While available technology has changed, that xB still serves as an illustration of available space for battery mounting, the practicality of a single-ratio transmission with an AC motor, and the energy needed to move this weight and shape of vehicle in real driving.While my conversion has been quite successful (42k miles on conversion in almost 5 years of driving, no major failures) doing another xB I would do things considerably differently, owing to the changes in availability and prices of components.
I agree that this is a natural for a complete Leaf drive unit, since it already has the same configuration (transverse front-drive, and McPherson strut front suspension) as the Leaf, and the vehicle size and type is similar.These days, a direct nissan leaf drivetrain swap would be a compelling alternative, as would using the leaf pack.
I understand the reasoning behind removing unused gears from the transmission, but I'm not sure that reduction of rotating mass is a significant effect. After all, most conversions using the original transmission retain the flywheel, which has far more rotational inertia than any gears in a manual transmission would. I also wonder about what gears to remove. Omitting reverse is obvious (with an AC motor), but if the ability to shift between two gears is to be retained, it would be good to have them usefully different. 3rd and 4th are usually only about 30% different, so I don't know if it makes sense to keep just those two. I would think that whatever pairs of gears share a dog clutch / synchro set (typically 1&2, 3&4, 5&6) should be retained, but none of those pairs seem likely to be two useful ratios covering the desired range between them.... I would seriously consider a single stack remy HVH250 and appropriate 100kwh-ish inverter, attached to a stock or somewhat modified original transaxle. The transaxle mod would be removal of reverse, 5th, and maybe 1st/2nd ratios to reduce friction and spinning weight. What exactly I would do would depend on how easy it was to make the modifications. I removed reverse and 5th in my MR2 conversion, but I've never looked at the innards of an xB 5 speed, though I presume the design is similar.
The HVH250 also has a broader speed range (so it can use more reduction) and maintains power much better at high motor shaft speed (so higher speeds are more usable).
The 2018 Leaf already has a 40 kWh battery, compared to 24 kWh and 30 kWh of earlier versions. Yes, a 60 kWh battery is anticipated for 2019, but I don't know how much capacity you really need... or are willing to pay for. There will always be more capacity later, which could be considered a reason to not wait (because if you wait for the ultimate solution you will never build anything), or just to wait to buy until you are ready to build.Question 3. Would it be worth waiting for a used 2019 long range car to be parted out, They are supposed to be increasing the range substantially.