Li battery vs. NiMH battery

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fost5097
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I have heard a lot about the Lithium Conversion for Vectrix. What are the pros/cons of changing to Li from the stock NiMH? It represents quite an expense!

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kingcharles
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Re: Li battery vs. NiMH battery

In a dutch motorcycle forum Escini posted the conversion costs for lithium upgrades.
They are: 3500 Euro for 30 Ah and 4600 Euro for 42 Ah.
The post is not clear whether the charger is included in the above prices.

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oobflyer
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Re: Li battery vs. NiMH battery

Cons:

  • It's Expensive

Pros:

  • Greater Range
  • Lighter Weight
  • More Practical
  • Little or no battery heating issues
  • Longer Battery Life

I have ridden about 1,000 miles since the conversion and I have absolutely no regrets - it feels like a new bike; I can ride further now - so I can use it for trips that I simply couldn't do before with the NiMH batteries. Depending on how long you plan on owning/riding the bike it will pay for itself in the long run, especially if you live where gas prices are high. Gas prices have gone up to over $4/gallon in the U.S.A., but my fuel costs have not gone up at all.

Lionstrike
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Re: Li battery vs. NiMH battery

I think that I might be headed down the lithium conversion path too one day. How many USD does this cost roughly do you think? $4000? I spec'ed the batteries alone at something like $2400.

I haven't yet heard of someone who isn't absolutely in love with a lithium rather than an NiMH battery.

LeftieBiker
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Points: 655
Re: Li battery vs. NiMH battery

Lionstrike wrote:

I haven't yet heard of someone who isn't absolutely in love with a lithium rather than an NiMH battery.

The really sad thing is that NiMH batteries could have worked just great on this bike - look at how reliable they have been in the Prius and Honda Civic hybrids. Vectrix screwed up the charging and BMS systems for no good reason. (Just look at what the Laird was able to do with the same hardware and basic software.) And while the Lithium batteries are clearly better, people are still having cells go bad. By the time this stuff gets straightened out it will be obsolete tech...

antiscab
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Joined: 07/07/2007
Points: 1603
Re: Li battery vs. NiMH battery

Lionstrike wrote:

I think that I might be headed down the lithium conversion path too one day. How many USD does this cost roughly do you think? $4000? I spec'ed the batteries alone at something like $2400.

The thundersky/Winston Battery 40Ah cells aren't overly expensive

Its getting all to work with the bike properly (the biggest one is not letting the original charger overcharge them)

I'm happy to parts of my kit individually if you prefer to do a slightly different conversion

$4000 is what you would expect to spend if going the DIY route with 40Ah cells and using my kit

Matt

__________________

Daily Ride:
2007 Vectrix, modified with 42 x Thundersky 60Ah
Vectrix 60Ah Lithium Tyres Fuel Registration Insurance cycle analyst replacement TC Charger
conversion
Spent so far: $5800 + $7000 + $1720 + $960 + $320 + $720 + $140 + $600
Cost to do it again: $2500 + $5600 + $1720 + $960 + $320 + $720 + $140 + $600
Cost for a Petrol bike:$6000 + + $1440 + $6000 + $800 + $1400 + $3200 servicing
Total spent: $17260
Total to do again: $12560
Total to have used a petrol bike: $18840
Total distance travelled so far: 79'120km

oobflyer
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Points: 367
Re: Li battery vs. NiMH battery

I paid closer to $5,000, but I opted to get the 50AH (CHL) LiFePo batteries and I paid an electrical engineer $500 to help with the conversion.

antiscab
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Joined: 07/07/2007
Points: 1603
Re: Li battery vs. NiMH battery

fost5097 wrote:

I have heard a lot about the Lithium Conversion for Vectrix. What are the pros/cons of changing to Li from the stock NiMH?

Official Li Converion:
prices as above,

pros:
longer range, more consistent range (no disappearing bars)
longer battery service life
better integration with the bike

cons:
replacement cell availability tedious (like getting all other parts out of Vectrix)
Uses other parts that only Vectrix corp supply

My Li conversion
pros:
cheaper than the official one
longer range, more consistent range (no disappearing bars)
longer battery service life
Commodity parts used (makes keeping the bike going in years to come easier)

Cons:
Integration with the bike not as good (though I am working on that)

staying nimh:
pros:
cheapest solution
using The Laird's software you may be able to sort out the disappearing bars to get good reliability
due to the number of li conversions, second hand good cells are getting cheaper

cons:
you are stuck using the old ESD charger (high failure rate)
less range (leading to being able to use the bike less often? thats how it was for me)

Matt

__________________

Daily Ride:
2007 Vectrix, modified with 42 x Thundersky 60Ah
Vectrix 60Ah Lithium Tyres Fuel Registration Insurance cycle analyst replacement TC Charger
conversion
Spent so far: $5800 + $7000 + $1720 + $960 + $320 + $720 + $140 + $600
Cost to do it again: $2500 + $5600 + $1720 + $960 + $320 + $720 + $140 + $600
Cost for a Petrol bike:$6000 + + $1440 + $6000 + $800 + $1400 + $3200 servicing
Total spent: $17260
Total to do again: $12560
Total to have used a petrol bike: $18840
Total distance travelled so far: 79'120km

Cor
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Joined: 02/12/2012
Points: 38
Re: Li battery vs. NiMH battery

Re: NiMH batteries failing on the Vectrix,
I have noticed two things:
1. It is not always guaranteed to have a low resistance connection even when bolting the inter-cell connections down, you have to be very careful that the contacts are clean. In particular the bolts themselves make a bad contact due to the glue that was originally put in the thread of the bolts to avoid they vibrate loose. That is not a problem as the bolts should not carry a current anyway, it is best when the
inter-cell connection strap has a large contact area on the cell terminal itself for low resistance. Make sure that you check for heat
after you have worked on the pack and taken the bike for a test ride.
2. Did you ever check the specs of the cells, in particular the max current they can deliver?
You will see that the new 68 MPH software which pushes the current draw of the bike to about 220 Amp is almost 4 times higher than the max continuous draw specified for the cells (60A; 90A peak for 5 sec). And you wonder why cells blow up?
Note that the EVB tech website actually shows a picture of the Vectrix module with 9 series cells while describing their 10 series modules....
(click on the 10/GP30EVH for the specs and pic of the GoldPeak 30Ah cells in 10 series module, they also have 80 and 100Ah...)
http://www.evbtech.com/nimh-modules/

kingcharles
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Re: Li battery vs. NiMH battery

kingcharles wrote:

In a dutch motorcycle forum Escini posted the conversion costs for lithium upgrades.
They are: 3500 Euro for 30 Ah and 4600 Euro for 42 Ah.
The post is not clear whether the charger is included in the above prices.

Escini has now confirmed that the quoted conversion costs were excluding the charger. So if you still have the old charger you need to add 475 Euro to the above costs. Escini posted the costs for the charger (475 Euro) in the Dutch motorcycle forum today.

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pcarlson1979
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Re: Li battery vs. NiMH battery

oobflyer wrote:

Gas prices have gone up to over $4/gallon in the U.S.A., but my fuel costs have not gone up at all.

Currently in Australia I'm paying around $1.529/L which is $5.75/Gal. But it has been up to $1.629 which is $6.17/Gal

I always laugh when I see complaints at $4/Gal, that's only $1.05/L! I haven't seen it that cheap since about 2001

__________________

------------------------------
eRider 8000w Scooter - PDT Version
72v 50AH CHL battery
350A Sevcon controller

24km: Delivered - 24 September 2011
2490km: Installed dual 35w HID lights Bi-Xenon Projectors - 27 November 2011
8313km: Installed BMS - 13 October 2012

"Scrappy" - Custom 48v Electric Dirtbike Conversion
20 Feb 2012: Bought 2005 Suzuki DRZ-400SM Motorcross Bike for $100
Motor: MARS ME0708
Controller: Alltrax AXE4844 400A controller
Battery: 16xCHL 50Ah LiFePo4 = 48v

MEroller
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Re: Li battery vs. NiMH battery

pcarlson1979 wrote:
oobflyer wrote:

Gas prices have gone up to over $4/gallon in the U.S.A., but my fuel costs have not gone up at all.

Currently in Australia I'm paying around $1.529/L which is $5.75/Gal. But it has been up to $1.629 which is $6.17/Gal

I always laugh when I see complaints at $4/Gal, that's only $1.05/L! I haven't seen it that cheap since about 2001

To complete the picture, we very recently had prices in the region of 8 US$ / gallon of E10 gasoline here in Germany, and it is not much lower at the moment. More than half that goes into various federal state pockets. And these extremely high prices are a clear indicator of why frugal cars are extremely popular around here :-) And Germany doesn't even have the highest fuel prices in Europe...

