Nissan Leaf connect unit English Conversion with Android Auto ZE1
Nissan introduced an updated version of the ‘Connect’ audio navigation unit for the 2018 and 2019 ZE1 Nissan Leaf X and G models. As with previous versions of the X and G Leaf, these communicate with other control modules, making it difficult to replace with an aftermarket audio unit without losing some functionality. While English language units from other markets can be used, they are difficult to obtain and prohibitively expensive. The European version is prefered, but it is also locked to the original vehicle, necessitating additional effort/cost before it can be retrofitted.
Nissan made an unusual move by including Android Auto in the UK and US variants of these vehicles. However, this was omitted from the Japanese version of the vehicle. The most common ZE1 in New Zealand is the Japanese variant. The Japanese model does have Apple CarPlay and an English interface for calls, messaging, and music. Unfortunately, for early iPhone users, CarPlay still used the vehicle’s GPS rather than the GPS built into the phone, preventing the use of Google or Apple Maps outside of Japan. This has been fixed in the latest iOS13 update, which allows the GPS of the connected device to be used instead, allowing later iPhone users to use maps.
These Japanese units can now be upgraded to include Android Auto. We can use up-to-date English maps provided by Google Maps via a connected smartphone by doing so. Because Android Auto uses the GPS of the connected device rather than the GPS of the vehicle, this works. This allows any other Android Auto compatible apps, in addition to maps, to be used directly on the built-in Connect head unit. There are hundreds of compatible apps available, with Spotify and Google Play Music being popular examples. This upgrade is now available through our EVs Enhanced Christchurch Service Centre and select EVs Enhanced partners throughout New Zealand.
We now have the ability to convert the text of these units into English as well as update the clock while maintaining GPS-synced time, in addition to Apple Carplay and Android Auto. This allows for the most cost-effective method of converting these Japanese units into English. This conversion enables the user to use all other functions in English, such as the Charge and Climate Timers, AM/FM Radio, CD, Bluetooth, Music Box, and browsing the menu and settings. With pseudo-RDS available to display the current radio station name for most regions in New Zealand, there is little need to even look at the frequency when switching between stations.