• Howdy! we're looking for donations to finish custom knowledgebase software for this forum. Please see our Funding drive thread

Anyone have experience with LiFePo4 scooter batteries?

OCD Garage

1 mW
Joined
Mar 12, 2024
Messages
15
Location
Canada
I like the look of these stainless steel encased batteries, they read like a good alternative to 18650 style packs. There are fewer cells to fail, the internal connections seem like they would be more robust and possibly more serviceable with only 20 cells instead of 120. Are they all created equal or do some sellers have a better product? The majority of these packs seem to have the same pictures/copy in the adverts. There are lots available on Amazon and elsewhere, any opinions? Thanks. 72v 45ah.jpg
 
Regarding the title of your thread "Anyone have experience with LiFePo4 scooter batteries", yes, there is about a decade or more of collective experience, in many threads around the forum; you can search for them with either the full chemistry name or LFP.

LFP batteries do not by nature have less cells than others.

Large format cell batteries do, and those come in the same chemistries that the multi-tiny-cell packs do.

Large-format batteries come in pouches or bricks/blocks/prismatic types, all of which require compression across the large faces to keep them operating as designed. (there are a number of threads about compression you can look up with details). If the pack you want to buy does not have this, or you cannot see it's interior construction, I would skip that and go to one that does. (no point in asking the sellers about it, it's extremely unlikely they know anything about them, and fairly likely they'll lie and say anything you want to hear to get you to buy something.

They are more suited to many vehicle uses because they don't have nearly as many interconnects, so they have many less chances to fail, but being big blocks they don't fit every application.


Many ads use the same images even when they are not selling the same product, it makes it easier to create the ad, so they just copy what someone else used, even when their products are not the same ones with the same capabilities. So, beware all of the battery ads you see. You can find many posts discussing these problems, along with those of counterfeit cells, packs made of low-quality salvaged cells or even made of recycled garbage cells.


If you poke around, there's various discussions about the different points above with more detail.

Some of them revolve around building your own pack(s) using used EV modules from places like batteryhookup, etc.
 
Thanks for the response(s). I believe a 72v 45ah LiFePo4 pack would give me the range I need for my commute, I would be limiting my controller output to 45amps. As stated above, most vendors use the same pictures/copy in their adverts so how would a person know which one has recycled cells, B grade cells, poor service, dodgy BMS or similar problems? I'm looking at the large format cell types which have 20 rectangular cells and very few internal connections that appear to be bolted together. I've seen it said on ES many times not to buy from a vendor that no one else has experience with. There are companies like Dakota Power (for one) that charge 2x what the other packs cost, are they necessarily 2x the quality/longevity?
 
As stated above, most vendors use the same pictures/copy in their adverts so how would a person know which one has recycled cells, B grade cells, poor service, dodgy BMS or similar problems?
Unfortunately, you won't know, unless you disassemble and examine it when you get it, and test them. Not generally recommended.

There are so many bad people out there only out to make a buck that it is tough to find ones you can trust. I'm pessimistic about it because we've seen so much of this here on ES, when people come here to get their problems fixed, and so many of them turn out to be the battery being junk.

If one of the places has great detail in their specifications, including internal pics of how it's designed and built, and all the specs "add up" and are self-consistent, and verifiable by matching the cell specs with the cell manufacturer's spec sheet for that model of cell, and the BMS specs with that manufacturer's data, it's more likely that what they are selling is "real", but since it's all just data on the internet, it is very easy to copy and paste into a sale site page. (they don't even have to actually have anything to sell, and just be collecting money)


There are companies like Dakota Power (for one) that charge 2x what the other packs cost, are they necessarily 2x the quality/longevity?
Not necessarily. While ultra-cheapness is frequently an indicator of lack of quality for one reason or another, high cost is no guarantee of quality.

The best indicator of quality other than personal experience is successful long-term usage by someone else you trust in a similar usage scenario. That's hard to find. :/


I don't have any recommendations for specific sellers of completed packs; hopefully someone else does.
 
there’s a couple reliable places selling big, but barely used, or even new, lifepo4 batteries pretty cheap.
Batteryhookup.com
“A123 batteries” on eBay.
Jag35.com

Could make a polycarbonate box cheaply and bolster it with some fiberglass, carbon, or kevlar.

Seems worth it to get a battery a bit higher voltage than you would normally want and just not fully charge it since there’s not much energy at the peak of charge anyway.
 
Last edited:
I like the look of these stainless steel encased batteries, they read like a good alternative to 18650 style packs. There are fewer cells to fail, the internal connections seem like they would be more robust and possibly more serviceable with only 20 cells instead of 120. Are they all created equal or do some sellers have a better product? The majority of these packs seem to have the same pictures/copy in the adverts. There are lots available on Amazon and elsewhere, any opinions? Thanks. View attachment 350755
Check out "Battery University". They are the authority on all things lithium battery.
Besides that, I want to say Life-Po is newer technology using lithium and iron instead of the old lithium ion with some rare earth mineral. They charge faster are more stable and will last more charge/ discharge cycles.
 
If you want a peak inside the different brands of LFP batteries stop over and visit Will Prowse on YouTube. He regularly cuts up different brands of battery and gives an informed opinion of what he does and doesn't like about the manufacture. He focuses on the solar side of things but much of what he learns about a battery maker can be used here.
 
Thanks everyone for your input. Still haven't made a purchase but it still looks like a crap shoot in the lithium world to me. The research continues. No one yet has stated "I bought a pack from company 'XYZ' or '123' and it's been going strong for X-years". It seems all the vendors online change their name every few months even though their products may be okay.
 
Check out "Battery University". They are the authority on all things lithium battery.
😱…”the authority” ? …🤔 ..controversial comment !
Life-Po is newer technology using lithium and iron instead of the old lithium ion with some rare earth mineral. They charge faster are more stable and will last more charge/ discharge cycles.
Did you learn that from BU ?.. They do not charge faster,.. they are also bigger and heavier than Lithium NMC /NCA etc
..Also , it has been around for 30 yrs !
 
Thanks everyone for your input. Still haven't made a purchase but it still looks like a crap shoot in the lithium world to me. The research continues. No one yet has stated "I bought a pack from company 'XYZ' or '123' and it's been going strong for X-years". It seems all the vendors online change their name every few months even though their products may be okay.

I bought cells from batteryhookup and they've been working just fine for 2.5 years of nonstop solar charging and nightly use with an inverter. I haven't used them for a vehicle.
 
Back
Top