Many of you will know me from the past 3+ years… always darting about the UK in my Mk1 Nissan Leaf doing various promotional events and journeys for EVs. This meant that my Mk1 Leaf was frequently being rapid charged. Something I have always considered we should try to restrict to a minimum to help with battery life.
Now I have the Mk2 Leaf things are a bit different. Rapid chargers throughout the country are not reliable or numerous enough to make long distance travel in a 100 mile range Leaf easy so I generally now do longer trips in my nice new Qashqai. OK, not an EV but it does a good 60+ mpg so not as bad as it could be.
When I first took delivery of the Mk2 Leaf the battery was not holding full capacity and the dealer replaced the battery and all has been going well. However, the battery capacity has been steadily dropping and until last week it had fallen from 66Ah to about 60.5Ah. Disappointing.
However, I recently visited a couple of new rapid chargers in Cornwall and charged 3 times, twice to 90% and once to 80% on the Ecotricity rapid chargers at Bodmin and Land’s End. The result was rather interesting…
The reported battery capacity on LeafSpy increased back up to 66Ah!
Now, there are a couple of caveats and question marks here… what actually caused the capacity to increase? Was it the process of rapid charging? Was it the fact that the battery temperature increased as a result to over 30 degrees C? Was it the fact that I did multiple charges in the same day? In any case… was it a real drop in capacity in the first place or just an anomaly of LeafSpy or the car software?
I cannot answer those questions. All I know is that the rapid charging has returned my reported battery capacity back to new values and I am happy with that.
So, I am going to introduce a regular rapid charge or two into my general car usage from now on. Hopefully this will help keep battery capacity up to its optimal level.