[Oeva-list] Suggestions needed to replace dead battery pack

nscale7 at aol.com nscale7 at aol.com
Mon Jun 7 19:47:45 PDT 2010

I would avoid the Discover batteries if I were you. Some of the 2006-2007 Xebras shipped with Discover AGM batteries (model EV12A-A) and the general consensus on the Yahoo Xebra forum is that the Discover batteries are junk. Their initial performance is good, and they provide a good ‘punch’ during acceleration, but the longevity is unbelievably short given the price tag; the EV12A-A is $500+ each, and you’d be one of the lucky ones if you manage to get more than 4,000 miles out of them. Granted they are better than the Haze AGM’s that later Xebra model years shipped with, but the longevity is still inferior to the Deka gels (model 8G31) that the first Xebras had. Generally, AGMs are poorly suited to EV use, as the power demands are quite high, stressing the batteries, and even a single over-discharge destroys them. Gels are more robust and can better recover from an over-discharge. Of course, the gels accelerate much slower than the AGMs, so there are trade offs.
Many of the Xebra owners on the Yahoo forum have replaced their dying Discover or Haze batteries with the Trojan 1275, which is what I’m planning to do pretty soon. The T1275 is a flooded battery, so it holds less energy than a sealed battery and would need to be outside the vehicle cabin (which on the Xebra pickup is no problem) or otherwise vented, and will need periodic watering, although automated watering systems are available. The upside is that flooded batteries are far more resilient to over/undercharging, and the lower price tag makes up for the limited longevity.
Of course the real answer for EV batteries is lithium, because while the price for lead has skyrocketed in the last few years (thank you China), the price of lithium has fallen through the floor (thank you Chile). At around a dollar per amp-hour, it’s actually cheaper to buy lithiums than the lead acid Discover AGMs, and the lithiums last longer as well. But you also have to have a new charger, because you can’t charge a lithium from a lead acid charger without destroying it, and you have to have a battery management system to prevent over-discharge and (preferably) to balance the large number of cells, and the new charger and BMS add to the cost.
Good luck.
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