In my case, the range is effected by several modules with a lower amp-hour capacity. Leaf modules tend to degrade faster than other battery systems. So it is likely that a few of my batteries have come from a higher mileage car. Lithium batteries can generally be discharged to 20% capacity without damaging themselves, but as they go through cycles, the time it takes to reach that point becomes shorter.Congratulations on a very well-done job. Must be satisfying to finally be driving it.
What accounts for the range difference between this car and factory-built EV (e.g., Leaf, Tesla)? Is it the challenge of packing enough batteries into a chassis that was never designed to accommodate them? If cost wasn't an issue, could you have put more batteries into the spider?
It is exactly like an older cell phone that has been through many charging cycles; it goes flat faster.
Those bad modules reach their low voltage state much faster than the remainder of the pack, causing the Battery Management System to alert for low cell voltage. I could keep driving, but I run the risk of permanently damaging those modules.
The best solution for increased range would be to use Tesla Model s modules. They are the most power-dense batteries available for EVs. For the same battery weight as the Leaf, I could probably go 100-150 miles on a charge. The problem is that they are expensive and they require a cooling system. Tesla batteries are much more volatile than the leaf because they use a different battery chemistry.