Automotive

Published on October 9th, 2020 | by Subhash Nair

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Nissan RE-LEAF Concept Looks Ready to Save the Day

Malaysia is blessed for having being relatively protected from many natural disasters. Yes, we do get the occasional earthquake in Sabah along with landslides and floods that can be particularly devastating in urban areas. For the most part though, most Malaysians have not had to experience the kind of disaster that can bring life to a complete halt for days.

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In regions that have to deal with those serious natural disasters, having portable electric generators are almost an essential need. They’re so important, in fact, that Toyota and Honda are actually working together on a mobile hydrogen bus solution. But Nissan have an idea of their own. They’ve repurposed their existing 2nd generation LEAF (available in Malaysia) into an all-electric emergency response vehicle concept, and we have to say it’s pretty awesome.

They call it the ‘RE-LEAF’ (as in Relief) and as you can see, they’ve done a bit of work to give it more of a rugged crossover look. Apparently these modifications are functional, and help the RE-LEAF get over debris-covered roads.

More importantly, it is fitted with weatherproof plug sockets that mount directly to the car’s exterior, allowing users to plug 110-230 volt appliances to the car and feed off its battery power. In fact, Nissan have already been using the LEAF to provide disaster relief in Japan in this way since 2011. Over 60 local governments can call upon the Nissan Leaf in times of need.

And if you think that battery isn’t going to be doing much in a disaster, think about this, the most latest LEAF e+ has a 62 kWh battery that can keep the average European household powered for 6 days. And in the event of an emergency, a fully-charged one of these could power the following devices for a full day:

  • Electric jackhammer – 24 hours – 36 kWh
  • Pressure ventilation fan – 24 hours – 21.6 kWh
  • 10-liter soup kettle – 24 hours – 9.6 kWh
  • Intensive care medical ventilator – 24 hours – 3 kWh
  • 100-watt LED floodlight – 24 hours – 2.4 kWh

For more on the Nissan RE-LEAF Concept, check out the press release below.

PRESS RELEASE

The Nissan RE-LEAF supports the three “REs” of disaster preparedness – providing an emergency response, aiding the humanitarian recovery and improving community resilience for the future.

The RE-LEAF’s amber color scheme is a nod to the ancient Greek word for amber – electron – the origin of the word electricity. This pairs with the blue color scheme of our Nissan Intelligent Mobility vision to reference the concept’s connected abilities. A roof-mounted LED light bar also displays amber flashes to alert other road users to the vehicle’s approach.

To help the car navigate roads with obstructions or fallen debris, the RE-LEAF’s ride height has been raised by 70 millimeters to 225 mm with a custom “sump guard” to protect the car’s floor pan. Wider tracks (+90 mm front/+130 mm rear), custom wheel arches, mud flaps and all-terrain tires on 17-inch motorsports wheels add to the capability.

The large capacity and high reliability of the LEAF’s lithium-ion battery ensures a stable power supply to support multiple line-powered devices. The integrated energy management system is able to output the RE-LEAF battery’s power at up to 230 volts. There are three sockets – two weatherproof external C-form connectors for easy access, and an internal domestic socket mounted in the trunk.

The rear seats have been removed and the floor leveled to provide storage for essential equipment. A custom bulkhead cage also separates the front seats from the cargo area.

Once the RE-LEAF arrives at a disaster zone, a bespoke pull-out desk extends from the trunk with a 32-inch LED screen and dedicated power supply creating an operational hub to run communications from and manage the recovery process.

Once power is restored, the LEAF can be recharged using three charging profiles, even using domestic sockets if no EV infrastructure is available in the immediate vicinity.

Charger type40 kWh battery capacity62 kWh battery capacity
3.7 kW domestic socket11.5 hours (0-100%)18 hours (0-100%)
7 kW type 27.5 hours (0-100%)11.5 hours (0-100%)
50 kW CHAdeMO60 minutes (20-80%)*90 minutes (20-80%)*

* Indicated charging time based on starting charge of 20% and use of a CHAdeMO (50KW) rapid charger. Time may vary depending on charging conditions including charger type and condition, battery temperature and ambient temperature at point of use.

RE-LEAF technical specifications

Base modelNissan LEAF Tekna
TiresBF Goodrich Baja All Terrain Tires  225/65/17
WheelsCompomotive MO5 8″ x 17″
ArchesBespoke GRP composite 40 mm wide arches
Ground clearance225 mm
Tracks (front/rear)1830 mm/1890 mm (increased from 1740 mm/1760 mm)

The vehicle modifications were carried out by RJN, a U.K.-based engineering and motorsports firm, with project management by GTA Global Ltd.

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Written work on dsf.my. @subhashtag on instagram. Autophiles Malaysia on Youtube.



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