Overview” / “Efficient use of your vehicle” / “Li-ion battery life” section.
- Only charging to 80% in order to maximize battery life:
“Long life mode
NISSAN recommends charging the Li-ion battery using the long life mode to help maximize the Li-ion battery useful life. Long life mode can only be set using the charging timer function. The long life mode is set by changing the % Charge to 80% Charge (Improves Battery Longevity) using the following procedure.” , page CH-22.
Furthermore, the LEAF’s warranty includes an exclusion regarding Li-Ion battery being charged full on a daily basis “despite the lithium-ion battery keeping a high state of charge level (98-100%).” , page 9.
- Allow the battery charge to be below at least 80% before charging.
- Avoid leaving vehicle for over 14 days where the battery charge state is zero or near zero.
- Allow the vehicle and Li-ion battery to cool down after use before charging.
- If vehicle will not be used for long period of time, NISSAN recommends charging with “long life mode” (charging only to 80%, see above) and to charge once every 3 months , page EV-23.
Other General Info
- Pic showing a variety of adapter/connectors
- Information on various plug types: configuration, voltage, compatibility, etc..
- Illustration: types of NEMA plugs.
- NEMA 14-30, 14-50, 14-60 (120/240V, 30/50/60A): modern appliance plugs; also commonly used at campgrounds. (Since the evseupgrade.com-modified OEM EVSE doesn’t use neutral in 240v mode, you can remove the (crossed out) neutral pin and one adapter will fit all three plug types.)
- TT-30 (120V, 30A): commonly found at trailer parks
- One explanation of how regenerative braking works
- Regeneration charging does not happen if battery’s state of charge is 100%.
Does the Leaf do “cell balancing” when charging? The answer appears to be yes.
According to Nissan EV Customer Support:
For best battery life, Nissan recommends using the Long Life Mode for charging (80% Charge). Any more detail would be considered proprietary.}}
- ECOtality North America started the EV project using a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, aiming to deploy 14,650 Level 2 (220V) Chargers and 310 DC Fast-Chargers in 16 cities and six states
- Discussions of wiring (breaker sizing, distance & gauge of wiring, etc.):
- “pulling wire; what gauge?”
- “Building New Home – Required Wiring for Charger”
- A calculator for calculating minimum required wire gauge size for a conductor run’s length, given wire type (copper or aluminum), voltage (120, 208, 240, 277, or 480), length of run, and total circuit amperage.
- A new quick-charge standard being proposed by the SAE.
- From LEAF accessories on Nissan Japan Web site (translate with Google Translate):
- Locking charge port shield (encloses charge port when charge port cover is open)
- Charge port light
- Video: A great method for winding long extension cord without twisting it; the useful bit is at 2:25 – 2:40.
A DIY holster/holder for the EVSE’s J1772 charge gun:
Information and circuit diagram for a DIY 120V-to-240V converter.
- How to secure the OEM EVSE when charging in unsafe locales: use padlock for J1772 charge handle; putting EVSE in trunk & feed cable out to front. Interwiki: mnl++
Another way to lock the J1772 charge gun with a padlock
- A home-made energy consumption meter to use in conjunction with the Nissan OEM EVSE. Interwiki: mnl++
- A source for custom-made plug-and-connector as well as connectors; also Google for, for example, “NEMA+L6-20” “NEMA+10-30” (quotes required).
- How to use a bungee cord & zip ties to fashion a support strap for the OEM EVSE’s “brick”.
Tape a LED flashlight to the J1772 “pistol” to see better in the dark Interwiki: mnl++, or get a Sylvania 12V motion sensing LED light that attaches with a magnet to the charge port cover’s underside:
Adding a “bib” to protect LEAF’s paint from EVSE cable Interwiki: mnl++
- LEAF not charging:
- Fails to charge on Schneider and ChargePoint’s Coulomb EVSEs but does charge on AV EVESE’s and OEM L1 EVSE.
- Another report: failed to charge on a Blink EVSE, but does charge with the OEM EVSE on 120V.
- There is a report of LEAF’ charger failing the diode check (which ascertains that the handle is actually connected to the car).
The OEM L1 EVSE and AV EVSE’s do not do this check, so they can charge the LEAF.
A Blink EVSE does do the check, which the LEAF’s charger fails, so the Blink EVSE would not charge the car.
Analysis leads to a failed diode; the fix was to put in a new on-board charger.