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Can you switch out EV batteries from a different manufacturer?

Lets say I buy a Caddie ELR with a range of 40 miles while using only battery power. These batteries were probably designed in 2012 or so, although the 2016 had a minor upgrade (boosted range from 37 to 40 miles). Todays batteries are a magnitude of 3 to 5 times better so can I swap in newer ones from a different manufacturer? Also, can I swap out that putrid 233 hp engine for a Chevy Turbo V6 with 350 hp? (Now, I won’t do both, but the batteries sound like the cheaper alternative if it is possible.)

You need a real answer from the battery seller . Also the dealer will also be a good place to ask . Do you really want an anomalous person like me on the internet telling you yes or no when you can’t verify that I even know what I am talking about.

I do think that engine swap would be expensive .

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Yep. I am guessing the engine swap would be $15-20K, so it is of little interest to me. I am hoping some electrical engineer-type might have some knowledge on the subject. A couple friends of mine did their own replacement of Prius batteries, but they just purchased a new set from Toyota. Their PH.ds in physics probably came in handy though.

Steve Newman

| VOLVO-V70
January 8 |

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You need a real answer from the battery seller . Also the dealer will also be a good place to ask . Do you really want an anomalous person like me on the internet telling you yes or no when you can’t verify that I even know what I am talking about.

I do think that engine swap would be expensive .

Apparently the Cadillac ELR was discontinued in 2016 because of low battery distance and high selling cost . That said why would you even consider something like this low volume hard to find parts for vehicle . Also something that does what you seem to want should be bought new with full warranty.

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Anything is possible with a big enough check book. Hybrid batteries are mostly model specific. You wouldn’t be able to just plug in a battery pack from Tesla or Prius or whatever and expect it to just work. Also that 223 HP figure is HP for the entire system (electric motors and the gas engine). The gas engine alone is rated for 86 HP by itself. The engine bay of the ELR/Volt and indeed any other car built on the Delta platform can only fit inline engines, inline 4’s specifically. No V6 was ever offered on any of the Delta cars. So some reengineering would be required.

Basically unless there’s a some high capacity aftermarket batteries available, there’s not much you can reasonably do.

A simple and compatible way to upgrade batteries is to contact a hybrid battery shop, they often have newer tech batteries for older hybrids. But maybe not for a low volume one like the ELR.

This is a pretty big battery, so big $$$. The Volt is $4500-$6000.

A web search shows that less than 3000 ELR were made . Just think how hard it would be to find body parts after a collision .

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Unless EV west (or a similar specialist) has some ideas I’m not sure if it’s possible.

Just because someone is an electrical engineer doesn’t mean they are going to specific knowledge about a specific product. Most EE’s are NOT power engineers. They don’t deal with anything over 5 volts.

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Nope, nothing near that big of a difference. The ELR has a lithium ion battery just like the newest cars.

There are newer batteries that are easily 3-5 times better…but they aren’t in full scale production yet. Maybe 5-10 years. Some are just now hitting the market in certain tech areas. I’ve said this before in this forum…I know of at least 5 startups in the Boston area that are working on new battery technologies. And that’s just the ones I know of in one city. It has the potential of being huge. That’s why investors are putting BILLIONS in these different technologies.

Truth.

OP, yeah, battery swaps are sometimes possible but as my father in law is learning with his power wheelchair, they can be very difficult.

He decided he wanted to try a cheaper battery because the stock batteries for his chair are crazy expensive. He got the same battery series, same number of cells, same form factor from a much less expensive source. But the new batteries were 1/8 of an inch taller than the old ones, and with the clearances in his chair, they didn’t fit. He ended up wasting a lot of time and money trying to make the change.

EV batteries are going to be even more difficult because at least with power wheelchairs, they tend to use things like marine/deep cycle batteries which at least are fairly common, even if they’re not 100% standardized. EV batteries, on the other hand, run a wide gamut of design and form factors, so you might have trouble finding one that’s even a similar shape to the one you’re trying to swap.

My interest is in investigating the feasibility of replacing older batteries with new generation ones in a hybrid car. I picked the ELR because its range is poor and its resale value is low. Most of the car is standard GM parts. I am not locked in on the car, but it suits my other needs such as comfortable seats (getting old!).

Steve

| VOLVO-V70
January 8 |

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Apparently the Cadillac ELR was discontinued in 2016 because of low battery distance and high selling cost . That said why would you even consider something like this low volume hard to find parts for vehicle . Also something that does what you seem to want should be bought new with full warranty.

You had a thread about buying a vehicle and then changing the seats because the vehicle seats were not comfortable . Now you want to buy something and try to put in a different battery than it calls for . Just find something that you like and is comfortable and stop making things difficult.

Frankly , with power seats - tilt and telescopic steering wheels very few vehicles will be unsuitable.

I think the biggest problem will be fitting a different battery into the current battery bay. I doubt that any other car’s battery bay, with the possible exception of the Volt, will be similar. If you want to make a change, then you would have to replace all the cells inside the battery. Once again, form factor is a very important issue. Then there is the cooling issue. All these high power density batteries use some sort of cooling to avoid fires. If you install higher power density batteries, you may need to alter the cooling system to accommodate them. A project like this might eclipse the cost of shoehorning a V6 into the engine bay. Last, you need to watch out for changing the car’s center of gravity. This might mean changes to the suspension.