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For background info, the plan right now is to use modified Nissan Leaf cells as the default lithium battery for Linsight. On a side note, I'm really excited for the future because as more EVs come to market, prices will drop and our options will increase. To get the ball rolling, a few issues need to be sorted out:

(1) Leaf cells are by default wired in a 2S2P (Two in series, two in parallel) configuration. They need to be re-wired to a 4S1P configuration for double the voltage, otherwise you would need to cram in more weight than what the battery bay was designed for, and you'd still have less voltage than ideal.

(2)The cells also require one voltage sense lead for each cell, another modification that has to be made to the cell. These mods require care because if you accidentally short the battery you could cause a fire, shock yourself, etc.

(3) While you can purchase leaf cells online, they're kind of expensive, then you have the added effort of opening up the batteries, re-wiring them, adding leads, etc, which is risky and time-consuming (for a novice).

The idea mudder proposed is to find someone willing to source wrecked Leafs, pull out and take apart the battery pack, and modify the cells individually with the needed parts, and sell the cells for a profit. Once you learn the routine and maybe buy/build specialized tools to speed up the process, it could be a good side income, or even a real business for someone. Based on this post from a guy who created an account just to comment about his go-kart application, I would say there could be a great market for these modified cells outside of just Linsight conversions.

I've mulled over the idea of being the guy, and while I haven't discarded the idea yet, I really don't know if I'd be ideal person. I can't see a lot of wrecked leafs in my area, and having to drive several hours each way would add a lot of cost to the business. Then again I did have a part-time job that I enjoyed as a teenager modifying electronics, so maybe this is something that just needs more thought before diving in.

Whoever decides to run this should obviously try to do so efficiently to keep cost down, should have easy access to a regular supply of wrecked Leafs, etc. Then again maybe if you're doing something on the business scale you could work out a delivery arrangement with the source for a reasonable price? Not sure.

Looking on copart.com (haven't looked at other sources yet), there's a huge glut of Leafs down in Atlanta, GA, as well as a decent amount in Oregon & California. More research needs to be done, but it might be ideal if someone that lived in those areas picked up the business.

The early Leafs (Leaves? :) ) seem to suffer from pre-mature battery degradation in hot climates. Apparently the battery chemistry used simply didn't hold up that well to heat, and since the Leaf battery pack didn't have active cooling they would just cook. Later on in the life of the Leaf they changed the battery chemistry to better withstand heat. Mudder mentioned at InsightFest that it was the 2013+ models with the better chemistry, though my own research suggests it's actually the 2015+, and maybe some 2014+ models that have the better chemistry, nicknamed "lizard" batteries.

I did find one conflicting piece of information where a guy made a video showing how to disassemble a 2013 leaf pack, and he had a caption in the video "2013 Lizard Battery?". But the question mark makes me think he was just wondering if maybe everyone else's assumptions about them were just wrong. It's instead possible that the Leaf he bought had a 2015 battery pack that was replaced under warranty, and he wasn't aware of it. I haven't found any original source material yet that affirmatively states when they switched to a heat-resistant chemistry.

From what I can tell every Leaf has 48 cells per car. With Mudder's "ideal" configuration of 12 cells per Insight, you're looking at enough cells for 4 conversions for each Leaf you source. His estimate was around $3k per Leaf, or around $750 per Insight "pack", plus the cost of mod parts and the value of your labor, which seems like a decent estimate. It is worth noting you can pull off and sell some of the other parts. I stumbled across a write-up from a guy who did that and logged what he sold and for how much. I'm sure a few of the parts are valuable enough to be worth the time. Once you've salvaged what's worthwhile, just take the thing to the wrecking yard for scrap.

So, what are your thoughts? Want to take up the mantle? Tips or ideas for the person who does? Any good info about the cells that you've found?
 

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Thanks for summarizing. I will personally help anyone who takes this task on get up to speed with the process. I've got a working proof of concept and drawings for production. These are all available for free to anyone, including whomever takes on this part of the supply chain.

I'm just an hour from Atlanta, so I might end up being the guy, but that means I'll end up managing the entire supply chain with my limited time frame.

...

Note: I contacted the manufacturer about sourcing 4S1P packs and they were absolutely not interested. They even make a smaller cell that they claim to offer in 4S1P already, but they won't sell direct and I haven't found any product that uses them.
 

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I've got space in my garage to store a set of leaf batteries to perform this switch In the future. If someone needs a partner to split a battery pack, I'm game (my understanding was that one pack is good for 2.5 Linsights).
I will likely add the additional board Mudder is talking about to increase the battery size a bit more. Go Big or go home, eh?
 

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Newish modules

With a lack of finding a better place for this I am initially posting it here.

I have un-cycled and yet untested 2016 era leaf packs and modules. Being in south east Michigan TONS of automotive ventures and projects take place. A new production line or assembly robots were created so I have cells used to teach and test these robots.

Having 2 insights (soon to be 1) myself and watching this project I knew a good use for these batteries.

So, I haven't acquired all or tested any, but am willing to sell raw, tested, and tested and rewired modules or host a clinic to rewire them. I would like to keep enough for 2 Linsight's and the rest are available. currently assembled but not torqued are 2 24 module sub pack's with heaters, and about 60 loose modules. Prices will be competitive with ebay, and tested with results, pickup available. If bad (half capacity or less) modules are found they will be sold for scrap value for mock up purposes.
These are not known if they are lizard chemistry or not, If I find some date codes or get serial numbers to use they will be listed with the module(s)
 

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With a lack of finding a better place for this I am initially posting it here.

I have un-cycled and yet untested 2016 era leaf packs and modules. Being in south east Michigan TONS of automotive ventures and projects take place. A new production line or assembly robots were created so I have cells used to teach and test these robots.

Having 2 insights (soon to be 1) myself and watching this project I knew a good use for these batteries.

So, I haven't acquired all or tested any, but am willing to sell raw, tested, and tested and rewired modules or host a clinic to rewire them. I would like to keep enough for 2 Linsight's and the rest are available. currently assembled but not torqued are 2 24 module sub pack's with heaters, and about 60 loose modules. Prices will be competitive with ebay, and tested with results, pickup available. If bad (half capacity or less) modules are found they will be sold for scrap value for mock up purposes.
These are not known if they are lizard chemistry or not, If I find some date codes or get serial numbers to use they will be listed with the module(s)
Since it sounds like you are trying to sell something, perhaps you should post in the for sale section?
 

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Since it sounds like you are trying to sell something, perhaps you should post in the for sale section?
I mean, he's offering a source and modification of Leaf cells.

Sounds pretty on-topic with this thread...
 
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