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Looking at buying a Solectria EV. What kind of batteries do I buy?

2674 Views 1 Reply 2 Participants Last post by  dougingraham
Hi folks just joined the page. I am going to looking a Solectria EV for purchase and the owner says it needs batteries. Before I look at it, I want to know what kind of batteries I SHOULD replace them with now. I've read that Lithium-Ion is the way to go, but I am not knowledgeable enough to make that conversion, so I am looking for a direct replacement that won't require any retro-engineering. Any ideas?

Thanks for the add.
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I am surprised that nobody answered this.

The only batteries that you can put in it that will require no real effort is replacing with the original form factor lead acid cells. Ask the current owner what is presently in the car and you can do a web search to find out what that would cost you.

If you replace with LiFePo4 at the same capacity you will have about 1/3 of the space and 1/4 the weight. But you will need a different charger and probably want some sort of battery management system. A less expensive solution would be to replace the original batteries with a Volt or Leaf pack from a salvage car. The Volt and Leaf cells are not LiFePo4 cells and are more temperamental than LiFePo4 cell types. They have an even better wh per kg and wh per li rating than the LiFePo4 cells so will take even less room and weigh less than those cells for an equivalent range. I don't know what was originally in the Solectria but you will probably need to reorganize the Volt or Leaf pack to change the voltage to match the range the inverter and motor want to see. And again you will need to replace the charger in the car with one intended for this kind of battery. It is also a good idea to have a battery management setup for this kind of cell.

It is not strictly speaking necessary to have a BMS with the LiFePo4 type cells and if you select the correct number of cells in series you could conceivably even use the original charger with them although I would suggest against attempting this. You need to know quite a lot about the way these batteries behave and keep a close eye on what is going on. In effect you are the BMS in this situation.

If you just want an EV and you don't mind the appearance I would look on EBay at used Nissan Leaf's. There are many cars available that are around 3 years old and with fairly low miles for very attractive prices. This would be about the most affordable car you could own.

I would suggest moving this thread to the batteries and charging section.

Best wishes!
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