Aftermarket iMiEV battery upgrade project

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Re: Aftermarket iMiEV battery upgrade project

Post by carnut1100 » Wed, 01 Aug 2018, 12:52

Someonenearlier was saying it is possible to fit 47kWh in the imiev battery space...seeing as they will do 120km on 16kWh that would give a range of around 350km and it would certainly be damn close to 300 even with some hills thrown in....
With CHaDeMo standard and the electric highways now covering most of the eastern seaboard, an imiev with a pack like that would be all the EV I would ever need....

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Re: Aftermarket iMiEV battery upgrade project

Post by jonescg » Wed, 01 Aug 2018, 12:55

Well perhaps not possible. Plausible ;)
The 135 Ah cells are slightly bigger than the existing LEV50 cells, so there would no doubt be some jury-rigging required to make it all fit. But yes, very exciting potential!
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Re: Aftermarket iMiEV battery upgrade project

Post by mark_hetho » Thu, 23 Aug 2018, 06:51

I'm definitely interested in bumping the capacity of our imiev up slightly when the batteries need replacement. Due to the distance we are from town and living up a mountain we don't have a lot of spare range for our daily commute. An extra 25% capacity would alleviate our "go easy on the heater" days.

I guess with a MOQ of 200 cells, we need a group buy for three cars worth to make that work?

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Re: Aftermarket iMiEV battery upgrade project

Post by jonescg » Thu, 23 Aug 2018, 08:44

Yeah, several battery orders to make it worthwhile is the way.

I found their 135 Ah cells are probably a bit too tall, but the 100 Ah cells would fit okay - a doubling of range would be nice to say the least.
They are US$85 each, so an iMiEV would need a little over AUD$12,000 worth of cells. Once the first one is done the rest should be easy.
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Re: Aftermarket iMiEV battery upgrade project

Post by Johny » Thu, 23 Aug 2018, 09:35

Is there anywhere the full range of cells and cell dimensions are documented? Thanking of maybe upgrading the Vogue . I'd be looking at 37ah.

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Re: Aftermarket iMiEV battery upgrade project

Post by jonescg » Thu, 23 Aug 2018, 13:23

They have a selection of cells listed on their website:
http://www.liyuanbattery.com.cn/en/prod ... 81261.html
40 Ah options in both LFP and NMC chemistry.
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Re: Aftermarket iMiEV battery upgrade project

Post by Johny » Thu, 23 Aug 2018, 13:43

Thanks Chris.

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Re: Aftermarket iMiEV battery upgrade project

Post by brendon_m » Thu, 23 Aug 2018, 17:40

I got a price from mitsubishi for a battery pack and it was $14000 aud for the whole assembly plus install costs. Realistically other than the cells the rest of the internals seem pretty reliable. So if you can get 100ah cells for $12000 that leaves $2000 for modifications, delivery etc.
And you get twice the range.
Sounds good to me

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Re: Aftermarket iMiEV battery upgrade project

Post by brendon_m » Mon, 27 Aug 2018, 10:51

jonescg wrote:
Thu, 23 Aug 2018, 08:44
I found their 135 Ah cells are probably a bit too tall, but the 100 Ah cells would fit okay
I might be wrong but the 100 and 135 ah cells seem to be basically the same dimensions but one is LxH and the other is HxL

100ah nmc
174mm x 133mm x 45mm
182mm x 161mm x 50mm (with shell)

135 ah nmc
132mm x 174mm x 48mm


A quick Google give this for the original cells
Dimensions: 43.8W x 113.5H x 171D
Weight: 1.7 kg
Nominal voltage: 3.7V
Specific energy: 109 Wh/kg

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Re: Aftermarket iMiEV battery upgrade project

Post by jonescg » Mon, 27 Aug 2018, 12:03

I recently asked Mr Zhang what this was all about and apparently the website is not up to date. The smallest cell pictured here is the 100 Ah cell:
100 Ah cell terminals.jpg
100 Ah cell terminals.jpg (52.37 KiB) Viewed 1330 times
The other two cells are the 135 Ah cells, with and without the plastic cases.
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Re: Aftermarket iMiEV battery upgrade project

Post by brendon_m » Mon, 27 Aug 2018, 12:44

I was confused by the dimensions being the the same size. Did he give you a copy of the actual dimensions and specs?

