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Potential Battery Issue with my Electric Drift Trike?

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    Potential Battery Issue with my Electric Drift Trike?

    My son and I added a front hub motor to his custom built drift trike.

    See links here for video,,,

    The 48v/15 amp hour battery and 1000W motor/controller kit came from a hong kong company called vpower. The trike worked really well for the first year or so, but lately the battery seems to only charge to about 49 volts (despite the 54v from the charger). I opened up the battery pack and tested each of the 13s7p series. Two of the parallel sets charged to 4 volts, while the other 11 sets seem to stop charging around 3.6-3.7v (maybe it is simply not be "balanced" properly?).

    I tried hooking up the volt meter while I ride it. It works fine if you slowly add throttle on a flat surface, but if you add any heavy load (uphill, full throttle, sliding backward and giving throttle) the volts quickly drop from 48v to 40v and the battery cuts off (low voltage switch I guess?). I have to then turn off and on the battery switch to reset everything and try again.

    So what happened? I used to be able to use full throttle and climb any hills. Top speed was more than 25mph (scary with only a front caliper brake).

    I assume the battery pack when new used to charge to 52+ volts, so I had more margin before hitting the cut off???

    So should I buy a new battery? (and perhaps step up to a 14s?). The bottom line is that I need a battery/controller/motor that can handle heavy current draws.

    Any and all suggestions welcome....

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    Last edited by SCPin360; 06-24-2019, 07:07 PM.

    Hi SCPin360,

    I agree with your assessment of an unbalanced battery. Several battery management systems don't start to balance till a cell parallel pack reaches at least 4.15 volts. With a full charge being 4.2 volts. And according to the math, with a charger shutting off at 54 volts when it was new. It would be very close to the same voltage. Shutting off about the same time as starting to balance...
    I'd fix the obvious first... why doesn't your charger put out the required 54.6 volts to enable a full charge. Does yours have the capability for adjustment of the voltage output? Then perhaps a series of deep charges with short discharges may bring it back. It may need manual balancing which would also be quicker.

    See my completed Magic Pie V5 rear hub motor E-Bike build HERE.