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Old 04-26-2017, 04:57 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Polaris Ranger EV Revival

I'm not sure where to post - the side-by-side has 4 wheels, but is an off-road vehicle ...

I bid on 4 Polaris Ranger EV's, 2011 models, that were giving my employer trouble for quite some time. I ended up getting all 4 of them. This thread will be a log of what I did, what worked, and what did not.

There should be a bunch of information that is useful - I hope - to others who are working on the 2011 Polaris Ranger side-by-sides, to a lesser extent side-by-sides in general and perhaps other off-road applications.

During discussions with our maintenance people, I found out that the largest problem that was experienced with the Polaris Ranger EVs involved the batteries.

The original lead-acid battery packs and their chargers were replaced in 2013. We had an incident with another flooded lead acid pack that caused an explosion of hydrogen gas. The mitigation involved replacing all flooded batteries on site.

Polaris, the original supplier, did not have a lithium battery pack solution. A short investigation followed and two local suppliers provided pricing and delivery for the lithium packs, the chargers, the removal of the lead acid packs and chargers, as well as retrofit installation of the new batteries and charger. So these packs are not OEM, and neither are the battery chargers. I have no information on the type of batteries, the charger, the BMS (or even if there IS a BMS) until I get my hands on them.

I was told that the range on the battery packs was an immediate disappointment. The lithium packs did not provide as much range as the original lead packs did. I found this information .. strange. But I will reserve judgment until I actually see the packs. Perhaps the packs were under-sized due to their cost.

The Polaris Rangers are apparently in otherwise good shape mechanically. The controllers still apparently work. But the packs do not supply power any longer. I suspect a problem with the charging system ... or perhaps the BMS if one was supplied? .. but it needs to be investigated.

So I plan to show up with a 48V lithium battery pack to connect, replacing the existing pack, and see if I can drive the first one onto my trailer. Or, if I have to, winch the Polaris Ranger EV onto my trailer to bring it home.

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Old 04-27-2017, 10:24 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Fun project! Definitely looking forward to updates.
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Old 04-27-2017, 01:08 PM   #3 (permalink)
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You got 4 of them?!?! You must be single or have a very, very understanding significant other.

Have you driven any of them before? Looks like all or a good portion of a Leaf pack could fit under the seat where the stock batteries live, I'd be willing to bet that would increase the stock 50 miles of conservative driving range to 50 miles of beating on it pretty hard.
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Old 04-27-2017, 05:59 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vskid3 View Post
You got 4 of them?!?!
I did not really expect to get all 4. I put bids in on all 4 expecting someone else to bid higher on at least a couple of them

Quote:
You must be single or have a very, very understanding significant other.
I have a *VERY* understanding wife. And I live on 5 acres. 1 double-attached garage plus ... 4 .. outbuidlings. I bring home a lot of cr*p from work. The sheds are full and some of it is stored outside. I have used very little of it in projects so far ... but I'm working on it! PLUS ... most of it has been pretty cheap so I could likely get most of my money out of it if I sold it ... but only if I find someone else like me!

Quote:
Have you driven any of them before?
No. They were used underground at our mine. I work on surface, in the mill.

I had looked at these units in 2012 and determined that I could do it better and cheaper (cue laughter from the audience!)

I still don't have an EV rolling ....

Quote:
Looks like all or a good portion of a Leaf pack could fit under the seat where the stock batteries live, I'd be willing to bet that would increase the stock 50 miles of conservative driving range to 50 miles of beating on it pretty hard.
I expect so. 7S1P (56V) should work as a minimal pack. My Renault/Better place pack is ... ?60 a-h cells? .. I think * 48 cells, but they test out more like 55 a-h

I have enough to do 6S2P on all 4 Rangers .. but there are 2 cells that are a bit soft. They slowly discharge themselves while just sitting in my garage ... so I don't trust them!

Again, no info on the lithium cells in the units now. But they sound like they are shot.

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