__________________

My rides:
E-Sprit Fury (basis is the ZAP/Erider Thunder 5000) since May 03, 2011. Mods: Battery temp. gauge and battery heating (off the grid and off the battery), Kelly KEB72801X, reverse activated, luggage rack with topcase, HC Cycle Analyst, Emsiso BMS2405, 35mm² battery cables - repaired again :-)

QvR vR one: a Swiss package of pure understatement - innocent and to some eyes (from some angles) exceedingly ugly looks, but with raw and hardly containable electron power up to real 95 to 100km/h! And a literally rock-hard suspension due to a carrying capacity of twice it's unladen weight...

Aircon
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Joined: 12/23/2009
Points: 430
Re: Li battery vs. NiMH battery

pcarlson1979 wrote:
oobflyer wrote:

Gas prices have gone up to over $4/gallon in the U.S.A., but my fuel costs have not gone up at all.

Currently in Australia I'm paying around $1.529/L which is $5.75/Gal. But it has been up to $1.629 which is $6.17/Gal

I always laugh when I see complaints at $4/Gal, that's only $1.05/L! I haven't seen it that cheap since about 2001

Is that US or Imperial gallons?

R
R's picture
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Re: Li battery vs. NiMH battery

1,499 € /L G98 in Barcelona!!
Highest price ever seen.

CO2
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Joined: 07/24/2011
Points: 110
Re: Li battery vs. NiMH battery

You can see 2€/L in Europe......http://www.automobile-club.org/se-deplacer-mobilite/prix-des-carburants.html
For me, about, LI vs Nimh, I believe is good when we have a Laird with us...and in all world we have a lot nimh used...so 1500usd pack nimh is better then 4200€ for Li...and no need Vectrix to make that...or agent...or assistance....
I have found this Vx in Spain for 1000€, http://motos.coches.net/ocasion/vectrix/vx/2007-en-cordoba-4996011.htm, why not put nimh used?

MEroller
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Re: Li battery vs. NiMH battery

Aircon wrote:

Is that US or Imperial gallons?

I for my part used US gallons for the comparison.

__________________

My rides:
E-Sprit Fury (basis is the ZAP/Erider Thunder 5000) since May 03, 2011. Mods: Battery temp. gauge and battery heating (off the grid and off the battery), Kelly KEB72801X, reverse activated, luggage rack with topcase, HC Cycle Analyst, Emsiso BMS2405, 35mm² battery cables - repaired again :-)

QvR vR one: a Swiss package of pure understatement - innocent and to some eyes (from some angles) exceedingly ugly looks, but with raw and hardly containable electron power up to real 95 to 100km/h! And a literally rock-hard suspension due to a carrying capacity of twice it's unladen weight...

kingcharles
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Points: 400
Re: Li battery vs. NiMH battery

The Netherlands: 1,85 Euro per litre today!
= 8.4 Euro per imperial gallon (11 $US)
= 7 Euro per US gallon (9.25 $US)
But that's not why I ride electric though.

__________________

Once you go EV, Gas is history!

antiscab
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Points: 1603
Re: Li battery vs. NiMH battery

CO2 wrote:

For me, about, LI vs Nimh, I believe is good when we have a Laird with us...and in all world we have a lot nimh used...so 1500usd pack nimh is better then 4200€ for Li...and no need Vectrix to make that...or agent...or assistance....

I have found that for every Li conversion done, 2-3 nimh bikes with bad batteries can be fixed

Obviously if you already have a cheap source of good cells, than that is much better

Matt

__________________

Daily Ride:
2007 Vectrix, modified with 42 x Thundersky 60Ah
Vectrix 60Ah Lithium Tyres Fuel Registration Insurance cycle analyst replacement TC Charger
conversion
Spent so far: $5800 + $7000 + $1720 + $960 + $320 + $720 + $140 + $600
Cost to do it again: $2500 + $5600 + $1720 + $960 + $320 + $720 + $140 + $600
Cost for a Petrol bike:$6000 + + $1440 + $6000 + $800 + $1400 + $3200 servicing
Total spent: $17260
Total to do again: $12560
Total to have used a petrol bike: $18840
Total distance travelled so far: 79'120km

CO2
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Joined: 07/24/2011
Points: 110
Re: Li battery vs. NiMH battery

