One of the key components of a Do It Yourself (DIY) electric car is the battery bank. Since an electric vehicle (EV) has no internal combustion engine and no gas tank, the main source of power is from the batteries.
The kind of battery most suitable for EV is the deep cycle type. It is the same kind of battery used on marine boats. Deep cycle battery is more robust and is capable of handling deep level of discharge.
A homemade EV would require at least 15 to 20 units of battery. That will give you an average driving mileage of approximately 60 to 100 miles. To ensure you have good mileage on your EV, it is best to check the batteries on a regular basis.
How do you check the battery condition?
The easiest way is to use a battery hydrometer.
The battery hydrometer is basically a glass tube with a suction ball at one end. It is used to draw the electrolyte from the battery into the tube.
Inside the glass tube, there is a float with multiple color markings. You can see a long red strip, a narrow white strip and then a wider green strip.
When the float in the tube is at the green level, that means the battery is in a very good shape. In other words, the more the float sticks out of the electrolyte in the glass tube, the stronger the battery is.
When the float is at the white marking, your battery is in a fair condition. If the float goes to the red area, the battery is not in a good condition. There is something wrong with the battery and you have to take it out for servicing.
In a situation like this, you have to bring the battery to a shop to get a full recharge.
Use the battery hydrometer to test all the batteries in your electric car. A faulty battery in your EV may affect the total driving mileage because it is not giving any power to the electric motor, and yet it is taking up space and weighing your car down.
DIY Battery Reconditioning Guide
Do you want more tips and strategy on how to maintain the batteries on your electric car? If you do, check out the battery maintenance guide on this blog.
It will show you step by step on how to maintain your battery and how to bring a dead battery back to service life.