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Re: Aftermarket iMiEV battery upgrade project

Post by offgridQLD » Fri, 31 Aug 2018, 08:42

$85 US each for the 100ah cells at todays exchange rate has them at $117 AU x 88 cells $10,300


Though you would most likely want to order a few spare cells and then you have shipping so 12k sounds about it. Though not having any warranty on the cells and perhaps no insurance on the car you drive on public roads makes the 14k oem battery look better.

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Re: Aftermarket iMiEV battery upgrade project

Post by mark_hetho » Fri, 31 Aug 2018, 09:04

Why would you have no insurance? Isn't this really the same as replacing any other part of a car?

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Re: Aftermarket iMiEV battery upgrade project

Post by brendon_m » Fri, 31 Aug 2018, 10:30

Insurance shouldn't be any different to a long long fuel tank in a 4wd. Warranty would be shot but that's probably lapsed anyway.
Also if you buy the oem and a cell kicked the bucket your in the same boat as you can't get just a cell, only a whole pack. If you do an upgrade you could replace individual cells if/when they fail.
It is a large investment on a "money saving" car though

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Re: Aftermarket iMiEV battery upgrade project

Post by mikedufty » Fri, 31 Aug 2018, 10:43

You also need to get the car's computers to accept the battery. I think I heard someone was having trouble even getting the car to accept a replacement OEM battery. Expensive experiment if you can't get it to work.

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Re: Aftermarket iMiEV battery upgrade project

Post by mark_hetho » Fri, 31 Aug 2018, 18:38

I've invested more in "money pit" cars that were only going to cost more money when I was younger (and dumber?). With any luck the savings in fuel pay for the batteries as the prices come down. I've seen figures around the $6K mark for Mitsubishi battery replacements on the internet though, so I'm not sure if $12k for a 100Ah pack makes as much sense depending on final costings. However if the alternative is buying a whole car it might be quite economical either way. I'm not intending to buy another fossil fueled vehicle, and alternative vehicles are generally a lot more than $12k.

I'd like to think there was at least one documented case of an imiev accepting a new pack somewhere, but I guess someone has to go first. If it doesn't work I guess it could be added to household storage. In the extreme I'm sure one could replace much of the electronics to keep the car on the road. Due to the integrated nature of it all it would be BMS, motor controller, DC-DC controller and charger all being replaced. Essentially an EV conversion using the existing motor.

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Re: Aftermarket iMiEV battery upgrade project

Post by jonescg » Fri, 31 Aug 2018, 20:55

If the computer refuses to accept the bigger battery...

Bypass the computer. At this stage its a car that's worth $10k with a half decent 16 kWh battery (now effectively 10 kWh) so in my view it's worth a shot.
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Re: Aftermarket iMiEV battery upgrade project

Post by mikedufty » Fri, 31 Aug 2018, 21:44

What would be involved in that? It certainly has an appeal, but does it get to the point where you are replacing everything and might as well start with a nicer car?

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Re: Aftermarket iMiEV battery upgrade project

Post by mark_hetho » Sat, 01 Sep 2018, 06:06

Bypassing the computer that refuses to accept the battery would be a matter of using an off the shelf component to replace it. You could get to the point you'd essentially done a "conversion" on the imiev with all the parts one might use for an ICE conversion except the drive unit.

Would it be worth just starting with a "nicer" car? Well you'd have all the parts at that point! But there are always going to be sundry items like replacing the fuel filler with a charge plug etc.

