Prodeco Battery Rebuilder

J.R.

Well-Known Member
I ran across this:

http://www.batteryrefill.com/Ebike/Prodeco/index.phtml

From the site:

Quote "We found that Electric bicycle batteries are very expensive. These batteries become useless after depleting their own useful chemical life. We can re-use the casing and all the electronics inside the battery pack and refill them with factory brand new, higher capacity cells. We replace the necessary components on the control circuit or reset the controller on the board if necessary to make them perform brand new.

The problem with the rechargeable battery pack industry is shelf life. Li-ion (LiFePo4 and LiMnO2), Ni-Mh, and Ni-Cd battery cells have a maximum around 3-5 year chemical/shelf life. This means that they lose capacity through time regardless if they are used or not. How long do you think the battery that you are thinking of buying from a retailer/suppler has been sitting on their shelf or stuck in a manufacturer's warehouse? You will pay full price for a brand new battery but you might be getting less than the remaining 80% battery capacity.

We use factory brand new cells all the time, so there is no wasted shelf life or chemical life. We also have a 30 day full money back guarantee including shipping and an 1 year warranty service on all of our refilled batteries. Don't trash your pricy Electric bicycle batteries; send them to us for a refill. We can save you a lot of money and we will give you the maximum battery life.

Try our battery refill service. All you have to do is mail us your old battery together with charger; we will need the charger to test your battery, so don't forget to ship it together with the battery. (We email you a pre-paid postage label with delivery confirmation - US customers only). After we receive it, we will send you a 100% tested Refilled Higher Capacity Battery Pack to you. Every battery comes with a 1 Year Warranty !!!

There is a resonably high possibillity (over 95%) that your battery can be refilled to a new super-capacity battery even if it is completely dead.

NOTE: If your battery is completely dead, you may still send it to our facility for refill service. If we are unable to refill the battery, we will send you back your battery pack and credit you a full refund, including shipping. (Applicable to this battery model only.)
So, with nothing to lose, why not try our battery refill program today!! "
End quote.

Had I the need I would certainly look into it. I think we will likely see this kind of service more and more. Price, shipping and warranty look good, but I would want to know the cell brand. It's possible brand may change frequently with the orders they receive, so if that's important to you get it in writing.
 

Trace martini

New Member
I ran across this:

http://www.batteryrefill.com/Ebike/Prodeco/index.phtml

From the site:

Quote "We found that Electric bicycle batteries are very expensive. These batteries become useless after depleting their own useful chemical life. We can re-use the casing and all the electronics inside the battery pack and refill them with factory brand new, higher capacity cells. We replace the necessary components on the control circuit or reset the controller on the board if necessary to make them perform brand new.

The problem with the rechargeable battery pack industry is shelf life. Li-ion (LiFePo4 and LiMnO2), Ni-Mh, and Ni-Cd battery cells have a maximum around 3-5 year chemical/shelf life. This means that they lose capacity through time regardless if they are used or not. How long do you think the battery that you are thinking of buying from a retailer/suppler has been sitting on their shelf or stuck in a manufacturer's warehouse? You will pay full price for a brand new battery but you might be getting less than the remaining 80% battery capacity.

We use factory brand new cells all the time, so there is no wasted shelf life or chemical life. We also have a 30 day full money back guarantee including shipping and an 1 year warranty service on all of our refilled batteries. Don't trash your pricy Electric bicycle batteries; send them to us for a refill. We can save you a lot of money and we will give you the maximum battery life.

Try our battery refill service. All you have to do is mail us your old battery together with charger; we will need the charger to test your battery, so don't forget to ship it together with the battery. (We email you a pre-paid postage label with delivery confirmation - US customers only). After we receive it, we will send you a 100% tested Refilled Higher Capacity Battery Pack to you. Every battery comes with a 1 Year Warranty !!!

There is a resonably high possibillity (over 95%) that your battery can be refilled to a new super-capacity battery even if it is completely dead.

NOTE: If your battery is completely dead, you may still send it to our facility for refill service. If we are unable to refill the battery, we will send you back your battery pack and credit you a full refund, including shipping. (Applicable to this battery model only.)
So, with nothing to lose, why not try our battery refill program today!! "
End quote.

