How to modify an electric car Car News


As electric cars begin to fill the roads, some people are looking for ways to improve the performance of their electric vehicle. We find out how…

As electric cars begin to fill the roads, some people are looking for ways to improve or stand out. To satisfy this growing demand, specialist aftermarket suppliers are emerging, offering everything from sporty body kits to automatic trunk releases.

The one area of ​​cars that isn’t so well served is performance. Increasing the power and acceleration of an electric vehicle is a complex and expensive activity that has cooling and warranty implications, not to mention safety. In any case, updates from car manufacturers can undo software changes, while most owners agree that in the standard version, the performance of an electric vehicle is already impressive.

As the oldest electric vehicle (it’s been on sale in various forms since 2011), the Nissan Leaf is well supported by aftermarket specialists offering a range of additions and upgrades. Muxsan, a company based in the Netherlands, designs and supplies a choice of three additional range extender batteries (11kWh, 22kWh and 33kWh) which, depending on the age of the vehicle, can provide 30 to 84 miles of additional autonomy.

The larger range extender adds 160kg to the car’s weight, so Muxsan’s pricing for its 22kWh and 33kWh batteries includes suspension modifications designed to restore the vehicle’s handling.

Cleevely Motors, an electric vehicle specialist based in Cheltenham, can fit these batteries, but founder Matt Cleevely says he is waiting for the company’s upgraded versions to become available before supplying more.

“The current one is ok but takes up about half the boot space and for us not a big seller. The new one has improved power density and should be more practical.” Muxsan’s range extender batteries start from around £5000 supplied and fitted so they’re not cheap but Matt says for people who love and trust their Leaf and want to keep it , buying one is more economical than buying a new model with a similar range.

Another Muxsan product is the company’s updated battery charger. The Leaf has an outdated CHAdeMO charger, but Muxsan’s replacement conforms to the popular CCS standard that enables faster charging at speeds of up to 160kW.

The CCS charging port replaces the AC Type 1 or 2 port in the car and Muxsan provides an adapter so you can continue to use your old cables. However, the CCS upgrade will only provide faster charging in combination with one of Muxsan’s range extender batteries. In addition, for faster charging, these same batteries must be equipped with a new thermal management system which, according to Muxsan, will not be available until next year.

Another upgrade open to Leaf owners is to replace their existing battery with a larger used battery. Sourced from wrecked cars, the 40kWh and 60kWh batteries cost around £8,500, but according to Matt Cleevely, who supplied and installed them, customers see them as a cost-effective way to cool their Leafs. However, he says they are becoming harder to find and more expensive because they are being bought by people who want them for solar energy storage.

Moving away from batteries and toward convenience upgrades, Matt is adapting the “frunk” auto-open on Teslas. “It’s controlled by an app on the owner’s phone and comes in handy when your arms are full of groceries,” he says. The app is made by Hannshow, a China-based company whose other upgrades from Tesla include a soft-close door feature and additional screens.

Meanwhile, upgraded braking and suspension systems are becoming popular with EV owners looking to improve the performance of their cars. “We are focusing on mechanical upgrades because the Teslas have more than enough power,” says John Chambers, founder of Camberley, Surrey-based Tevo Solutions. “Brakes, suspension and wheels are Tesla’s weak points, but it doesn’t take much to improve them.”

Especially for track riders, he recommends upgrading the brakes with AP Racing calipers, pads and rotors and, for better pedal feel, braided lines. “They’re great on the track, but also improve highway braking at high speeds,” says John. If your budget doesn’t stretch to the full brake system, they can supply a front set of upgraded pads just for £215. For an extra £96 you can have front and rear braided brake lines and for £30 upgraded brake fluid. Or how about a special bracket for the brake master cylinder that prevents it from flexing? Yours for £234.

As for Tesla’s suspension system, which John describes as “only adequate,” Tevo offers two kits from Ohlins and Bilstein, including shocks, springs, roll bars and bushes. John says they strike a good balance between handling and steering sharpness, and a smooth ride. A full suspension upgrade costs up to £5,000. If that’s beyond your budget, you can always install upgraded suspension bushings. Tevo is working with Powerflex to develop improved models for Teslas that can tolerate the weight of cars for a longer period of time than standard items.

Of course, all those suspensions and…

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This notice was published: 2022-04-27 12:00:00

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