Is it really possible to find free batteries for a DIY electric conversion project? According to Les Oke of Convert 2 EV, it is possible!
I was re-reading my copy of Convert 2 EV to get ideas for a new blog post and I came across a chapter where Les wrote about “Finding Free Batteries” and I thought of expanding that a bit further.
Now, you have to understand, finding free batteries does not mean you do not have to do anything. In actual fact, you have to do more work!
Free Batteries In Your Own Backyard
According to Les, you can find free batteries in your own backyard. Well, that is the case if you live near a golf course. This is the place where you will go scouting.
All golf courses have a fleet of golf carts. Golf courses are places with lush green and serenity. Golfers do not want to see noisy carts zipping to and fro. That’s why most golf carts are power by electricity.
The type of battery used on golf carts are the deep cycle type. Deep cycle battery is most suitable for a homemade electric car. Now all we have to do is get our hands on them.
Putting Up A Smile
All the electric golf carts have to be maintained after a certain time frame. Usually there will be a workshop somewhere in the golf course. To get free batteries, Les recommends getting to know the maintenance technician. Time to put up a “smiling face”.
When a golf cart is sent for servicing, one of the processes is to replace the old battery. What do they do with the weak battery? Some will be discarded and some will be recycled. So check with the technician. If he is planning to discard the batteries, you can ask him if you can have them.
You are actually doing him a favor by getting the old batteries off his hands and clearing some free space in the workshop. Sometimes, the golf course management has to pay someone to have the old batteries taken away.
For this approach to work, you have to brush up on your people skill. Remember I said earlier that you have to do some work. This is one of it. Get to know the technician first and be friendly with him. It is easier to ask for the old batteries when you are acquainted.
When you have gotten the batteries, the next step is to check its power rating so you can revive them. As a minimum, you should always aim for 10 volts minimum for every 12 volts that the batteries are rated for.
For example, if they are rated for 24 volts, then check them and make sure they are at least running 20 volts. Batteries that are below these minimum amounts are much harder to revive.
There are other tips and tricks on how to find cheap parts and components suggested in Les Oke’s Convert 2 EV e-book. If you are planning your own EV conversion project but working with a tight budget, be sure to check out Convert2EV. The recommendation from Les may save you thousands of dollars.
Other related web pages:
1) Samuel Watson Premium Electric Car Guide Review
2) DIY EV Car Conversion – How Practical Is It