Nissan Envisions Old Leaf EV Batteries Powering Camping Trips

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【Summary】With automakers having to resort to being innovative to use old electric-car batteries, Nissan has come out with a concept that would help campers get juice when they’re off the grid.

Original Vineeth Joel Patel    Mar 30, 2019 10:57 AM PT
Nissan Envisions Old Leaf EV Batteries Powering Camping Trips

The Nissan Leaf is the most popular electric vehicle in the world. With over 300,000 Leafs sold, there are sure to be at least a few used batteries lying around somewhere. Instead of letting the old batteries go unused, Nissan's energy subsidiary partnered with camper manufacturer Opus to come out with what looks to be a promising solution. 

Making Camping More Comfortable

Together, Nissan and Opus have manufactured a smart, portable, and weather-resistant camper that utilizes used Leaf lithium-ion batteries. The pack itself is called Roam and has a storage capacity of up to 700wH, while maximum output is rated at 1kW. That's nowhere close to what the Leaf's battery can hold, but it's enough power for campers to enjoy for about a week – as long as you charge the system using the available solar unit twice. 

Thanks to the Roam battery pack, campers can juice up their mobile devices and other portable accessories when camping. Further helping owners to power their items, the pack features multiple USB sockets, a USB-C port, and a few outlets, giving users the ability to charge all sorts of goodies. While Nissan did a lot of the manufacturing involving the battery pack, Opus made the high-tech air trailer that's capable of holding up to six. With the Roam pack, Opus' trailer can be inflated in a few minutes, act as a 4G hotspot with Wi-Fi, and play music. 

Putting Used Batteries To Good Use

As anyone that's driven an electric vehicle knows, charging a battery pack in a remote area can be a tricky task. Nissan and Opus have thought about that, too. The Roam pack is capable of being recharged using a 400-watt solar panel that can give the unit a full charge in two to four hours. If you find yourself camping on a day that isn't so sunny, the pack can be plugged into a 230-volt outlet. On that kind of juice, the system can be recharged in roughly an hour.

This isn't some fancy one-off concept that the two companies brought to an auto show. The Air Opus, which is the fancy air camper, will go on sale for roughly $20,000 in European markets this year. Nissan's Roam battery pack that powers the whole thing will come later in 2019, but pricing hasn't been announced yet. 

With Opus selling a few of its productions in the U.S., seeing the Roam battery pack in a camper in our neck of the woods isn't a crazy notion. To get a peak at what the campervan with old batteries from a Leaf is like, check out the video below.

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