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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I fully charged the 8 batteries a few nights ago and then removed the outside and front battery from each side. Making a single bank series of (4) batteries for 48 volts. Its an easy swap ,took me about an hour. Yesterday I drove a specific series of trails on my farm to get total mileage results. I recharged the (4) batteries, installed the other 4 so I had the factory (8 batteries back in and redrove the same series of trails to get the 2 bank parallel results. Keep in mind my unit is just a couple weeks old and the batteries have not been cycled near enough times to be at max capacity. All of the test driving was done during daylight hours with NO HEADLIGHTS in HIGH GEAR with mostly OPEN differential, some locked differential and very little 4x4. I made sure to use the locked diff and 4x4 on the same portions of trails in BOTH set ups.The terrain on my farm is a combination of row crop fields,flat woods and wooded hills and hollas all with trails we cut over the years. I used a Garmin GPS mounted on the EV for my testing but had it fully charged prior to using it so it wasnt drawing any power from the EV. I averaged 5 mph during both tests but did a 3/4 mile section of roadway balls to the wall to simulate a typical ride home after shooting a deer to get my deer trailer and our tracking dog. I wanted the driving to be as close to my normal use of the buggy as could be. Here are the results from my testing.

(4) batteries = I was able to go 9 miles before the 20% warning indicator came on. The loss of 360 lb of batteries was very apparent in the feel of the ride. Polaris did a good job setting up the spring rate for the weight of this buggy. It seemed to ride a little stiff with the weight out. Driving up damp hills at an angle was much better with the weight out. The rear end didnt slide around toward the downhill side like it does with all the weight in it. I noticed it didnt make very deep tracks in the partially dry muddy areas with the weight out and it operated through some mucky terrain in 2 wheel drive that I had to use 4 wheel drive for when it had all the batteries in it. On the wide open road stretch it hit 27 MPH down hill. I made this run in both tests at the very beginning of the test when leaving the house so the batteries were 100%. Its not all that steep but a long downhill grade. I noticed a pretty rapid drop in battery % from the 50% mark down. I recharged the unit with just the 4 batteries in it since the other 4 were fully charged from the night before. Its worth mentioning that the charger senses the amperage in the batteries whether you have 4 or 8 batteries in it. I kept a close eye on it because I wasn't sure if it would overcook with just 4 batteries in it. It only took a bit over 3 hours to completely recharge on the 11 algorithm and reached the 80% charged light in a little over 2 hours.

(8 batteries=STOCK= I was able to drive the same route 17 miles before the 20 % warning indicator came on. As mentioned above the ride was noticeably smoother with all the batteries in. It felt like it might have had a touch more throttle response as well,but I cant be certain. At the 9 mile mark it was still at 68% battery. The rear tended to slide out just a little on side slope hill climbing and sunk about twice as deep in the slighty mucky area.(centered the tracks from earlier test so the new tracks were about 1 foot offset ). It ran 26 mph on the downhill wide open grade on this test. It took about 6 hours to fully charge the batteries with all 8 batteries in.

Summation=While 9 miles doesnt seem very far to some people, my farm is 246 acres and the furthest point from my house is about a 1.5 mile drive. I know from past experience that come hunting season and the 20 -30* weather this distance on a charge is going to diminish. Not to mention using the headlights driving in and or out of a hunting set. During our normal hunting season, some times I have to drop off guests at their stands then drive to mine, pick them up after the hunt, return to the house to get the deer trailer and dog. Sometimes go retrieve a couple deer on different sides of the farm. That extra travel and xtra towing weight will also kill the range of the EV. With this in mind I don't think taking (4) of the batteries out and only getting a 9 mile range is a good trade off for me. I had totally hoped to get 15 miles from a charge with (4) batteries and 25 miles with all 8 batteries in based on the bolstered claims of range from Polaris. I don't see my batteries increasing this much after the recommended 45 charge cycles. The 11 algorithm seems decent and doesn't boil my batteries so I totally expect to get a long service life from them by keeping an eye on my water levels.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Nate, I'm not certain about the lithium upgrade. Its been my experience that NOTHING ever seems to be as good as claimed by those producing it. Id like to see someones unbiased review with the lithium swap done under real world driving conditions and then see how it's working after they run it a season. I'm sure the Lithium set up adds new issues and a learning curve but for just under $6k I'm sure I don't want to be the guy rolling the dice.;D Having learned from my testing that the spring rate in these buggies is really too stiff for losing a bunch of weight and rides really nice stock, coupled with the fact that Ive used some knowledge learned from other guys on the forum that the charging algorithm (11) works great and doesnt boil the lead acid batteries, I think I can get a good long service life from the buggy just the way it came from Polaris. I've decided Im going to continue on this year with the buggy as is and see where I am after a full season of farm work, leisure riding and hunting. I use the heck out of my electric buggies and everyone I know in my area always calls me to see what kind of results Im getting with the different ones Ive used. If the switches, contacts , motor etc all stay working good I think I hit a home run swapping to the Polaris EV. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it stays dependable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I wanted to ad that I did a MAX RANGE , open differential test on paved roads yesterday. The buggy maxes out at 16 MPH up or down hill and after 20 miles I still had 66% of my battery power left. Unfortunately it was getting dark and I didn't want to taint the test driving with the lights on. I could have easily got a full test in but ended up running into a couple different buddies during the ride and stopped to BS with them burning up my daylight ha ha.. I have to fly back to California tonight for a job I have going on there so I wont be able to do any more testing until I get back in 3-4 weeks. But its my opinion that with all 8 batteries in as purchased ,the ride, range and ability of the Polaris EV is everything I could ever need out of a buggy.
 

