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Has anyone considered a lightweight 12v battery? - Page 6
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Thread: Has anyone considered a lightweight 12v battery?

  1. #51
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    It is not a linear, though. It is more like logarithmic function. You have a slow drop (from the full charge) until a certain point and then sudden drop. Almost all batteries act like that with more or less slope to it.

    I am not sure on 500e as I never measured this one, but on some other cars I found that ECU (OBD) reported battery voltage is lower than this what is on the battery. In KIA I had 0.8 V difference, VW had (depending on a temperature) anywhere from 0.3 V to 0.8 V.
    So... it is possible battery might be much higher than 14.3 V. Or, BEVs report much better values than ICEs.

    Keep in mind one thing - depending on your location, LiPo batteries are not best in cold weather. That means low freezing temps. The good thing is, though, you are not dealing with a starter and a high current draw, so it may not be any problem at all. I just do not know.


    Just on a side note - is actually the whole ordeal worth it?
    Does shaving, say 30 lb, make any difference for 3300 lb car? It is like 1%. And even, getting rid off seats, many other things - you drop 300 lb. Any measurable difference for everyday driving? I am just doing math in my head - if I spend 10 cents to drive 4 miles, is spending $80 making any good for me to gain 1% in weight. Assume it improves the range by 0.2%, that means in 1000 miles I would save $0.49. It would take me about 160k miles to actually pay it off...
    Current rides: 2019 Chevy Bolt LT, 2016 Audi Q5 Premium
    Previous rides: 2014 FIAT 500e, 2016 KIA Forte5 SX 1.6 T-GDI, A/T, 2016 FIAT 500X Trekking Plus AWD, 2015 KIA Forte5 SX 1.6 T-GDI, M/T, and many more...

  2. #52
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    Cost AND weight would be saved if a 10-pound $40 lead acid will work*, even if its lifespan is only a third (due to relatively deeper cycling) of my dying stock $145 39-pound 12V.

    *This thread reports 14Ah works fine, so I want to try pushing the envelope a bit to 12Ah:

    https://www.amazon.com/Mighty-Max-Ba...ef_=ast_sto_dp


    https://www.amazon.com/Mighty-Max-Ba...ef_=ast_sto_dp


    THIS is now the side note: I agree that lithium probably isn't worth it, & that neither would make much RANGE difference, but this weight has an oversized effect on HANDLING, since it's very undesirably forward (ahead of the front axle!) & high (barely below the hood).

    Very good points though, thanks. I hadn't considered OBD inaccuracy. I guess I'd have to borrow a multi-meter.

    However, "slower drop from full charge" means %SOC is even lower than my calculations. In other words, if it doesn't drop to 3.58V/cell until it's BELOW 93%, it means I'm not EVEN charging it to 93.
    Last edited by ElectricTireShredder; 03-04-2020 at 10:30 PM.

  3. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by ElectricTireShredder View Post
    Cost AND weight would be saved if a 10-pound $40 lead acid will work*, even if its lifespan is only a third (due to relatively deeper cycling) of my dying stock $145 39-pound 12V.
    Oh, I see.
    Yup, dying battery - good moment to invest in small unit and save money and weight.


    Correct, at 3.58 V could be 90%? Who knows... you'd have to find specs for this particular size and manufacturer.
    I dealt a lot with SLA batteries (for UPS systems) of different sizes and manufacturers. Man, specs are not the same even within the same size/capacity. Weight is a small issue, but resting voltage, or charging voltage variations...

    Well, handling you say?
    A pop quiz question.

    What in your car contributes to high center of gravity?
    Answer yourself before you look.

    So?




    Anything?






    The center of gravity is affected by the driver as that is the element that sits the highest. :P
    So the best driver is the short, tiny gal. But then he/she may not see over the dashboard.
    Current rides: 2019 Chevy Bolt LT, 2016 Audi Q5 Premium
    Previous rides: 2014 FIAT 500e, 2016 KIA Forte5 SX 1.6 T-GDI, A/T, 2016 FIAT 500X Trekking Plus AWD, 2015 KIA Forte5 SX 1.6 T-GDI, M/T, and many more...

