DIY Electric Car Forums banner
1 - 20 of 241 Posts

·
Registered
1971 GMC 1500
Joined
·
759 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Why did I buy this Electrical Energy Storage System SP06 battery pack from a 2018 BMW 5 Series G30 aka 530e and not some other?

Three reasons:​
  1. price, I only paid $900 dollars for this battery and I have yet to see one go for less than twice that
  2. proximity, I drove and picked it up
  3. power, this battery provides 350 volts, what I call full voltage to operate my motor

This is a companion thread to my I bought a Tesla Model S Gen 2 Charger - Now What? and my YouTube Channel Good Enuff Garage

Motor vehicle Tire Automotive tire Car Hood


I don't know much about hybrid or electric car batteries, but what I know I hope to share. If I had to categorize them I would split them into three groups:

1. 100% electric car batteries - in order of appearance
  • Nissan Leaf (Production: 2010–present)
  • Renault Zoe (Production: 2012–present Market: Europe only)
  • Renault Fluence Z.E. (limited numbers in limited markets and failed)
  • Tesla Model S (Production: 2012–present)
  • BMW i3 (Production: 2013–present)
  • Tesla Model X (Production: 2015–present)
  • Tesla Model 3 (Production: 2017–present)
  • Tesla Model Y (Production: 2020–present)
2. Plug in hybrid car batteries (full 350ish voltage)
  • Chevy Volt (Production: 2010–2019)
  • BMW G11 740e (Production: 2016–present)
  • BMW G30 530e (Production: 2017–present)
  • BMW X5
3. Hybrid car batteries (lower voltage)
  • Toyota Prius (Production: 2012–present)
  • BMW F30 330e (Production: 2015–present)
  • BMW Mini F60 Countryman (Production: 2017-present)

If you know of any other popular models which lend themselves to EV Conversions please post them below or message me and I will add them to the list above.
Rectangle Parallel Font Slope Pattern

HELPFUL RESOURCES:

Let me start off by saying how much I appreciate the folks on this Info on BMW hybrid battery packs? thread on the OpenInverter.org forum for doing all the heavy lifting for us to make this used BMW 530e battery pack a possibility in our EV Conversions.

Rectangle Parallel Font Slope Pattern
 

·
Registered
1971 GMC 1500
Joined
·
759 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
this is what the pics for that eBay auction looked like, note they would not even pull the battery until I paid for it ahead of time, that was a risk I was willing to take

Wheel Tire Car Motor vehicle Automotive tire


Motor vehicle Automotive tire Hood Automotive design Bumper


Motor vehicle Grille Automotive tire Hood Automotive lighting


Tire Wheel Automotive tire Hood Motor vehicle
 

·
Registered
1971 GMC 1500
Joined
·
759 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I told the seller I was miles away and would not drive out there until they showed me pics of it off the car, which they did, and technically they accepted my offer of $700 but since I asked for the orange high voltage battery cables, the price went back up to $900, oh well, I was still fine with that

Motor vehicle Automotive tire Automotive exterior Asphalt Gas


Automotive tire Motor vehicle Bumper Wood Gas


Hood Automotive tire Motor vehicle Bumper Gas
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,343 Posts
I don't know much about hybrid or electric car batteries, but what I know I hope to share. If I had to categorize them I would split them into three groups:

1. 100% electric car batteries
  • Tesla Model S
  • Tesla Model 3
  • Nissan Leaf
  • BMW i3
2. Plug in hybrid car batteries (full 360ish voltage)
  • Chevy Volt
  • BMW 530e
  • BMW 740e
3. Hybrid car batteries (lower voltage)
  • Toyota Prius
  • BMW 330e
Those three categories make sense to me, but to be useful I think it would help to understand how they are different:
  1. Battery-Electric
    • high energy density required due to very large energy capacity requirement
    • moderate power required relative to battery size (moderate power density)
    • all modern examples are lithium-ion
    • most commonly used in DIY conversions have been the Tesla Model S and Nissan Leaf, mostly due to availability
  2. Plug-in Hybrid
    • enough energy capacity required for tens of kilometres of driving - typically in the range of 8 to 20 kWh
    • high power density required due to need to deliver high power from compact battery
    • pack voltage comparable to battery-electric vehicles (300 V or more, most commonly 360 V)
    • all are lithium-ion
    • most commonly used in DIYElectricCar projects are the Chevrolet Volt (most available in salvage) and Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid (was available as new modules from conversion equipment distributors)
  3. Non-plug-in Hybrid
    • low energy capacity required (typically on the order of one kilowatt-hour)
    • high cycling frequency (not just once per trip or day)
    • packs typically somewhat lower voltage than battery-electric vehicles (288 V in most Toyota hybrids) but can be as high as battery-electric models (particularly when lithium-ion)
    • many are still nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) for reliability under hybrid conditions
    • due to low capacity per pack and complexity of combining packs, generally not useful for battery-electric vehicle conversions

If you know of any other popular models please post them below or message me and I will add them to the list above.
I keep a spreadsheet of EV and hybrid batteries for which I found interesting information, but I don't think there's much point in just listing all common EVs and hybrid vehicles. Any EV has a battery, so the databases of EVs (all of which contain battery information) can be useful:
 

·
Registered
1971 GMC 1500
Joined
·
759 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
I keep a spreadsheet of EV and hybrid batteries for which I found interesting information, but I don't think there's much point in just listing all common EVs and hybrid vehicles. Any EV has a battery, so the databases of EVs (all of which contain battery information) can be useful:
I changed my request to be more specific: "If you know of any other popular models which lend themselves to EV Conversions please post them below or message me and I will add them to the list above."

