Nissan people can do a better job with the Leaf than the company image

And the Japanese automaker is proud of its employees – they turned up with a more powerful Leaf during their free time – a 48 kWh prototype nicknamed after the ’80s sci-fi movie Cocoon.

A team of Nissan engineers took a volunteer project that lasted six months and had the goal of doubling a regular Leaf’s battery capacity to 48 kilowatt hours, and they were successful in achieving the goal ahead of schedule. They also took it out on the track – putting it through the paces of the Spanish ECOseries – which actually has more to do with efficiency than speed. The merry bunch took out the rear seats in order to have more space for the second battery. And they called their creation Cocoon after the energy-filled rounded rocks that made old men feel young again in the energy-filled rounded rocks.

Nissan people can do a better job with the Leaf than the company 3

The team has remained mum on performance specifications, but it appears the other 24 kWh of capacity has led to a 75 percent surge in the maximum range. If they take into account the NEDC test, the crew should be able to go for up to 217 miles (349 kilometers) on a charge, compared to the standard Leaf’s maximum of 124 miles (200 km). The engineers work at the Nissan Technical Centre in Barcelona, Spain – where they formed the Nissan Innovation Team, and they worked during weekends and at night to complete the project. It appears they are pretty close to what Nissan is building for the next generation Leaf – reportedly using a 60 kWh battery that will grant a range of more than 214 miles (344 km) – putting it on par with the Tesla Model 3 and Chevrolet Bolt.