In my mind, for it's purpose there isn't much that beats the "i". It has exactly the seating capacity we need, enough ground clearance for our driveway, and I love how compact it is. It's always a breeze to fit into any parking space, or sometimes a half of one.

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Re: Aftermarket iMiEV battery upgrade project

Post by offgridQLD » Sat, 01 Sep 2018, 07:56

The car can acept a new battery we know this as several imievs in Au and other parts of the world have had new oem batterys installed and the bms reset to recognise the fresh pack.

Personaly i would just want the same range as oem new 50ah at $6000 or less of after market cells. Best value proposition. No tricking the computer about capacity and 1/2 the weight of oem would bring the imiev down to 900kg or so.

Though insurance if say the very odd event that the pack went up in smoke on a fast charger in a public place and hurt people. Lets say the aftermarket cells didnt like 3c charging and where over promising (not uncommon in china)

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Re: Aftermarket iMiEV battery upgrade project

Post by T1 Terry » Sat, 01 Sep 2018, 10:47

I'm assuming the 3C charge rate is set max for the iMiEV, wouldn't double the capacity half the charge rate per cell extending the cell life? Looking at the Tesla reports that the on board computer limits the charge rate after what I considers excess fast charging cycles, it says to me the lower the charge rate the longer the cycle life and the same for the discharge rate.
As far as the shelf life thing? Anyone actually double checked that to see if it is valid? We were told the Winston LiFeP04 cells would have a capacity loss that started at 3 yrs and down to 80% capacity after 8 yrs, but we have recently serviced an RV house battery 7 yrs old, a 200Ah pack, used the same 0.5CA test load as the factory and returned more than the advertised 200Ah capacity, so that nonsense is blown out of the water. How much of what we have taken as fact also been nonsense?

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Re: Aftermarket iMiEV battery upgrade project

Post by offgridQLD » Sat, 01 Sep 2018, 13:54

I think its around 50kw charge rate in the beginning of a dc fast charge 3.125C on a 16kwh stock battery though it slows down to a more modest rate after not to long. Yes valid points about a larger bank having 1/2 the stress.


I guess my point for going with stock 16kw 50ah bank is not to have to invest to much in a bank for a runabout car. The stock battery gives a solid 10 years of use (or more) If you got that again out of 2nd bank the car would be 20 years old by then and EVs could be more plentiful on the 2nd hand market. Biggest + of stock size is not having to trick the BMS and 1/2 the weight due to advances in energy density.

Though if your craving a 260km solid range vs the stock 130km and want to put 12k into the car that's up to the individual.

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Re: Aftermarket iMiEV battery upgrade project

Post by selmateacher » Thu, 27 Sep 2018, 04:00

Wonderful project. What is the news on the BMS? Does it recognize the added kWh? Thank you

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Re: Aftermarket iMiEV battery upgrade project

Post by brunohill » Thu, 27 Sep 2018, 22:24

I think the BMS will just charge the same depending on the voltage. Therefore it will charge a higher capacity pack exactly the same but take longer ( assuming it is the same chemistry). The range meter will learn ( assuming it is the same as the Nissan LEAF). I know my battery charges more efficiently at 15 amps than at 6 amps. When I charge at 6 amps,"the recorded history" tells me I drive with a lead foot but when I charge at 15 amps it tells me that I am conservative. It calculates kms travelled verses Kilowatts hours to recharge.

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Re: Aftermarket iMiEV battery upgrade project

Post by Travers » Tue, 09 Oct 2018, 13:50

Just got myself a Minicab and on the NSW Central Coast - Super interested in where this goes and keen to assist where I can (Not very electrical but am a Mech Eng willing to learn).
A few of these coming into the country so would be a worthy market for battery upgrades as they already have no warranty and a few years old and a great little practical thing.
I like the idea of replacing the battery pack in a few years with something that is similar to slightly better than standard and lighter than standard but if it was the same weight and similar price to standard then I'd be keen for more range.

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