How to Do Nissan Leaf Battery Upgrade? DIY in 6 Easy Steps

The driving range of the old Nissan Leaf was just 107 miles (170 km), while the new one with a 62 kWh battery pack can go over 215 miles (350 km) on a single charge.

So, upgrading the battery of the Nissan Leaf certainly has advantages. But can you do a Nissan Leaf battery upgrade DIY?

That’s the big question. Let’s find it out!

Can You Do a DIY Upgrade of Nissan Leaf Battery?

Yes, you can do a DIY upgrade of the Nissan Leaf battery from 24, 30, and 40 kWh to 62 kWh. However, I don’t recommend doing it yourself if you don’t have adequate knowledge about electric vehicles and battery replacement.

The 2017 Nissan Leaf came with a 30 kWh battery pack. It has a driving range of about 107 miles (170 km).

However, the newer generation of Nissan Leaf, which came after 2017, used a 40 kWh battery pack with 151 miles (240 km) range or a long-range 62 kWh battery pack with 215 miles (350 km) range.

So, the temptation is there to increase the driving range up to 100%. But there are a few things you need to understand.

There is a considerable difference between the weights of each battery pack. Plus, there is also some difference in the height of each battery pack.

The 24 kWh battery pack in older generations weighs about 600 lbs (270 kg). While the 30, 40, and 62 kWh battery packs weigh approximately 650 (295 kg), 670 (304 kg), and 900 lbs (408 kg), respectively.

Thanks to the consistent chassis design, the battery dimensions remain the same, with minor changes in height.

How to Do Nissan Leaf Battery Upgrade DIY?

Although it is difficult to upgrade the battery pack of the Nissan Leaf yourself, it can be done with little help. Let me show you how to do it in 5 easy steps.

Step 1: Preparations

  • Park your car on a flat platform and apply the handbrakes/electronic brakes.
  • Using hydraulic jacks and supports, lift your car about 18-24 inches (45-60 cm) off the ground.
  • Before starting work, disconnect the fuse of the high-voltage service plug. This is usually located in the rear passenger compartment or under the hood.
  • Make sure that you have collected all the supplies, including batteries, CAN bridge, new connectors, and mounting hardware.
  • Put on the protective gear and begin.

Step 2: Removing the Old Battery

  • The first step is removing the old battery.
  • For that, you need to remove the underbody splash guards to access the battery pack.
  • Next, remove all the cables going into the battery pack. Usually, there are three plugs you need to disconnect.
  • Rotate the B24 connector on the right, anticlockwise, and pull it out.
  • Next, pull out the centrally located high-voltage cable by pressing the side pins.
  • The third one is the HV heater dummy plug that can be pulled out as well.
  • While doing that, don’t forget to open the ground strips on either side.
  • Once you are done with the cabling, it is now time to remove the retaining bolts.
  • Depending upon the model, there can be 10-12 retaining bolts attaching the battery to the rails.
  • You need to remove two additional bolts from the chassis connectors as well.
  • Don’t completely open all the bolts; instead, loosen them and come out.
  • Place a trolley under the car and level it against the battery pack.
  • After that, remove the bolts and pull the battery out from under the car.

Step 3: Installing the New Mounting Hardware

  • You will need to modify the mounting hardware according to your needs. Some older models use 6-bolt rails, while some use 8 or 10-bolt designs.
  • You might need to purchase entirely new rails and mounting brackets.
  • It is also possible to drill new holes in the old rails to align the bolt holes.
  • Apart from the hardware, you might need to modify the cabling as well. Older generations don’t use an HV heater dummy plug, so fill it with silicone.
  • You might have to swap the 22-pin B24 connector with a 36-pin connector to make it compatible with the new battery pack.
  • These changes are required, especially if you’re upgrading from the ZEO version of Nisan Leaf to the AZEO version.
  • Once you have modified the mounting hardware, move on to the next step.

Also read: 21 Things You Didn’t Know About Charging Nissan Leaf

Step 4: Installing the New Battery

  • Place the new battery on the trolley and slide it under the vehicle.
  • Bolt the new battery to the rails and chassis and remove the trolley.
  • Plug the B24 connector, high-voltage adapter, and HV dummy heater cables.
  • Reattach the underbody splash guards when you’re done.

Step 5: Installing the New CAN Bridge With Upgraded Battery Firmware

  • If you’re upgrading the battery pack of an older Nissan Leaf, you will need a new CAN bridge for communication between the battery and the vehicle.
  • It is located under the center console on the front side of the passenger cabin.
  • Open it with the help of a screwdriver and locate a pair of yellow and green wires coming from under the vehicle.
  • Cut these wires and open the grounding terminal.
  • Swap the old CAN bridge with a new one and reattach the cabling as you disconnected.
  • You don’t need to replace the CAN bridge of Nissan Leaf models that came after 2017. These models of Nissan Leaf have a CAN bridge compatible with the 62 kWh battery pack.
  • Once the 62 kWh compatible CAN bridge is installed, upgrade the battery firmware.
  • Battery firmware can be downloaded from the Nissan website.
  • Plug your laptop with firmware software into the ECU of the Nissan Leaf.
  • As soon as the firmware is upgraded, close the ECU panels, and you’re good to go.

Step 6: Upgrading Suspension

  • Since the upgraded battery packs weigh more so you might want to upgrade the suspension to support the additional load.
  • Generally, replacing the suspension springs will do, but consult an automotive expert and see if any other modifications are required.
  • And there it is! You’ve upgraded the battery pack of your Nissan Leaf.

How Much Does Nissan Leaf Battery DIY Cost?

It can cost you between $4,000 and $12,000 for a complete Nissan Leaf battery DIY upgrade. Depending upon the existing battery type and battery type you are upgrading to. Plus, the cost of a DIY upgrade would also depend upon the resale value of your old battery.

There are multiple variables when it comes to the cost of upgrading the battery pack of the Nissan Leaf. Number one is the cost of the battery.

You can get a new 62 kWh battery pack for about $9,000. Similarly, the price of 30 and 40-kWh battery packs is $5,500 and $6,000, respectively.

You can also shop around for used batteries in the market that will cost you 20-30% lesser.

Next up is the resale value of your existing battery. You can get up to $2,000, $3,000, and $4,000 for 24, 30, and 40 kWh battery packs, respectively.

But if your battery is degraded to a certain extent, then expect to get paid a lesser price.

Last but not least is the cost of associated hardware such as CAN Bridge, B24 connector, HV heater dummy plug, wiring, and screws.

CAN bridge is the costliest of all, priced at over $600. But if you’re diving a newer generation, there’s no need for it. They already have a CAN bridge.

Mind you, the cost of upgrading the suspension or underbody components is an additional expense. Expect to pay around $1,000 for those things as well.

Important: EV battery replacement can cost $1000s. To avoid high-voltage battery replacement, there are some things you can do. Read this article to find out the 10 best ways to maximize EV battery life and save tons of money!

Is it Worth Upgrading the Battery of the Nissan Leaf?

It depends. It is totally worth upgrading the battery of the Nissan Leaf if it is done right. But DIY upgrades can cause several errors to pop up. Plus, it is hard deciding to spend $10,000 on a $30,000 car. Why not just upgrade the car?

If you’re a car enthusiast, I recommend upgrading the battery of the Nissan Leaf. Otherwise not. There are many risks involved with upgrading the batteries.

Many things can go wrong, plus the associated costs know no bound. Upgrading the suspension is a very subjective term. It might cost you more than $1,000.