Had I the need I would certainly look into it. I think we will likely see this kind of service more and more. Price, shipping and warranty look good, but I would want to know the cell brand. It's possible brand may change frequently with the orders they receive, so if that's important to you get it in writing.
A new battery is like $700, all it is is 50 18650 batteries, which you can buy for $2-$3 a piece. I just took the screws out of the battery case and soldered new 18650 batteries to replace the old ones. Cost me about $100 and an hour and a half of my time. That's $400 an hour I saved doing it myself. It was easier than I thought. I actually made a second battery that fits in handlebar pouch to double my range, total spent was under $200. Just an idea for anybody needing to replace battery. All you need is screwdriver, soldering gun and flux and your in business.
 

opimax

Well-Known Member
Someone please correct me if i am wrong i thought standard solder was not acceptable, the heat could go about the melting point requiring use of a welding device instead of soldering. Also the safety factor of working with a battery like this should not be taken lightly. You need to plan to react quickly if something goes wrong. (work tray is on a wheels and can be pushed outside very quickly), having a fire retardant specifically for lithium batteries available and more...
 
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Joe

Member
Spot welding is the preferred method of cell coupling for a healthy and longer lasting pack. Soldering requires high heat to braze. Lithium and high heat isn't the best mix. Not all lithium ion packs are created equal. Soldering cells can be done with proper equipment and special attention to the heat application. Repair of any packs should be left to technicians familiar with the inner workings of the particular pack.
 

SlidingSteve

New Member
Hello, I came across this forum while researching solutions to a battery replacement / fix for an Outlaw SE 2013 that I purchased used in late 2014.
Last Fall the battery began to no longer hold a charge. Due to a knee replacement I am not able to bend enough to pedal a bike with my wife or grandchildren . I have tried a local battery store, the store that originally sold the bike, and online at sites such as Ebay looking for an acceptable replacement or rebuild. The Batteryrefill.com mentioned above in this thread has a disconnected phone so I certainly don't want to try them even though an order form and instructions to ship the battery are still posted on their website. Has anyone any ideas or information regarding this matter or acquiring a suitable replacement without costing an arm and a leg? I don't feel comfortable building a new battery as stated by Trace martini due to the welding/soldering situation (don't want to blow myself up or cause a fire!) The battery on the bike is a 51.2V LifePO4 12AH. Any help or input is greatly appreciated!
 

Joe

Member
Contact the manufacturer. What's the replacement cost?

They can give you a price of a new replacement to try to beat by finding a battery repair service. Whether you want to replace potential bad cells with new ones, or swap out all cells with higher density 18650's will have a great effect on the price of repair.

my .02 - With good cells running from 4-6.50 per and labor and shipping and lead time, you might consider the convenience of a OEM part that swaps right in more reasonable when you crunch the numbers.
 

Drew

Active Member
Contact the manufacturer. What's the replacement cost?

They can give you a price of a new replacement to try to beat by finding a battery repair service. Whether you want to replace potential bad cells with new ones, or swap out all cells with higher density 18650's will have a great effect on the price of repair.

my .02 - With good cells running from 4-6.50 per and labor and shipping and lead time, you might consider the convenience of a OEM part that swaps right in more reasonable when you crunch the numbers.
It's was so easy to say that, wasn't it? But it sounds like you haven't been on the e-bike scene for very long.

Because the reality is, there are no "OEM" batteries for a lot of not-so-old bikes.

For instance, Currie does not have any OEM replacement batteries for my 2012 iZip E3 Zuma.

And my e-LBS, where I bought the bike, referred me to batteryrefill.com.

Rather than pour $600 into the speculative venture of rebuilding a battery for a bike with 5000 miles on it, I am simply buying a new bike.

And it ain't gonna be no Currie. And I ain't buying it from my e-LBS. Once burned, twice shy on both counts.
 

Ann M.

Well-Known Member
Sorry that you feel that way, @Drew. As a 17 year veteran of this industry; I can concur that the batteries are a real issue. There are reputable battery rebuilding companies or individuals out there and the beauty of this is that those new cells will have a much greater capacity and potentially range, depending upon how it's built. You certainly will get more charge cycles if the battery is built with known good cells. We have dealt with this dilemma and have a couple of options at our shop. One is to order a whole new battery with a box from a known good manufacturer or to have a known competent electronics specialist rebuild it using the case and possibly the BMS (if it's still good) providing a bit of savings over a whole new battery.

A replacement battery is a lot less expensive than a whole new ebike. Now with that said, the technology and styling has changed a bit since your 2012 Zuma. Those have good strong hub motors but a bit more weight in the back than is optimal. If you like how this bike rides, then replace or rebuild the battery or if you like some of the newer styles; get a new bike. The last Izip Zuma battery our shop purchased from Currie Tech for a customer cost $800 plus shipping, so a build by a battery manufacturer or a rebuild from a good service provider would save a bit of money.

Your ebike shop didn't burn you; 6 years is a good run on a new technology product. Can you say the same for your cell phone? ;)
 

Drew

Active Member
Hi @Ann M.

Perhaps a more apt comparison would be the Toyota Prius. It was introduced in 2003 and Toyota can still provide battery replacements. That said, I have several friends with an early model year Prius, and all their batteries are still working just fine, and my friends are quite happy with the vehicles.

