An update on the companyOn tuesday, September 4th we signed the papers that will set up our official company, Muxsan CoŲperatie UA.
This means that fairly shortly, we will have an official limited liability company that enables us to do the business we need to do to convert Leafs with bigger batteries. Sounds boring, but it's quite a big step on the way and a bit of a psychological hurdle to have passed as well.
As you may be able to see in the video, I'm currently on holiday, and next week I will be partly back to work, but also working on another big project that will feature in a video soon. This means that real progress updates will start at the end of September and you should be able to see updates on converting the first car - our own 2014 Leaf - starting in October.
Newsletter poll and questionsBesides some general housekeeping, at the end of August we also sent out the first newsletter. Personally, I don't like to be spammed too much so we will keep the newsletters to a minimum. We have some feedback on the newsletter though, and instead of sending everybody another e-mail we're updating you via this blog and the videos. Please let us know if this is OK or whether you feel an e-mail newsletter is more appropriate.
In the newsletter, we asked whether an always-on internet connection would be a worthwhile feature to add to the converted Nissan Leafs. This may sound strange - what does an internet connection have to do with an extenderd battery? Well, it would be very handy if we could directly connect to the car and inspect the error codes it's throwing when inevitably one of our customers sits at the side of the road with a bugged car. This doesn't necessarily mean adding a modem and SIM card to the electronics, but it's the most versatile option. In addition to helping with debugging and remote assistance, it would allow for adding a wi-fi hotspot in the car and improved phone apps with much better responsiveness than the stock Nissan app. That being said, an always-on internet connection represents a significant security hazard.
So in the newsletter we polled everybody on the pre-order list and almost 50% of preorders filled out the poll, getting us a very representative sample. Most people didn't feel much for the internet connection and would rather just have a local bluetooth or similar connection that allowed them to interface the car. This option was chosen by almost 50% of respondents, so we're doing exactly that.
The first version of the battery pack will feature a Bluetooth/Wi-Fi combo chip (called ESP32) that you can connect to with your phone, without having to install any apps, and inspect the status of the car, change settings and resolve errors. Eventually, we will offer an always-on internet option, as this was the second most popular choice in the poll. This can be bought and installed separately but does require the extender electronics.
Besides the poll question, we also got a few e-mails and video comments with feedback and questions which are answered in the video and here in text form: