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Thread: Lithium Car Batteries

  1. #1

    Default Lithium Car Batteries

    Has anyone installed a Lithium battery in their Audi? The technology seems to be improving all the time and while they remain pricey they seem to be offering 2 to 3 times the life span of a lead acid and with claimed "OEM replacement". Two I have been looking at for my 2015 RS5 and 2016 Cayenne S Diesel are Lithiumax in Aust (https://www.lithiumax.com.au/) and Antigravity in the US (https://antigravitybatteries.com/). Lithiumax suggest their new Race9+ battery and Antigravity their H7/Group-94R. A replacement Lead Acid of good qualty at the right cranking amps (and AGM) seems to run about $400 so these lithium are twice the price or more but given massive weight saving and claims of 2 to 3 years the life span of lead acid they may work out more economical in the long run.

    Anyone with any feedback on them?

  2. #2

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    Yep...I fitted one to my 2018 RS3 about two months ago. Expensive, but a huge weight saving ( 24kg for the lead acid v's 7kg for the Lithium ). CCA of the Lithium is three times the lead acid from memory.
    It was an easy changeover...apart from a bit of a fiddly time removing/replacing the battery hold down bracket bolts, but that will be car specific. Mine came from here https://megalifebattery.com.au/

    Very easy people to deal with.

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  4. #3
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    Let's put some things into perspective here. A saving of 17kg is not going to turn anyone into Lewis Hamilton or turn an RS into an F1. You're not going to feel 17kg difference when a full tank of petrol is already 60-70kg and each occupant in the car weighs 60-100kg.

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  5. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by broke90 View Post
    Let's put some things into perspective here. A saving of 17kg is not going to turn anyone into Lewis Hamilton or turn an RS into an F1. You're not going to feel 17kg difference when a full tank of petrol is already 60-70kg and each occupant in the car weighs 60-100kg.
    Well, my car is 17kg lighter regardless of full/empty tank, or my driving prowess. I have a three year battery warranty and the battery will hopefully last considerably longer than the OEM lead acid. Horses for courses...if you are happy with your lead acid battery, fine. The additional feature of the emergency start facility is also worth having in my opinion.

  6. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigBenny View Post
    Well, my car is 17kg lighter regardless of full/empty tank, or my driving prowess. I have a three year battery warranty and the battery will hopefully last considerably longer than the OEM lead acid. Horses for courses...if you are happy with your lead acid battery, fine. The additional feature of the emergency start facility is also worth having in my opinion.
    Thanks and agreed weight is just one side benefit. Every small amount helps but to me the longevity of the battery and its cranking capacity are more important. Have you ever had to use the emergency start? Given the Porsche battery is under the front seat it is not straightforward to get to it to push the button (fine on the Audi as its in the boot). The Antigravity one comes with two remote control restart buttons to save having to physically access the battery to do so. Do you monito the battery health and use a battery tender/recharger if the car is idle for any period of time?

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Q7&A3 View Post
    Thanks and agreed weight is just one side benefit. Every small amount helps but to me the longevity of the battery and its cranking capacity are more important. Have you ever had to use the emergency start? Given the Porsche battery is under the front seat it is not straightforward to get to it to push the button (fine on the Audi as its in the boot). The Antigravity one comes with two remote control restart buttons to save having to physically access the battery to do so. Do you monito the battery health and use a battery tender/recharger if the car is idle for any period of time?
    I think along with the weight saving of the lithium battery, you could go close to 30kg of weight reduction if you went to lighter aftermarket wheels as well. Is 30kg worth saving....that is for the individual to decide. It certainly cannot be a negative. I have two sets of OEM rims/tyres for my RS3, and one set of rims are made in Italy, the other in Germany, and there is a 2.5kg weight difference per rim comparing the two sets ( Blade Vs Rotor ).

