Choosing EV Batteries for Cold and Rainy Climates

by Costi
(Reykjavik, Iceland)




I want to convert a car in Iceland and am having trouble selecting the right batteries. The car is to function in the capital with a range of at least 80km per charge. Winters are cold, but milder than winters in many more northern cities like New York due to the Gulf Stream and other benefits. It rains a lot too. The car can be charges indoors. We are on a budget. What kind of battery should I pick?

Halló, Costi!

I'm not sure what's available in Reykjavik as far as brand names of batteries. Still, I'll try to give you an idea of what I'd be looking for, given your priorities.
First, 80km is a pretty long range for the average amateur DC electric car conversion, and whether your car will actually make it that far depends much more on the efficiency of the conversion than on the batteries.
You didn't mention what components you'd put in your car, or what type of car it was...but you did mention that you were on a budget. Here in the US, that often means mismatched, bargain-basement components, which doesn't usually mean optimized for long range; )
As for the cold climate?
Lead batteries are sensitive to the cold. Richard Lane of REV Consultants in Canada says that NiMH and NiCad batteries are not affected that much by cold. They're more expensive, but last longer.

We often use lead acid batteries in our electric cars, even in the cold and rainy areas of the US, though! For most miles for your money, use six volt golf cart batteries, then insulate them well.

Regards,
Lynne


P.S. There are things you can do to winterize your EV so that the cold doesn't affect your range.

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