Electric car battieries

Hello, I need some help. With gas prices getting to an excess of $3.50 in Texas, I have decided to make the switch to electric cars. I was watching a show on TLC the other day about a guy in California who converts cars to electric. He converted an old heavy-as-can-be Camaro into an electric car that could peel out. I found a website that sells conversion kits for all kinds of cars called Cloud EV. I want to buy the heavy car kit, but the only snag I hit was this: I need 60 batteries to get a day's power, but it will cost about $3000 to $5100 (1949.6978 Euros to 3314.48625 Euros)!!! Can anyone help me find a cheaper source of batteries? Car batteries are just to expensive. Thanks.

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CameronSS9 years ago
Battery prices have gone up recently as the price of raw metal has skyrocketed. There's a lot of lead in batteries. If you want a cheap source of batteries, deep-cycle golf cart batteries from a place like Deka or Trojan are your best bet. Ni-MH and Li-Ion will actually give you more range per pound for your dollar, but cost much more.

Also, where do you get this figure of 60 batteries? 60 12V batteries is 720V, far more than you would ever use in an electric. Their "large car" kit is rated for 132V-144V. Using 12V batteries that requires 11 or 12 batteries, with 6V batteries it requires 22-24. The truck I drive uses 20 6V cells-a 120V system.

I would highly recommend doing much more research than watching a TV show. I also notice that you do not mention what car you are going to convert. Buying components before you know what you are putting them in is kind of foolish. If your goal is simply to save money, building an electric isn't really going to save you much. They are still expensive-not so much to drive, but to build.

I will direct my dad to this forum; perhaps he can answer your questions better.
gimmelotsarobots (author)  CameronSS9 years ago
I have done a lot of research. The reason I came up with 60 batteries is this: It takes 12 to get the 144 volts. You make 5 packages of 12 12volt batteries. Then you hook up those packages in parallel to create more amperage thus giving you much more power/range. here is a schematic.
60 batteries at about 75 pounds apiece is 4500 pounds. You will have an unbelievably heavy pack, and you will crush the suspension of anything less than a Hummer. A typical EV conversion already requires you to at least add an extra leaf spring, and that's with only a 1000-2000lb battery pack. In addition, the added weight means that you will lose that acceleration that you seem to be after.
Based on the prices and the website he posted, I assume he's looking at 60 20Ah, 13.76 lb batteries, or 24 45Ah, 31.04 lb batteries.

The first option would givie him 100Ah at 144V, for 825 lb, $5100. The second would be 90Ah at 144V, 745 lb, $3120.

Still heavy, but far more reasonable than your 75 lb batteries...
That poses a different problem. Even though more small batteries will give the same kWh performance as fewer large batteries, you will have five times as many connections. Each battery requires a giant 1/0 AWG cable to connect it to the next, and every cable requires two giant crimp terminals. Both are comparatively expensive, and both will generate heat, and therefore line losses. Also, when cycling batteries as often as you do with an electric, you must monitor the level of water in the batteries. As batteries are charged and discharged, sulfuric acid is converted to water and sulfur, then back again. In the process, some of the water evaporates, and it must be replenished monthly with distilled water. This is somewhat time consuming, and having 60 batteries to check and fill will take 5 times as long as 12 batteries. This is not an issue if you are using Ni-MH, Ni-Cd, SLA, AGM, or Li-ion batteries, but it is vital if you are using normal, inexpensive "floodies."
If your going to use such large packs why not go with forklift batteries or 2 volt cells so if one fails your only pulling one out and changing it... And forklift batteries seem to last a good few years if they are not abused to badly....
True that! I should just shut up now - I'm just trying to reverse engineer the setup that I think gimmelotsarobots might have in mind. Far better to let him duke it out with you guys himself... :-D
gimmelotsarobots (author)  CameronSS9 years ago
I've seen it done, but like I said before I will most likely not use that many. Thanks for the weight estimate though. :0
gimmelotsarobots (author)  CameronSS9 years ago
I don't research through the TV. I have found many other sources like cloud ev, evalbum, and ausitn ev. I know the build will be a pocket drain, but in the long run it will be cheaper. I am also trying to find a good car, but these kits are universal. There is one for every car size.
I apologize, then. The only source you mentioned was the TV show, so I assumed that you, like so many others, had simply seen a video and decided you want to convert. I'm glad to see that you have checked out some good websites...Then again, I know the guy who created and maintains the EV Album, so I have to say that, just in case Mike's watching me. I highly recommend seeing if there is an EAA chapter in your area-There you should find people who have already gone through the process, and learn from them.
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