Converting to Lithium Need Help

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Joined: 07/08/2012
Points: 14

I have the 36 volt ebike designed by Lee Iacocca. I need a new battery but I am getting mixed information on what direction to go and how much to spend. There's a guy telling me he has the original battery and case that goes with the bike and that for this bike that is the best option a lead acid battery 36v 10ah. Another bike shop is telling my he can covert me to lithium and that he can customize the battery to fit in the original compartment on the bike at 36v 15ah but that will cost me $750 with installation. I guess my question is, is that price reasonable and if not where can I purchase a good battery to fit that compartment at the best price.

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MEroller's picture
Joined: 09/26/2011
Points: 809
Re: Converting to Lithium Need Help

Stop posting, stop posting, every one of your thread starters has gotten through!!!!!

You mean THE Lee Iacocca designed an E-Bike? The big automotive manager Lee Iacocca?


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reikiman's picture
Joined: 11/19/2006
Points: 8444
Re: Converting to Lithium Need Help

Does your bike currently have the battery case? It's not clear from your request if it does or not.

If it does, it should be straightforward to get 3x 12 volt 10 ah lead acid batteries, as that is a standard size. The wiring is simple.

However, you'll save a lot of weight and have a longer-lasting battery by going with lithium. On one of my bicycles I switched from lead to lithium, had the same power capacity, in a package 1/2 the size and 1/2 the weight, and it improved that bike's rideability considerably.

There are a number of places which sell lithium batteries. An issue is whether the battery packs they sell will fit into the battery compartment. That's not a given. Another issue is whether the vendor is a certified lithium shipper. The powers-that-be are cracking down on lithium battery shipments because of safety concerns, but some of the battery pack vendors for the ebike market are flouting the regulations.

If you can find a lithium pack of the right size/shape and voltage/amp-hours, it's fairly simple to convert a bike to use the pack.

That is - you'll have to find a pack with a voltage near 36 volts, which isn't terribly hard, and around 10-15 amp-hours, again not hard. It's okay if you find one with "only" 10 amp-hours because lithium packs can be safely discharged more deeply than lithium, meaning you get more usable amp-hours from lithium than lead.

Once you've located a lithium pack with the right size/shape and voltage/amp-hours, simply connect it's + and - leads to the same connectors used by the + and - leads of the lead battery pack. Second is the charging connector for the lithium battery pack. It's very unlikely you'll be able to retrofit the existing charging connector on the bike to use it with the lithium battery charger. The details of all this depend on which pack you buy.


- David Herron, The Long Tail Pipe,,, What is Reiki
- Electrified Electra Townie, 1971 Karmann Ghia (since sold), Kia Soul EV

Joined: 07/08/2012
Points: 14
Re: Converting to Lithium Need Help

No I don't have the case but the a dealer has one for sale. I am probably going with the lithium but $750 seems a little steep. what do you think?

eva-michael's picture
Joined: 04/12/2010
Points: 22
Re: Converting to Lithium Need Help

Lithium battery pack without special requirement should be around 330-420USD.
Of course, all things are diferent then diferent....

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Joined: 07/20/2012
Points: 7
Re: Converting to Lithium Need Help

If you consider they must figure out a case, the wiring, perhaps a BMS, and a few hours of their work, it's not outrageous. I've spent already roughly $600 for a 48v 10ah pack with BMS and a bunch of my time - and I'm still not done. In retrospect $750 is a deal.

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