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Will a consumer friendly lithium option EVER be available?

  • Definitely

    Votes: 12 21.4%
  • Probably

    Votes: 10 17.9%
  • Maybe

    Votes: 20 35.7%
  • Never

    Votes: 14 25.0%

  • Total voters
    56
61 - 72 of 72 Posts

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You will still have to "engineer" the installation in several ways, even if the batteries could be made to work. That being the case, why not go for an LTO conversion where you get lots of help. You need a little patience to let Peter fully test the 48 cell conversion, but that is the cheapest and easiest way to put LTOs into the car. You could probably do his conversion for well less than $1000 and it would be much more reliable that the old NiMH :)
 

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You will still have to "engineer" the installation in several ways, even if the batteries could be made to work. That being the case, why not go for an LTO conversion where you get lots of help. You need a little patience to let Peter fully test the 48 cell conversion, but that is the cheapest and easiest way to put LTOs into the car. You could probably do his conversion for well less than $1000 and it would be much more reliable that the old NiMH :)
Has anyone found any other used LTO sources other than Greentec for the Fit EV packs? A couple of months ago I reached out to Art and he said they had around 400 packs at the time (roughly 20 cars worth). Since then I've watched their ebay counter and during the sale they sold at least 50 through ebay (likely pretty similar on their website). 300 packs should last for a little while but not forever. The Fit EV was a compliance car for 3 years and Honda made a few thousand but given that Greentec orginally got them in 2018 I'm not sure there is more to be had once these are gone (there might but most of those leases ended long ago and I doubt Honda is sitting on a large stockpile). LTO kind of fell out of fashion likely due to cost and most car manufacturers doing the work to heat/cool the more energy dense lithium chemistry options rather than use more expensive LTO where they didn't need to do that.

New LTO cells cost is pretty crazy either from Toshiba or Yinlong so I was wondering if anyone found any other used LTO source.
 

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Not sure what the point might be. The Mitsubishi MiEV Used the cells and I believe one small car for the Japanese domestic market. There were also some bus applications, but if one thinks it through, the Fit packs are pretty much as good as it gets for second hand LTO. Only the Fit had a relatively short and definable front end usage, so there's reason to believe that these are the best of the used LTOs. Yes, the supply is somewhat limited, so best get them, at current pricing, while you can;)
 

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It's unlikely a drop in will become available at a consumer friendly price. At least not most Insight (aka frugal) consumers.

That said, a duplicatable step by step might show up sometime.

Heck, right now anyone could sift through the threads and posts on IC to create their own conversion following the footsteps of others. Cost could likely be under $3,000, assuming labor is free.

If you want someone else to do the sifting through the posts, synthesizing the info, build it all for you, spend time explaining how to install it, hold your hand as you make mistakes, then that will be much more costly.

To pay someone to make this for you would be initial ballpark cost of $5,000-$10,000.
So even the price makes it not very consumer friendly.

Anything is possible. And maybe someday someone will take me up on the offer to actually do this project. I'm happy to make one for you. But I'm not doing it for free.
 

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Heck, right now anyone could sift through the threads and posts on IC to create their own conversion following the footsteps of others. Cost could likely be under $3,000, assuming labor is free.
Actually about half that price for the most basic capability, if one does their own work, is careful and makes no testing or purchasing errors.

I'm going to try to write a set of instructions for my V3.0, which I'm thinking through right now. There are several variations out there, but it will be MY version. I'm a fan of the 3 pack configuration on a aluminum baseplate, Even that can be done several ways. For those who will settle for a little less restraint of the 30 pound packs, a simpler wood baseplates can also be used.

The 3 pack variation has the advantages that it has substantial capacity, will fit in the IPU if properly designed, and is electronically simple - requiring only two special but simple electronic circuits from Peter.

Having read and considered the comments, and having talked to other builders along the way, in my opinion strictly there are three big showstoppers that keep capable builders from doing conversions for pay:
1. Liability risk. A low volume builder can't adequately test and adequately resolve all the failure modes, some of which might endanger life or property.
2. Warranty risk. A builder can't adequately warranty used materials like the used Fit LTO batteries.
3. Legality. A low volume builder can't comply with all the government regulations to make the conversion legal. Since it wouldn't be "legal," the builder opens themselves up to the legions of lawyers and government bureaucrats in America who are just standing and waiting.

Sorry to be blunt, but that is the way I see it. If you want an LTO conversion buy your packs soon before they are gone. One basic premise of projects and programs is to buy the scarse or long lead items first.
 

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Jime, I know little of electronics, but I quickly saw the Toshiba LTO packs were the battery for our Insights.