With 2-3 nimh, you can make 1 pack good!
Fantastic!
And GP/Vectrix have a lot nimh in warehouse....maybe 1 day, we can have a cheap source of good cells!
For conversion, in UE we have http://www.ev-power.eu/Sinopoly-40Ah-200Ah/SP-LFP60AHA-S2-Lithium-Cell-LiFePO4-3-2V-60Ah.html
I prefer 60ah...with your cycle analyst...without bms...but only used 48ah in each charge...

antiscab
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Joined: 07/07/2007
Points: 1603
Re: Li battery vs. NiMH battery

This is a better cell,
dimensions make for an easier fit, its higher capacity and when shipped it comes with a listing of each cells actual capacity and internal resistance

http://www.ev-power.eu/CALB-40Ah-400Ah/SE70AHA-Lithium-Cell-LiFePO4-3-2V-70Ah.html

If you prefer 60Ah, use TS or WB, don't use Sinopoly as it is the wrong shape

The cells can be used without BMS, just don't use the original charger, the software lock up fault will cause overcharge due to no voltage limit

I use a 15A TC Charger with 153.3V for 42cells

Matt

__________________

Daily Ride:
2007 Vectrix, modified with 42 x Thundersky 60Ah
Vectrix 60Ah Lithium Tyres Fuel Registration Insurance cycle analyst replacement TC Charger
conversion
Spent so far: $5800 + $7000 + $1720 + $960 + $320 + $720 + $140 + $600
Cost to do it again: $2500 + $5600 + $1720 + $960 + $320 + $720 + $140 + $600
Cost for a Petrol bike:$6000 + + $1440 + $6000 + $800 + $1400 + $3200 servicing
Total spent: $17260
Total to do again: $12560
Total to have used a petrol bike: $18840
Total distance travelled so far: 79'120km

Domi422
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Points: 50
Re: Li battery vs. NiMH battery

Just to help us what would be the shop-list to make a complete conversation with these batteries ?

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Le site des utilisateurs français (The French user's website) http://www.vectrix.fr/

CO2
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Joined: 07/24/2011
Points: 110
Re: Li battery vs. NiMH battery

I want only now, we can have bike without bms, but with some procedures, right?
I like this cell of 70ah...very nice....
When you refer original charger, you mean gold or silver?

Cor
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Joined: 02/12/2012
Points: 38
Re: Li battery vs. NiMH battery

The silver color ESD charger is the original.

CO2
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Joined: 07/24/2011
Points: 110
Re: Li battery vs. NiMH battery

Cor wrote:

The silver color ESD charger is the original.

But this original charger function with 42 cells Li, with maybe a little modification (like Laird make with nimh?

antiscab
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Points: 1603
Re: Li battery vs. NiMH battery

CO2 wrote:

When you refer original charger, you mean gold or silver?

I actually mean both,

The old silver ESD charger can be modified to fully charge the 70Ah cells, but, it has a problem that causes it to charge without voltage or time limit intermittently (I think it may be a hardware communication issue between two of the internal processors)
That means you can't use it without a BMS

The new gold Runke charger won't fully charge a 70Ah battery as we (or I) don't have access to the software to make it do so

To go without BMS, you will need to install a new charger

I find it is cheaper to just use a BMS if the original charger still works

Matt

__________________

Daily Ride:
2007 Vectrix, modified with 42 x Thundersky 60Ah
Vectrix 60Ah Lithium Tyres Fuel Registration Insurance cycle analyst replacement TC Charger
conversion
Spent so far: $5800 + $7000 + $1720 + $960 + $320 + $720 + $140 + $600
Cost to do it again: $2500 + $5600 + $1720 + $960 + $320 + $720 + $140 + $600
Cost for a Petrol bike:$6000 + + $1440 + $6000 + $800 + $1400 + $3200 servicing
Total spent: $17260
Total to do again: $12560
Total to have used a petrol bike: $18840
Total distance travelled so far: 79'120km

CO2
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Joined: 07/24/2011
Points: 110
Re: Li battery vs. NiMH battery

So, the best way is have the old charger with a PCM (or BMS) to make limitation of charge!
I think in market, we have a lot PCM/BMS have only this function limit charge/discharge, and some balance the cells.
The only problem is current....almost all don't like high current!

