The Car Conversion Experts


Inside a Lithium Ion Electric Car Battery Cut Open by EV West

All About Batteries

There are a variety of batteries available on the market for Electric Vehicle Conversions. In the 1970s when the first home builds were created in the garages of many Australian Electric Vehicle Association's members, lead acid batteries were often used to power the car, as battery technology had not come as far as it has now. Here is a simple description of what a battery is on Thought Co website: " A battery, which is actually an electric cell, is a device that produces electricity from a chemical reaction. In a one cell battery, you would find a negative electrode, an electrolyte, which conducts ions; a seperator, also an ion conductor; and a positive electrode." If you closely watch the video above, you can see that all of these points exist. No matter what your battery is made of, there has to be a certain structure within the battery, along with a variety of different chemicals to create a reaction, creating electricity. 

Benjamin Franklin first coined the term Battery in 1748, to describe an array of charged glass plates, however he is not the first person to use a type of system that can hold an electrical current. Since then we've come a long way. With a variety of chemical variants, and therefore battery properties, there are many different choices of batteries on the market. Looking at the stability of a battery and it's capacity both under load and when being recharged, meant that car manufacturers as well as home builders started moving towards using Lithium batteries. Lithium batteries at this stage are a proven media for storing and using power for vehicles, as it allows a large draw of electricity when accelarating a car. In the early days of building electric vehicles, we even used a different battery cell to power our cars, however we found that these started becoming disfigured, with some cells showing a kind of stretching of the outer casing. This showed that those cells did not enjoy the load we placed on them when accelerating-though we must admit, driving like a nana did not appeal to us, and as such we probably also provoked the batteries into misforming. 

Since those early days of converting vehicles into electric drive vehicles, we have all learnt a lot and that includes what does and does not work regarding the battery pack in our cars. Of course, there are others chemical variants that are available, but as our target market is home builds, we also must look at the price of our batteries. For now, the Lithium Iron Phospate batteries are the ones that we feel meets this market and are what we offer to our customers at this stage. 

A simple way to look at the difference is that a 100Ah lead acid battery has 20% usable capacity =- 20 Ah of useable power however this ramps down fairly fast. A Lifepo4 or NCM has 80-85% useable power that only slightly tapers off till it reaches 20% capacity remaining, meaning better than 4 times the milage for the same capacity and less than half the weight! AND the power to weight of lithium cells is always improving and the cost difference is in favour of Lithium when usable capacity is factored in. 


We occaisionally get a variety of second hand batteries in as well, including Nissan Leaf cells and Mitsubishi i-MiEV cells, so if you are interested in these, please do contact us to enquire if we have current stock.  

We also source brand new 3.2V Prismatic LiFePo4 Cells. Prices are as follows (current as at NOV 2020):

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