As of January 2019, Nissan has sold more than 360,000 Leaf models since debuting back in 2011. Considering the number of batteries they produce, the Japanese automaker has come up with a few ideas on how to recycle them. Their latest (and greatest) is a smart pop-up concept camper developed in partnership with off-road camping manufacturer Opus and powered by recycled Nissan Leaf battery cells.
While the Opus concept camper only stores 700wH with a maximum output of 1kW, it still packs plenty of juice to keep all the electronics in the camper powered for several days. This includes multiple USB sockets, LED lighting, a 4G hotspot along with the added portable microwave, dual-burner gas stove and fridge. Nissan confirmed that the 400W solar panel can recharge the battery pack in just two to four hours but can also be removed and plugged into any 230V outlet.
According to Jonathan Harrison, Opus managing director: “Opus owners really love getting out into the wild and enjoying the more remote corners of the countryside. At the moment, to go off-grid for any lengthy period, you either turn to a fossil-fuel generator or you compromise on the power you can use with existing battery solutions. This new concept integrating Nissan Energy ROAM is answering real customer needs. Soon campers might be able to take whichever road — or unbeaten track — they choose, safe in the knowledge they will be connected to a robust and sustainable energy supply.”
Since it is only a concept though, there is no clear indication whether the collaboration between Nissan and Opus will go to market. However, it definitely seems as if the Japanese automaker wants to target outdoor adventurers as just last year, they showed off a limited-edition electric camper van with an electric range of 124 miles (+-200 km).
This is certainly not the first time that Nissan has publicly thrown ideas around about what they should do with used EV batteries. They previously tested the batteries to see if they could power LED street lights and also worked on a battery trade-in program. Plans were even laid out to recycle batteries at a factory near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant but that failed in 2011. Other automakers are following in Nissan’s footsteps as they work on their own smart solutions. Toyota, for example, is using recycled Prius batteries to run 7-Eleven shops in Japan.
It appears as if Opus is in the process of bringing a proper off-road trailer with all the bells and whistles to the British market but it’s unclear whether it will use Nissan Leaf batteries. For more interesting stories and developments from the motoring world, please follow us on Facebook or read our blogs.