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Old 12-02-2009, 01:08 AM   #15 (permalink)
The $500 Electric Car
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Originally Posted by Wonderboy View Post
I called up the 2 local exide places, the interstate place, and a local material handling place. A note for anyone calling up places like these looking for a source of EV batteries, used the word "blem", short for "blemished" batteries, and ask for warranty returned batteries. I also got the idea to contact local golf courses that use electric carts. One of the Exide places was no help whatsoever, the other took my name down and actually seemed like a promising prospect to call me back with some cheap used batteries. They do a lot of recycling and get warranty batteries in that can easily be revived. The interstate place also seemed like a good prospect, but doesn't typically see 6x6v or 6x12v batteries just waltz in, especially this time of year. The guy also took my name and number down, but said spring would be a better time when people are dragging battery powered things out of the garage from winter. I figured the material handling place might have something (they do forklift kind of stuff) because they may have those indoor genie lifts that often run on a pack of deep cycles as opposed to the 1000+lb. packs that forklifts commonly use. No dice - they said they have a person that comes up from PA to recycle ALL of their batteries (which is probably the exide place that took my name and number).

Does anyone have any suggestions on sourcing some batteries? I really should get the controller first and just use car batteries to test everything, but meh. I suppose it may be best to wait til spring.
My experience with Exide was mixed: on the one hand, they gave me a lot of money for useless lead. On the other hand, every single price quoted to me for a "blem" battery was (to me anyway) exhorbitant. It was basically just a few percent off of retail. But then, they ARE in the business of selling batteries, and I can't very well expect them to pay me $10.50 for a worthless battery and expect them to sell me a good one for $15!!! That said, they hinted at a place for me to get great deals locally.
Where I found my batteries was a boat store. I ended up buying 16 batteries from them at $7 each. Half were bad. Sold the bad ones for between $7-$10.50. So, basically I paid $7 for every good battery, and broke even or made money on the bad ones. I would imagine the same process would work with RV places as well. It might be possible to get Optima batteries from audio places: I imagine people routinely bring them in towards the end of the warranty period to get a fresh one. I imagine boat and RV places would be the best source though, because they get batteries that sit a lot and they don't want to deal with the hassle of "breaking in" batteries. I think it's probably hard to do without an EV to whip them into shape....
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