  4. #54
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    Oops! Lithium could be back on the table if 12Ah is ok*, at 35 Lbs saved & $32 saved (over a stock Costco replacement):

    https://www.amazon.com/LiFePO4-Motor...9&sr=8-2-fkmr0

    * Earlier in this thread streetsurfer posted "fit test" pics of a 12Ah in a GAS 500, but no followup, so I sent a PM. If he reports that it worked fine even in a GAS car, I'll be strongly temped to try 10 or 11Ah in my 500e.


    LOL! I wonder if that was intentional: When I read "Answer 'yourself' before you look.", I was thinking "the answer IS 'yourself'!"

    My first answer was actually "sunroof", & you might beat that with "roofrack", but the point here is with zero effort OR cost we can lose weight from the high, forward stock battery which would probably crank a diesel RAM. Choosing a smaller 12v when it dies is a LOT easier than dieting/working off 30 pounds!
    Last edited by ElectricTireShredder; 03-05-2020 at 11:26 PM. Reason: It deleted my line breaks!

  5. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by ElectricTireShredder View Post
    LOL! I wonder if that was intentional: When I read "Answer 'yourself' before you look.", I was thinking "the answer IS 'yourself'!"
    Blame it on ESL....

    Quote Originally Posted by ElectricTireShredder View Post
    Choosing a smaller 12v when it dies is a LOT easier than dieting/working off 30 pounds!
    Oh, c'mon, that's too easy!


    500e handles much better than Bolt.
    Bolt is not much heavier, though.
    Current rides: 2019 Chevy Bolt LT, 2016 Audi Q5 Premium
    Previous rides: 2014 FIAT 500e, 2016 KIA Forte5 SX 1.6 T-GDI, A/T, 2016 FIAT 500X Trekking Plus AWD, 2015 KIA Forte5 SX 1.6 T-GDI, M/T, and many more...

  6. #56
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    UPDATE!
    3-Pound $20 3Ah works! Noticeably better on speedbumps!


    3Ah Mounted w Switch.jpg


    I removed the ~38Lb OEM 12V & its 2.25Lbs of tray, brackets & bolts, and added the $20 3Ah one* shown, with $18 car-terminal adaptors* on Oct 6. The $10 rotary cut-off switch* (blue knob) I added later, for a grand total of only 3.19Lb! (>37Lb reduction).

    Before & after pics:

    Before.jpgAfter.jpg

    The new 12V was only 11.52V on OBD, but started the car fine & after charging a few hours it was 12.16V.

    I unplugged for 36 hours, after which it only read 11.38V, but again started the car fine. I happened to be charging for 4 3/4 hours, after which it read 12.34V.

    I often go 80 hours unplugged away from an outlet, so I WAS going to see how long it would last, but I remembered deep discharge is bad & I could just install a $10 disconnect switch to make it last as long as needed.




    *Search Amazon for 1) "Mighty Max YTX4L", 2) "XS Power Adapter" & 3) "Motorbike Battery Switch":

    1) I would have got the $25 gel 12V but it wasn't in stock. Larger sizes show if you click on either version, then click "Brand: Mighty Max Battery" (by the price), then "Motorcycle". I wanted to test the extreme smallest possible, but for nearly the same price & weight you can get 4Ah (48+ hours unplugged), 6Ah (at least 72 hours all weekend home), 8, 10, 12Ah (driving weekends only, unplugged all week). 14Ah seems over-kill, since it works fine even for high-power cranking of the gas 500, according to reports here.
    2) The adapter's screws are 1mm too thick for the battery's 5mm nuts but 10-32 x 3/4" screws work fine, as pictured but I'd prefer 5mm x 20mm hex or Allen head.
    3) Scroll down the switch search results & look for the blue knob. Really ingenious, with just two metal plates that are isolated by plastic but then connected when you turn the knob clockwise to make the screw head contact! Its threads need to be drilled out to install reversed as shown for knob clearance.
    Last edited by ElectricTireShredder; 10-17-2020 at 08:03 PM.

