Have you thought it would be great to be able to drive your electric golf cart 100 miles or more without having to stop for a recharge? If so, your wish has been made a reality thanks to lithium-ion batteries and battery-management systems, such as those recently developed by Lithium Boost Technologies, Inc.
In September 2015, Advantage Golf Cars in Florida announced that representatives of the company had successfully driven an EZ GO RXV golf cart a total of 114 miles at an average speed of 17 mph after replacing the batteries. The golf cart was originally equipped with a bank of standard lead-acid batteries, but the team replaced with the 200-ah lithium batteries and 20-amp chargers.
Before the official trial, comprehensive tests were performed in conjunction with an engineering team from Lithium Boost Technologies. The final run was performed with multiple drivers who drove through one-hour shift rotations.
Lithium-Ion Batteries Benefit Golf Cart Owners
The new lithium-ion battery system can help golf cart drivers by providing them with a technologically advanced solution for extending the range of their vehicles. In addition to the massive increase in mileage on a single charge, lithium-ion batteries reduce the overall weight of the vehicle and do not require the same maintenance as lead-acid batteries do.
However, it is not enough simply to replace lead-acid batteries with lithium-ion batteries. Several elements of the electrical system have to be replaced to achieve such an extended range. In the above trial, Lithium Boost Technologies provided chargers, the Smart Battery Management System (BMS), wiring, gauges and accessories in addition to lithium-ion cells.
John Wade, chief engineer for Lithium Boost Technologies, was pleased to have an opportunity to test and refine the company’s systems, improving their performance and features.
“At Lithium Boost, we’re confident that the time has come for lithium-ion batteries to replace the existing lead-acid technology for low-speed electric vehicles. However, we’re aware that changes take time and require innovation-seeking pioneers,” said Sam Lev, CEO of Lithium Boost. “We look forward to the day when customers can purchase golf cars with lithium inside rather than have to go through the costly hassle of replacing the old lead-acid batteries in order to benefit from the advantages of the more advanced lithium-ion technology.”
The LithiumBoost Plus System
The battery system developed by Lithium Boost Technologies has been dubbed LithiumBoost Plus. It is available in three sizes and includes the following components:
- Batteries – The batteries used in the system are top-quality CALB CA Series 60-ah LiFePo4 cells. Each system requires either 11 cells for 36 volts or 15 cells for 48 volts. These are also the same type of cells used in most full-size electric cars.
- Chargers – Rather than using one charger for a full bank of cells, the LithiumBoost Plus system requires each cell to be assigned an individual charger working in tandem with the others. The chargers are all mounted together in a separate charger module. This ensures each battery is charged in balance with the others. Each charger delivers 10 to 12 amps and accepts 100 to 240 volts of AC electricity at 50 to 60 Hz. The charge time for a fully discharged battery is as low as nine hours.
- Battery Management System – The BMS is like the heart of the LithiumBoost Plus system. This proprietary technology ensures all cell voltages are in an acceptable range for operation and disables the vehicle when a cell has become fully discharged. Should this occur, the system can be manually set to Limp Home mode, which provides three minutes of additional power to move the golf cart to a desirable location.
About Lithium Boost Technologies
Lithium Boost Technologies Inc. is headquartered in San Diego, California, and was founded in 2011. The company’s sole mission is to develop lithium-ion battery systems for electric low-speed vehicles (LSVs) and neighborhood electric vehicles (NEVs). The systems provided by Lithium Boost are complete solutions that include cells, chargers, the proprietary BMS, wiring, gauges, and accessories.
The systems were designed for easy installation so that all the advantages of lithium-ion technology are delivered to customers with as few headaches as possible. These advantages include a lighter weight and having no maintenance hassles, a longer lifecycle, shorter charge time and longer range.
Lithium-Ion Batteries Setting Records
Although the LithiumBoost Plus system has yet to achieve a world record, lithium-ion batteries are responsible for several records recognized by Guinness Book. The record for the longest journey by a non-solar electric vehicle was set by Norman Hajjar in the U.S., driving a Tesla Model S a total of 12,183.8 miles. The journey required a total of 91 charges of the batteries.
The Japan Electric Vehicle Club holds the Guinness record for longest distance driven without a recharge. The club modified a Daihatsu Mira with a Sanyo lithium-ion battery system that included more than 8,320 cells much like those used to power laptop computers. The car was driven 623 miles over 27.5 hours on a single charge. This record is still pending, but the group also holds the previous record of 345.2 miles.
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