I am very cautious of words like All or Every ha ha usually if after a party I say let's All clean up before we leave, nobody does anything, you know what I mean, but if I am specific and say Brian can you give me a hand before you leave so we can clean this place up, you pet stuff will get done.

So when it comes to electric vehicles and I know you follow them 100x closer than I do, but what I have observed is that there is a ton of vapor wear still and we hear how there are dozens and dozens if not hundreds of different Makes and Models of electric cars, and then you go to get one and your choices are Tesla, Leaf, and BMW, everything else is the "Click here to reserve your ____" fill in the blank. And don't get me started about how the Chevy Volt goes by 7 different names: Buick Velite 5, Holden Volt, Opel Ampera, Vauxhall Ampera yet it is the same rig, so that counts as one car.

case in point Volkswagen

Sky Font Electric blue Brand Logo
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,343 Posts
I changed my request to be more specific: "If you know of any other popular models which lend themselves to EV Conversions please post them below or message me and I will add them to the list above."
That's reasonable, but essentially all battery-electric and plug-in hybrid batteries are suitable for at least some conversions, so it's clear what wouldn't make the list. One of the worst possible EV donors to use, from a size and proportions of the modules point of view, is the Tesla Model 3 / Model Y... and even that's being used (including by one project in this forum).

I am very cautious of words like All or Every...
That prudent, but is there even a single example of a modern production EV that doesn't have a lithium-ion battery?

So when it comes to electric vehicles and I know you follow them 100x closer than I do, but what I have observed is that there is a ton of vapor wear still and we hear how there are dozens and dozens if not hundreds of different Makes and Models of electric cars, and then you go to get one and your choices are Tesla, Leaf, and BMW, everything else is the "Click here to reserve your ____" fill in the blank.
There are lots of not-in-production promises, but it's really not that bad. For instance, there are real, in production, seen-on-the-road EVs from Chevrolet, Ford, Jaguar, Volvo, Audi, and Porsche, in addition to Tesla, Nissan (Leaf), and BMW.

And don't get me started about how the Chevy Volt goes by 7 different names: Buick Velite 5, Holden Volt, Opel Ampera, Vauxhall Ampera yet it is the same rig, so that counts as one car.

case in point Volkswagen...
Yes, as always the same car shows up under different model names and brands. That's not unique to EVs or hybrids. A list will only help with that if it groups those models together. And the Cadillac ELR was another Volt variant. ;)
 

·
Registered
1971 GMC 1500
Joined
·
759 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
so I picked this thing up in my wife's 2010 Honda Pilot (we can use that for a time and space continuum reference) and my first reaction was, dang this thing is much smaller than I thunk

Smile Motor vehicle Automotive design Vision care Vehicle


Glasses Smile Vision care Goggles Sunglasses
 

·
Registered
1971 GMC 1500
Joined
·
759 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I must have listened to Battery by Metallica 6 dozen times on the drive back from Los Angeles to Sacramento, but 8 short hours later that baby was in the Good Enuff Garage

thank you son and daughter (both "dad do we have to do this" teenagers") for helping me ease it out of mom's car later that night and on to that Cardboard Freight moving dolly, Fun Level: 2

Tire Wheel Automotive tire Hood Car
 

·
Registered
1971 GMC 1500
Joined
·
759 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
So let me give you an example of what I mean by Full Voltage batteries using mine as an example, and by mine I mean the BMW 530e plug in hybrid beauty

but first please note we are dealing with a German product here, so things may make more sense if you are doing a head stand, if you know what I mean cause...

them Germans took freedoms and started calling voltage "U", probably since that letter was largely unused and so couldn't be confused with anything else. They also came up with etymology: U is for Unterschied, which is German and means "difference"; very fitting since voltage is obviously the same as potential difference... um obviously, ha ha

they also like to use commas instead of dots or decimals, cause why not? So 351,36 is 351.36 voltuators (hey if they can make words up, so can we)

Electrical Energy Storage System SP06

Rectangle Font Wall Gas Signage
 

·
Registered
1971 GMC 1500
Joined
·
759 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
ok now let's do a Stare and Compare to a lower voltage aka what I would consider a not a Full Voltage battery pack, we will use the BMW 330e as an example below

so now being semi fluent in made up German we can decipher that this one is only 292.8 Unterschied

