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Unread 12-09-2018, 09:35 AM   #1
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Default "best" lithium batteries for carts?

So, we have the Nissan Leaf batteries that seem to be the most popular for a lithium conversion, but what is the reason? Availability? Cost? Ease of use?
Is there a better battery out there that may cost more, but deliver better performance? Is the advantage longer run time, or just weight savings?

I'm on the fence on the lithium question, I do intend to go 48v on my TXT but if I am going to need new batteries, is it worth the extra effort and expense to go lithium?
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Unread 12-09-2018, 12:20 PM   #2
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Default Re: "best" lithium batteries for carts?

Nissan cells are certainly easier to build a pack out of to your specs. There's no doubting that.

Volt cells are generally cheaper and are less likely to be abused due to the charge/discharge specs of the OEM BMS, but are more of a pain to work with (less configurable).

You can drop in two 48v Chevy modules in a 48v cart, run in parallel they'd give you between 90 and 94 amp hours. You'd need a new charger for them and they would top out at 49.8 to 50.4v. You would need to buy a BMS to handle your low voltage cutoff and cell balancing. You'd get the weight loss benefits, keep the stock controller and never have to re-water the batteries again, but you would skip out on some of the benefits of even higher voltages.

I did the lithium conversion and love it. I went with a 58.8v pack, charged to 57.6v for longevity. With just the stock TXT48 controller it is a truly great performance increase. I did end up buying an Alltrax for it, so while I know the stock control will work at 57.6v I don't know the longevity of it at that V... Plus the Alltrax gives me even more performance and it should last a long time.

If you get the lithium bug remember you don't need nearly as many Ah for lithium as you do for lead acid. Most people seem to shoot for a 100 Ah pack. If you want it to last you 10 to 12 years don't charge above 90%, don't over discharge them and don't store them when fully charged. A good long term storage voltage is around 70% ish.

Edit: Also, if buying used leaf cells make sure you get a 'measured Ah' reading on the cells before you buy.
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Unread 12-09-2018, 03:09 PM   #3
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Default Re: "best" lithium batteries for carts?

Nissan Leaf lithium batteries seem to be used for these conversions. I've seen Chevy Volt's used also.

You don't see lithium fires from the Nissan (and I think Volt...and I know nothing about Fords) being reported. From what I've read the Leaf batteries have a more stable chemical, and do not require liquid cooling like the Testla.

My conversion was two 7 modules of the Nissan Leaf's.

I like them because I went from 8 T-105's weighing about 480-lbs to the Leaf pack weighing about 80-lbs. So, the weight is one benefit. Also I don't have to water the Leaf's and I no longer have to do battery terminal maintenance from corrosion.

And the longer run time is great as well.

As for the longevity of the switch, only time will tell. But to date, my cart has met every hunting challenge I've tossed it into.

FWIW
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Unread 12-14-2018, 07:14 PM   #4
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Default Re: "best" lithium batteries for carts?

What is the source of these batteries? Wrecked cars, a reduction in range? I'm sure there's more than answer, but I was just curious.

Are there possible new ones that didn't get quite meet up to their specs? "Scratched and dented" sales?

Are most being sold by re-sellers or original owners, or chop shops?

I suspect there will be more available as time goes on.
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Unread 12-14-2018, 09:37 PM   #5
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Default Re: "best" lithium batteries for carts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by yurtle View Post
What is the source of these batteries?.
The vast majority of the cells I have seen are from salvaged cars. Trouble is that it is neigh on impossible to get one from a wrecking yard as an individual, seems the companies making money from pulling the packs, hacking them up and reselling have made deals with the wrecking yards (at least the ones near me).

But the good news is that the fiat cells are good, volt cells are good, c-max hybrid cells are good, leaf cells, etc, and each year there are more lithium hybrids around that we can get scrap packs from. Do be careful, some hybrids are still NiMH.

But back to your question, I have seen one (yes, 1) Chevy Volt pack that was new and for sale hacked up into 48v and 24v packs. The rest have been used. I have purchased several used 48v or 24v packs from GreenTechAuto on the auction site. I don't have any complaints with that company.
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Unread 12-15-2018, 02:57 PM   #6
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Default Re: "best" lithium batteries for carts?

My conversion was to (not two) 7 leaf modules. Or....a 7 module pack.
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Unread 12-15-2018, 10:02 PM   #7
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Default Re: "best" lithium batteries for carts?

Actually, when I make the leap, I'd prefer to purchase from someone who knows what they're doing - reseller - as I'm guessing these things are new to auto salvage yards.
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Unread 12-16-2018, 06:49 AM   #8
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Default Re: "best" lithium batteries for carts?

Yeah... I tried to buy a pac of Leaf cells from local new car salvage yards and I got replies like “ you want what?” Maybe there aren’t enough green people here. ��
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Unread 12-16-2018, 09:21 AM   #9
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Default Re: "best" lithium batteries for carts?

Imagine in another 5 years or so.
Lots of EV's coming on line
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Unread 12-16-2018, 09:21 AM   #10
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Default Re: "best" lithium batteries for carts?

I really like the Leaf Cell module packaging and I wish they were more available. You can make packs with any number of modules. Volt batteries may work fine but you can't easily separate the modules. I now have three years on my cart with 14 Leaf modules and it's running great.
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