  7. #57
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    Initially I just hooked it up to test while parked & a short drive. At less than ONE TENTH the stock weight, it's SO light that the 6 thick cables hold it pretty much in place! It was fine even sliding the car around my favorite corner! It could be fine permanently with just apiece of 1" styrofoam cut to fit snug around it, & snug in the OEM tray:

    3Ah in1.jpg

    MOUNTING TIP: START the threads of the terminal screws/nuts BEFORE putting the battery in place, because after that the little nuts are hard to get started, even with a little flat-head screwdriver to hold them while turning the screw. Some models avoid that with solid, threaded terminals.

    Mount Pics: OEM, removed, new, installed:

    Empty OEM 12V Tray.jpgOEM 12V Tray Parts.jpgTiny 12V Mount.jpgTiny Mount Attached.jpgTiny 12V on New Mount.jpg

    Attempted Additional Weight Saving: The 12Vtray's frame front hooks under a lip, so to unhook it, the back would need to be lifted higher than the coolant hoses allow. That frame looks like HUGE overkill strength & weight, but it may be a crash-safety item.
    Last edited by ElectricTireShredder; 10-17-2020 at 08:22 PM.

  8. #58
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    Even though I added the switch, I'll likely leave it on sometime accidentally, & that could give another data point of longer time parked. Someone said the HV batt kicks in to charge the 12V when it drops to 11V, which seems to be enough to start it, so the switch (or larger 12V) may be unnecessary. If NOT...:

    My research led me to an estimated minimum of 30mA drain while parked. IF our cars have that, the above parking times leave about 64% remaining, so you might theoretically double them, HOWEVER...:

    Nobody wants a dead battery OR to have to pop the hood to switch it off, so IF you pushed the limit like that or even further, lithium-ion has much better deep-cycle life:

    - For about the cost of a Walmart OEM replacement, you can get a 1.5-pound Antigravity 3.3Ah (so-called 7Ah Lead-acid equivalent). That should last at least a couple days connected, parked, key off, unplugged, & it has a built-in jumpstarter just in case it doesn't.

    - IF you already have a $40+ jumpstarter, Amazon has Li-ion 12-volt batteries starting at $65 but beware of unrealistically high "Pb-acid equivalent" Amp-hour specs. Weight might be a better gauge, & until further testing, we can't expect them to last much more than a little over one day per pound.

    Note that the average daily commuter using L1 goes only a maximum of about 8 hours* between charging the 12V on workdays, since it charges while driving AND while charging the car. IF the car is home all weekend, it's about a maximum of 2.3 days with the 12V uncharged.

    *20 mile drive (charges the 12V), park at work 8 hours, 20 miles home, 8 hours to recharge, then max 8 hours parked off charge before driving again.

    For anyone else considering a switch that disconnects the 12V, on my 2013 that zeroes out the trip gauges, & the date/time display, but not OBD, bluetooth pairing, radio or menu presets, or anything else that I know of. For ME those aren't problems:

    • I have an eye-level phone mount for date/time.
    • I like to reset one trip gauge anyway, to watch my efficiency during that drive.

    I'm also used to popping the hood to keep the OEM 12V cool while charging.

  9. #59
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    Noticeably better on speedbumps!

    I did NOT expect this, but maybe I should have, since the ENTIRE stock 12V was AHEAD of the front hubs. Its center of gravity looked to be about a FOOT ahead, so it had some "swing weight" to it.

    Most of my driving life has been in cars where I didn't even slow down at all for speedbumps. The latest example was an eGolf, which made them feel like running over an extension cord. By comparison, a 500e on stock dampers is literally dreadful (I dread the 4 fairly harsh speedbumps on my normal route). I was in a bit of a hurry yesterday, & cringed as I approached them without slowing as much as usual. To my delight, there was much less front-end bounce than before! Confirmed as I went even faster over the next three.

    I really didn't think I'd notice any difference at all. I just figured over time it's a tiny bit less strain every mile. Maybe a tiny bit less understeer & wear on the tires over 5 years with the better weight distribution & lower CG since the OEM 12V was mounted nearly as high as possible.

  10. #60
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    I'm still running the Antigravity Battery without any problems. It is behind the passenger seat in a plastic .30 cal ammo can. I pulled the oem battery tray out for even more weight loss. I carry a set of adapter cables with me so if the AG fails, I can hook up a regular battery. battery relocation (6).jpg

  11. The Following User Says Thank You to sportfan For This Useful Post:

    ElectricTireShredder (10-17-2020)

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