I picked up 4 packs on EBay with 10% cash back in eBay bucks. Now I’m sitting and waiting for the day I or someone else can install. Hope I didn’t make a mistake buying them with no install ability but figured with the limited availability if I’m unable to install, eventually I would be able to sell and recoup enough of the purchase price to make the gamble worth it.

I haven’t even compiled a list of all the stuff required for a 3 pack install but figure its close to $3000 in parts. I already have IMAC&C and OBDII.

My current dilemma is weather to put another Bumblebee in while waiting for the LTO to come to fruition. I’m leaning towards bypass but will make that decision when my pack is dead.

Natalya, $4000 would be a bargain for a drop in solution or to take part in an LTO seminar over a weekend. Thing is these LTO packs should last the life of the car or outlast some of the members here. Beats the heck out of replacing a $3000 NIMH pack several times over 20 years.

The insight is the highest standard for ICE efficiency. My lifetime average since going LB on my CVT is 69mpg. I usually average mid 70’s on my commute to work. That is awesome considering it’s not really a hybrid like the Prius.

LTO would make the car so much more fun to drive. You wouldn’t have to “work” for MPG and would have the extra power needed when using A/C and such. An LTO insight would compete or beat the efficiency of the Clarity for a fraction of the price.

With little more than hope I’m voting YES, Although It probably will take more work to install than a IMA replacement. Hopefully it gets to a point that people that aren’t electricians can follow a video like the bumblebee install.
 

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3. Legality. A low volume builder can't comply with all the government regulations to make the conversion legal. Since it wouldn't be "legal," the builder opens themselves up to the legions of lawyers and government bureaucrats in America who are just standing and waiting.
Just wondering, what law is an LTO conversion breaking?
 

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Just wondering, what law is an LTO conversion breaking?
It changes emissions by improving them.

which I think we all can agree would get any supposed legal action thrown out.

Then again the Wayback Machine and Library charity is being sued and may get eliminated entirely
by publishing houses for making 50+ year old books available for free erreading during the pandemic to a few hundred people
so I guess in a world of unlimited stupidity and greed anything is possible to punish.

You fed orphans for free! Go to jail immediately, the food lobby needs its cut!
 

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Just wondering, what law is an LTO conversion breaking?
I can't quote directly, and I may be wrong, but never underestimate large government regulators capacity to screw up the entrepreneur. Try to run a small business "honestly and in compliance" and see how hard it is. Once a small business grows beyond a sole proprietorship, the complications start growing. Even a LLC, about the minimum business form which provides any legal protections for personal assets, has a lot of regulatory overhead. After all who is going to take on all that complexity and legal setup and defense costs for a few LTO conversions?? On the other hand, who is going to take on the risk of an aggrieved and damaged customer within a sole proprietorship? We live in the age of the lawyer, they are just waiting in the wings to claim a large share of someone else's net worth. It is JMO, and I've tried LLCs, but I certainly am not going to try it;)
 

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CONSUMER friendly means:

1) No technical expertise required beyond that necessary to install a NiMH pack.
2) Relatively simple "plug and play" type of installation that's mostly "drop-in".
3) No need for special monitoring or preventative maintenance, i.e., one drives it until the IMA light or some equivalent signal indicates a problem.
4) it will be as safe as the NiMH packs.
I just wanted to re-post the original definition of "consumer friendly," as I think that can really sway the verdict one way or another.

Also, I wanted to inject a quick opinion about the current state of things:

I think any 60 cell LTO, either Fit packs or equivalently robust LTO cells with a capacity above about 3 amp-hours, only needs a top-voltage limiter to just about fit the consumer friendly definition. And I think it's likely to be the friendliest build that will ever come along.

I think this configuration will work fine with OEM management. You'd have 10 modules, 6 cells each, with each module tied into the OEM taps. The only major difference from stock is that this pack wouldn't stay within the OEM top voltage limit on its own. One could easily manage that manually. Or you could install a BCM interceptor or equivalent with a top voltage limit. I think that's it.

The toughest part would probably be fitting the packs in the existing space, and then perhaps attaching extra wires for the voltage taps.

I've been really tempted to do this with the Fit packs, just to prove it's an easy, viable option. But I've already got cells I need to work with.
 

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+1. I think you may well be correct. The "60" has some strong attraction. I like very much that the stock BCM could watch over the pack for a bad cell.

The problem is that there isn't enough experimental data as yet, and there are practical limitations as to how much experimentation one is willing to do.

Since I'm going to be changing my configuration to V3.0 anyway, I "may" do some testing on this configuration, time permitting. I can quickly convert my "72" to a "60."
 
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