Cor
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Points: 38
Re: Li battery vs. NiMH battery

CO2 wrote:

I think in market, we have a lot PCM/BMS have only this function limit charge/discharge, and some balance the cells.
The only problem is current....almost all don't like high current!

The BMS does not need to be able to bypass the same current as the charger, but in order to avoid over-charge it has to do one of three things:
1. Simple shut the charger off when the first cell reaches max voltage. This is the simplest, only needs a relay and I think that Antiscab's kit has this feature.
2. Throttle back the charger to below the bypass limit of the BMS. For example if the charger can deliver 10A but the BMS can only bypass 0.5A then the BMS must give a signal to the charger to reduce the current limit to below 0.5A so that the BMS can keep cells clamped and allow lower SoC (State of Charge) cells to catch up.
3. Have a switch (MOSFET) in series with the charger output to control when the charger can deliver power, I believe this is done by some DIY BMS'es I have seen on Endless Sphere and it is relatively easy to do as the MOSFET should only see the difference between pack and charger voltage so relatively low voltage delta. The idea is that the BMS will cycle the charger On/OFF so that the BMS can slightly discharge the highest cells while the lower cells get additional charge when the charger is turned back on again.
Note that for the last two there is the option of over-charge cells at too low current, because Lithium chemistry tends to have a charge procedure, where you charge to a certain voltage and minimum current, then stop. If you allow the current to go lower, especially on LiFePO4 is where I heard this warning, you over-charge the cells if the cell voltage is 3.4V or higher....

LithiumVectrix
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Points: 78
Re: Li battery vs. NiMH battery

I have converted my Vectrix to Li-ion 10 months ago. The battery has 90 Ah Li-ion and 3 Ah Ni-mh. The Nimh cells balance the Li-ion cells and no additional electronics has been fitted to my bike. I fitted a volt meter to monitor the battery voltage and prevent overdischarge. I have a range of 280 km at 60 km/hr or 210 km at 80 km/hr. I don't have to worry if I have sufficent range to get home on my trip out for the day. The weight of the battery is 85 kg and it fits in the standard battery space. I have removed the fans. The pack runs at a higher voltage, 120 - 145 volts with slight improvment in acceleration.
The disavantages is that the standard vectrix charger won't fully recharge the battery if you travel more than 105 km. If you do a long trip, it will take several charges to bring the battery upto full charge. I have fitted a socket for a trickle charger that I occasionally use if I want to fully recharge a flat battery faster.

CO2
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Points: 110
Re: Li battery vs. NiMH battery

I think the pack of antiscab is the best for anybody.
I suggest to all: minimum 60ah or 70ah.
But if you have only a few nimh damaged....change this cells and continue with nimh....and Laird...of course! Who can post a simple video to learn change cells nimh?

CO2
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Points: 110
Re: Li battery vs. NiMH battery

I mean everybody!!! Sorry!

Cor
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Points: 38
Re: Li battery vs. NiMH battery

LithiumVectrix wrote:

I have converted my Vectrix to Li-ion 10 months ago. The battery has 90 Ah Li-ion and 3 Ah Ni-mh. The Nimh cells balance the Li-ion cells and no additional electronics has been fitted to my bike. I fitted a volt meter to monitor the battery voltage and prevent overdischarge. I have a range of 280 km at 60 km/hr or 210 km at 80 km/hr. I don't have to worry if I have sufficent range to get home on my trip out for the day. The weight of the battery is 85 kg and it fits in the standard battery space.

That sounds like you are running Pouch cells, not the Prismatic (hard plastic case) cells? Because in the last case you can fit between 40 and 60 Ah, maybe shoe-horn 70Ah in and then the battery box is full with 2 layers of cells and I have even heard of the need to raise the seat to avoid that the cells are the seat support...
I have some Li-Poly cells to run my e-Bike and I guess that you can simply buy enough of them (plus BMS!) to upgrade the Scooter.
Although there are now also good LiFePO4 pouch cells that are very high power and don't get warm at all.
But you say that your pack goes from 120 to 145V, which sounds like you are running probably 34 series LiPoly and keep them between 3.5 and 4.25V.
Does your BMS cut throttle power when one cell is hitting the 3.0 (or 2.7)V low voltage cutoff?
Running a cell to zero in a NiMH pack is not very good for the cell and it may get warm, but nothing catastrophic like running a Li-Poly cell dead and on next charge seeing it catch fire and burning down your scooter if you are lucky, or your house if you are unlucky....

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