    I have used the emergency start feature . The first lithium battery dropped a cell shortly after install. Car was absolutely dead. After climbing into the boot and releasing the rear hatch so I could access the battery, I pushed the magic button, power came back on and car was easily started. It then had a cluster of fault codes of course, but they cleared after going from one lock to the other with the steering wheel. I was unlucky and got a crook battery. It was replaced promptly and at no cost to me and the second one has been fine. Had it been a lead acid battery, I would have been looking for the RACQ or a jump start from someone. Actually, it was an interesting learning experience, as I had to use the physical key to unlock the car using the key hole on the drivers door, and then read the manual to figure out how to open the rear hatch. Climbing over and then through the back seats into the boot was a PITA, but now I know how to do it if I ever need to get out that way, or have another battery mishap ! Once I got to the battery...push button, start car, drive home...much more convenient than waiting the hour or so for the RACQ.

    Since fitting the lithium battery, the car has been fine, with no problems. The car still thinks it has the original OEM Varta brand battery. The lithium battery has extensive on board battery management/protection. I have as of today, been given updated VCDS coding that apparently lets me choose lithium as a battery type in cars software system. I'll see if my 2018 model has that feature over the weekend, but the system seems quite happy as it is. Lithium batteries are much better than lead acid for idle periods as far as I have read and to date , I have had no need to do any out of car charging. If the battery was left long enough to get down to a preset low voltage, it will disconnect from the car to prevent damage from total discharge. You would then presumably have to remove it and charge it using a lithium specific charger ( which I purchased along with the battery just in case ).

    I'm hoping to get at least 5 years from the lithium battery. To date, most of my batteries have lasted around the three year mark in various brand vehicles...some less. My lithium battery is also on the large side, as the car has stop/start fitted, which I hate and never use. I could have gone to a smaller, 900CCA battery that was cheaper and about 5kgs in weight, but that is another thing you would have to make an individual decision on ( present battery is 1200 CCA original was 400 ).

    I note that Renault have just released a new hot hatch thing that also has a lithium battery, so I think they will become more common over time. I did it purely as an experiment, and making my car lighter cannot be a negative in my opinion.

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    Q7&A3 (June 26th, 2020)

  9. #7

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    A bit of a first world question and expectation? Li batteries are an inevitable progress on storage technology. If you dealt with the lead acid batteries of 50 years ago, you'd then notice the steady progress in storage technology for heavy duty 12v use from then to today. There was no inbuilt drain on the battery in my first car, it was totally isolated from the battery once stopped and the various lights and radio turned off. My latest car has an inbuilt consumption even when everything possible is turned off. Security system, sensors, standby power to the radio, you know the list and more.

    So, early days in the consumer auto use in my opinion. Race technology which the truth be known means as light as possible and needs to last the days race program. Stop / start technology and the drain that is inbuilt into today's cars is going to test the technology in the beginning but like all evolutions, it won't be too long before Li is all you can get and you'll be looking at the next great new invention.

    My battery is a DI(N) 110 costing about $500-$600, the Li equivalent seems to be around $1,200. The weight saving in an 1800 Kg car is minuscule, with proper maintenance I can get the lead acid battery to last 5-6 years and still in good shape, not on it's last legs. The Li battery is less responsive to the lead acid tricks but still has a good life if you follow the use instructions, and they aren't plug, play and forget if you read them.

    So, to my mind it really boils down to someone who has the ability to spend double on a high tech solution to a common problem. Same problem exists everywhere. Remember the Fischer space pen vs the pencil. If you had a few spare million way back then you could indulge in a very high tech solution on how to write in space.........or just use a pencil.
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    No doubt there's performance and features to the lithium battery. Whether it's worth the extra is up to the individual. If weight means so much then go lose some weight and make the wife walk. My point is that 17kg is not going to make a meaningful difference. BUT lighter wheels do improve the sprung/unsprung mass ratio which improves the car's handling even if just a bit. So the 30kg you're saving isn't so much about reducing the car's weight, but to improve the suspension.
    Last edited by broke90; June 26th, 2020 at 08:45 PM.

    Current:
    2004 A6 C5 Sedan 3.0 V6 Quattro
    2005 A6 4F Sedan 3.2 V6 Quattro
    1999 A4 B5 Avant 2.4 V6

    Retired:
    1990 100 Sedan 2.3
    1991 90 Sedan 2.3
    1999 A4 B5 Sedan 2.4 V6

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