Similarly, the Nissan Leaf was introduced in 2010 and is proving to be a durable long-lived product. My neighbor has one of the first sold in Seattle and she remains delighted with it.

By comparison the Zuma bicycle is a vastly simpler product! Six years is not a good run for an electric car, how is it that is a good run for an e-bike? I'm not even complaining about the battery needing replacement - I am talking about there not even being a battery replacement. At the very least Currie should handle battery rebuilds for their customers so we know we are getting a safe product that meets OEM specs. I am not interested in dealing with some garage-shop operation in particular because of the safety aspect. There appear to be no standards or certifications these outfits have to meet. The last thing anyone needs is a battery fire - not while riding, nor while the battery is charging in a house or apartment!
 
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Solom01

Active Member
Drew, I know exactly what you're talking about - I had to get rid of a perfectly good iZip due to a lack of battery replacement. Although I appreciate Ann M's attempt to put a good face on an untenable situation the fact of the matter is that anyone buying an eBike, even from a so-called top tier vendor at top prices can't count on being able to get spare parts (many of which are proprietary) in the future. As for the cell phone comment, look at the press Apple is getting for purposely slowing thier phones as the battery wore down to force people to upgrade. The battery situation makes ebikes an incredibly ungreen solution - they end up getting dumped in landfills. Yes lithium technology has issues, but as car manufacturers have shown if the vendor isn't greedy and takes this into account by not allowing severe discharge and trying to inflate range claims they can actually last a long time. Anyway, my solution has been to buy the cheapest, simplest eBike available knowing full well that it won't have much of a life span. With a $1500 eBike that's doable, but not so much fun with a $5,000 bike. And yes, the top tier vendors supposedly have these long warranties that people go on about, but when you read the fine print such as that of Haibike the coverage is laughable - such as not covering labor costs, or excluding so many items - this is never pointed out in the reviews, but we sure hear about it from forum members who have had problems with their expensive bikes and are trying to get warranty repairs.
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
It's short sighted of manufacturers to constantly change designs and not offer replacement parts for at least 10 years.

There is no comparison between ebikes and cars. Automobile manufactures did the same thing until the federal government stepped in and forced the auto industry to stock replacement parts for a minimum of 10 years. That forced makers to think hard about yearly changes. If they change designs every year for 10 years, that's 10 sets of parts sitting in a big warehouse for a long time. It's no longer cost effective to make yearly changes.

The federal government declared ebikes are bikes, they are regulated as consumer products, no different than a toaster. The good in that is lower prices due in part to the lack of import duties and lower taxes. Additionally the feds aren't in every factory, so to speak, telling them what they can and cannot do. Less regulation always mean lower prices. Being regulated a consumer product and not a transportation product has also impacted the laws on where and how we ride our bikes. Unfortunately there are downsides, as we well know. A good manufacturer would think of the future, not just the here and now. Sure, without the industry there's no product, but without the customers there's no industry or product. As long as they keep getting the money they're getting, they'll keep selling the obsolescence they're selling.
 

Mike H.

New Member
directly from ProdecoTech.....

Hi Mike,

I saw your note about wanting a replacement battery for the Outlaw SS. (BTW- Awesome bike! That is my own personal ebike as well!) We only sell the extended range version batteries now which is the 48v/12Ah version. The cost is $799.95 with a $50 flat rate shipping fee or $849. Let me know if you would like to order this and I can help you take that order directly over the phone.

Thanks and best regards,

Don Moore

Director, North American Sales, Marketing and Service
Email: don.moore@prodecotech.com
Main Line: (954)-651-9396 x2007
Toll Free: (866) 239-8688
 

Nova Haibike

Well-Known Member
It's short sighted of manufacturers to constantly change designs and not offer replacement parts for at least 10 years.
With regards to bicycles in general, a lot of it has to do with the fact that manufacturers do not make the entire bike; they only make the frame. Also, most bike companies do not even own their own factory, they merely contract with someplace in China. Add in the fact that all the other components are made by other companies. Lastly, the bicycle industry is tiny. While roughly the same number of bikes are sold as cars, the vast majority of bikes sales are kids bikes and then department store bikes. An e-bike model might sell in the hundreds or a few thousand, not the hundreds of thousands like a car or truck.
 

D..

New Member
Well voltage is voltage. There are plenty of Li battery packs available to adapt to your bike. Probably higher capacity than the original. $600+ for an OEM pack if available or $370 for a universal type??

I have a good cell pack with a bad board inside (Samsung) No boards to be found sadly.
 

buzzard

New Member
HIC Battery in Littleton, Colorado is evaluating a third battery for me. Patrick Duggan. hicbattery.com. He also sells drop-in replacements for Prodecotech.