Can the Nissan Leaf charge while driving?

I am looking at this car thinking what would I hate about it?

I don't like the idea of being stranded if I completely deplete the battery. I don't like the idea of having to wait for it to charge while being stranded.

I can think of a couple solutions. Solar panels on the roof could be charging the battery during the day but would they be able to charge it while I am driving?

What if I wanted to drive farther then 100 miles without stopping? Could I rig up a diesel generator to charge it as I drive?

Although my questions seem crazy they are serious questions

  • 1
    if you want to carry a diesel generator with you, JUST buy a car with an internal combustion engine...
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Oct 12, 2017 at 8:55
  • hardly a new idea.mynissanleaf.com/viewtopic.php?t=23064 You would need to hack into the cars systems, and the generator would be a big one (think on a trailer)
    – agentp
    Commented Oct 12, 2017 at 11:49
  • Personally, if you want to consider carrying a diesel generator, I'd go for a hybrid car. One with a big battery, that could travel far ..- but still be able to move forward if the battery has depleted. If that's not what you want and only want a fully electric vehicle, I'd think that a solar panel wouldn't supply it with enough power to really continue further than the place where you would if you hadn't had it. Overall I assume that you wouldn't even travel further as you're also carrying more weight with either the solar panel and/or generator.. Causing you to spend more energy.
    – Paramone
    Commented Oct 12, 2017 at 14:23
  • Hi kimyong - please try to limit to one question in a post, and make sure that your questions fit within our site scope (read tour and How to Ask for guidance)
    – Rory Alsop
    Commented Oct 12, 2017 at 16:54

2 Answers 2


While it might be possible to jury rig something to charge on the go for a Leaf you aren't going to be able to so without making substantial modifications that will

  1. Be expensive
  2. Void the warranty and
  3. Probably hurt the residual value of the car.

Given these drawbacks and the fact that the sort of car you are looking for already exists in the form of range extender hybrids such as the Chevrolet Volt and BMW i3 REx why would you feel the need to even try?

  • Exactly. Leaf + generator = Volt, so just buy the Volt instead.
    – Spivonious
    Commented Oct 12, 2017 at 17:30

You won't be able to charge it while driving without hacking the car. There is a "plug attached" indicator on the dash and it won't let you put it in drive. You'd have to hack around that somehow. See 1 to 3 in motosubatsu's answer. You should be able to successfully hack it though.

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