Electrical Energy Storage System SP09


Motor vehicle Gadget Telephony Font Vehicle
 

·
Registered
1971 GMC 1500
Joined
·
759 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
and if we Zoom Out and see the BMW 330e hybrid battery pack in all it's glory we can see that indeed it does appear to be a bit physically smaller

I actually prefer this form factor and wish my BMW 530e came in this general shape, this thing would bolt up perfectly in the back of my 60/70s Chevy truck or a 60s muscle car like a Mustang

Composite material Gas Wood Automotive exterior Rectangle


Wood Automotive exterior Composite material Gas Rectangle


Wood Automotive exterior Composite material Gas Bumper


Automotive parking light Tire Wheel White Car
 

·
Registered
1971 GMC 1500
Joined
·
759 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
the image below should help us better understand the difference between the two battery packs mentioned above

this is what is inside my BMW 530e plug in hybrid battery pack

Automotive tire Toy Lego Font Auto part
 

·
Registered
1971 GMC 1500
Joined
·
759 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
CAUTION: Math Ahead

see how that appears to be what looks like six regular car batteries inside that odd shaped box, so if we take 351.36 aka the total voltage of the BMW 530e battery pack and divide it by 6 the number of those gray boxes above assuming they are all the same voltage which they should be we get 58.56 volts per gray box, ok that makes sense

so what if we took 292.8 the voltage of the BMW 330e battery pack and divided it by 58.56 what would we get, well we get 5, as in 5 gray boxes live inside the smaller BMW 330e battery pack so they are the exact same things just one less, interesting, let's file that under things that make you go hmmmm ?!?!?!
 

·
Registered
1971 GMC 1500
Joined
·
759 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
and what do you know...

The BMW 330e hybrid "semi full voltage" battery pack diagram

Font Auto part Metal Machine Composite material
 

·
Registered
1971 GMC 1500
Joined
·
759 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
now I do realize we are beginning to beat a dead horse to death, but let's just list out another BMW model the 740e hybrid battery for completeness

lookie here, does it look familiar? now I am no BMW fanboy nor expert, but there we have it another good source for these types of "Full Voltage" battery packs

Hood Bumper Motor vehicle Wood Table


Hood Motor vehicle Automotive lighting Automotive tire Bumper


Automotive tire Wood Road surface Asphalt Automotive wheel system


Hood Bumper Wood Automotive tire Asphalt


Bumper Automotive tire Vehicle Motor vehicle Gas
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,343 Posts
It's not my list, but I see no point in using terms like "full voltage" for 351 V and "semi full voltage" for 292 V... just list the voltage. Are you going to rename all of those BMW batteries, once you realize that a 720 V battery is available (and used in the Porsche Taycan), so 720 V must really be "full voltage", the 351 V battery must be "half full voltage", and 292 V is "nearly half full voltage"? ;) While the 96S configuration (about 360 V nominal) is very common, and matches well with chargers that were limited to about 400 V, there's nothing magical about that voltage which makes it "full" and anything less "not full".
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,343 Posts
The same modules will be found in varying number in different packs, especially by the same manufacturer. The Tesla packs with 18650 cells came in 14-module and 16-module sizes, using the same size of modules. There is one standardized size ("VDA 355") of pouch-cell module which has now been used by more than one manufacturer. Most DIY builders don't use the entire pack (because no OEM pack fits well in their car), so a good resource would be a list of modules, including which vehicles use those modules and how many they use.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,343 Posts
now I do realize we are beginning to beat a dead horse to death, but let's just list out another BMW model the 740e hybrid battery for completeness

lookie here, does it look familiar?
According to online articles, the 7-series plug-in hybrids have the same battery capacity (and same transmission with parallel hybrid motor) as the 5-series, so it would be the same pack or at least the same six modules. Before the 2020 model this was the 9.2 kWh battery, and 12.0 kWh since 2020.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,343 Posts
...
3. Hybrid car batteries (lower voltage)
  • Toyota Prius (Production: 2012–present)
  • BMW 330e

If you know of any other popular models which lend themselves to EV Conversions please post them below or message me and I will add them to the list above.
I changed my request to be more specific: "If you know of any other popular models which lend themselves to EV Conversions please post them below or message me and I will add them to the list above."

I am very cautious of words like All or Every ha ha...
If the list is going to contain nothing but the model name (and perhaps year), and everything in it is supposed to be useful in EV conversions, then the Prius doesn't belong there - only a Prius Prime has a battery with enough capacity to be of any use in anything larger than a go-kart. That is, not all Prius batteries are useful. ;) In fact, all Toyota hybrids with "Prime" in their name (including the RAV4) are plug-ins with a useful size of battery, while no non-plug-in Toyota/Lexus hybrid has a battery which is large enough to be useful.

The difference in voltage between 360 V and 290 V is much less important than the difference in energy capacity between the 8 kWh (or more) of a plug-in hybrid and the 2 kWh (or less) of a non-plug in hybrid.
 
1 - 20 of 241 Posts
Top