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Glad you got your EV running well with the 11 algorithm. I have had mine set at 11 since September and all is well. You did an outstanding review on the different battery setup. For now I am with you and I am keeping the stock lead batteries. A $6000.00 expense is not cost effective. Have a good trip. Lou
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
That was a GREAT tip on going to the 11 algorithm LOU.. THANKS:).. Everyone knows the key to making these Lead Acid batteries last is a good charge cycle that doesn't boil em out. Thanks to your tip I caught these ones while they were brandy new and they should last me..
 

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What are the best batteries agm and wet acid for the price for a polaris ev ? Also would it be advisable just to add 2 new batteries wet acid as the others and would 2 age be able to be mixed with the wet acid ones ?
 

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I don’t think u want to mix AGM and lead acid. I have installed Full River DC150-12 batteries in 4 Rangers. The owners love them and say they get more range than the Lead Acid. The AGM requires the 151 algorithium and cost about 2600 for 8
 

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The point of the 8 Batteries isnt just range. To give high sustained discharge ie driving under load you need the large Ah of the lead as the voltage under load will drop if inadequate battery Ah is available. This over time will cause cell damage in the lead acids. (worse in gel and badly watered lead acid) Its not just about range. This is one of the big plus points of a Li conversion, as they can give out high discharge rates with a much lower voltage drop, and are able to cope with those discharges with out being damaged.
On the point of mixing batteries, its not good with any lead set up. Even replacement of lead acid by lead acid of a different make will mean the batteries / whole pack wont perform similarly under load. And they wont charge in the same way. That means they will get unbalanced, and if not heavily overcharged that unbalanced state wont get sorted. On many of the Li ion conversoions I have done, the owners had already carried out a few individual lead battery changes, and all were disappointed that the replacements had not really solved the problem as another soon went. A couple of the farmers who were long term Ranger users had come to the same conclusion, and had only changed their Lead in complete packs. Re -using the Trojans as power for Electric fences. Which they do really well. So they dont actually waste the usable batteries. Just put them to better use. Some users have sold the usable Lead (after conversion) to people who want cheap deep cycle storage for off grid solar storage.
 

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The point of the 8 Batteries isnt just range. To give high sustained discharge ie driving under load you need the large Ah of the lead as the voltage under load will drop if inadequate battery Ah is available. This over time will cause cell damage in the lead acids. (worse in gel and badly watered lead acid) Its not just about range. This is one of the big plus points of a Li conversion, as they can give out high discharge rates with a much lower voltage drop, and are able to cope with those discharges with out being damaged.
On the point of mixing batteries, its not good with any lead set up. Even replacement of lead acid by lead acid of a different make will mean the batteries / whole pack wont perform similarly under load. And they wont charge in the same way. That means they will get unbalanced, and if not heavily overcharged that unbalanced state wont get sorted. On many of the Li ion conversoions I have done, the owners had already carried out a few individual lead battery changes, and all were disappointed that the replacements had not really solved the problem as another soon went. A couple of the farmers who were long term Ranger users had come to the same conclusion, and had only changed their Lead in complete packs. Re -using the Trojans as power for Electric fences. Which they do really well. So they dont actually waste the usable batteries. Just put them to better use. Some users have sold the usable Lead (after conversion) to people who want cheap deep cycle storage for off grid solar storage.
I'm curious if anyone has run just 4 lead acid batteries for a few years. Grumpyb, if you were to guess- how much shorter of a lifespan would the 4 batteries have versus buying 8? My tree farm isn't that large. Driving around an 12 acre field of rolling hills with almost all open diff turf mode. And I have been making do with 2 miles of range. Even if I have 5 miles of reliable range in 2 years from now after degradation, I would be happy for 2 years when I can afford some lithium batteries. I'm retiring any older lead acid batteries to be solar storage for wood drying kilns
 

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This thread should be re-evaluated now as NiFePO4 and Li-On batteries have come down an extreme amount since 2014. Also, something that wasn’t originally mentioned, Li-On batteries can be depleted from 100% to 5% without damage or performance loss and up to 5,000 charge cycles, lead acids only let you run down to 50% with seriously decreased performance toward the end and ~500 charge cycles, so, theoretically you’d only need half the aH rating on Li-On (actually much less due to 80% weight reduction). Also, NiFePO4 can give much of the advantage of lithium without the fire danger and much less expense…so it’s in between the other two but leaning toward Li-On. (All Toyota Hybrids and Teslas without long range version are now using NiFePO4-they’re ready for mass market use-Ford Lightning uses Li-On)
 

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Search Amazon for 48v li-on batteries (maybe have to wire 4x12V in parallel) or Genuine Lithium Batteries for DIY Projects there are highly rated batteries for $1-2k (I think this gets you something like 48V and 800 aH). Unfortunately there aren’t any inexpensive DC fast charging solutions so stuck charging at ~10 amps. If DC fast chargers were cheaper, you could buy half the aH and just stick it on a charger for 20 min. every time it runs down…you’re still never going to get to the 3000 charge cycles for DC Fast charge. I’m seriously considering installing a small solar system and using an EV UTV as the energy storage.
 
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