Nissan factories are equipped with 4,000 autonomous trucks, powered by reconditioned batteries from old Nissan Leaf. A clever way to give them a second life.

In all its factories, Nissan uses more than 4.000 electric trolleys, called AGV (Automated Guided Vehicles). They are small autonomous vehicles programmed for supply assembly lines with spare parts : operators can therefore remain focused on their work, while robots provide them with the components they need.

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Nissan Leaf batteries in autonomous industrial vehicles

Sold since 2010 in more than 500,000 units, the Nissan Leaf is one of the pioneers of electric mobility. When one of these Leaf becomes dead, its batteries can still be used for other purposes: this is how Nissan imagined how to recycle these batteries 24 kWh lithium-ion, made up of 48 modules and fitted to the first generation of the Leaf.

In partnership with the company 4R Energy, Nissan therefore reconditions these batteries and gives them a second life by using them in its AGVs, rather than acquiring new batteries to power them, with a double benefit, both economic and ecological. In fact, Nissan’s autonomous trucks previously used lead-acid batteries, which had to be replaced every two years: now, the Leaf’s lithium batteries will give them a lifespan of seven to eight years.

These lithium batteries are also recharged faster, making it possible to optimize the operating time of these robots, which recharge themselves independently during their journey, stopping for about thirty seconds each time they pass a charging station: this fully automated operation therefore requires no human intervention. For the future, Nissan is already thinking of equipping its AGVs with more sensors and more sophisticated algorithms, in order to allow them to move with even more autonomy.

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