Mom of one

New Member
Hello ebikers,
I'm a single mom from Toronto and once resident of Copenhagen. I'm so used to biking everyday that returning to Canada was a bit of a shock. I have a heart condition and a toddler so biking safely and daily wasn't in the picture for me, until I found a Panasonic ebike on a recent visit to Asia.
It seems like a great solution to my predicament of being dependant on public transit and not holding a drivers licence. Plus Ebikes in Japan are considerably cheaper.

The model is a Gyutto Annys BE-ENMA033. They call them mamacharis in Japan (loosely translated: mama chariot) because they are designed to carry up to two kids and your stuff. They are kind of workhorses.

However getting the bike here and with all the pieces has been much more of a challenge then I had imagined.
I'm a newbie to ebike said so forgive my ignorance but the battery remains in Tokyo until I can find a company who is willing to pack, sign the paperwork and ship it.
Any knowledge about shipping Li-ion batteries would be helpful. I'm getting tons of no's and one shipping company told me there is an embargo. But FedEx claims it can be shipped. I just need a third party to pack it according to regulation and sign off on it.

So I have the bike frame here and I have two options.
Now I'm asking for your collective expertise.
I could pay a small fortune and have the custom battery shipped to toronto. Then at least I would retain the custom casing.

Or I could rebuild a battery here. I haven't been able to figure out how to do that yet. Or the tricky part of adapting it to the housing bracket. I can't even figure out the type of Lithium battery it is. I am working on getting the MSDS, but as for now all the info is in Japanese.

Specs: 25.2 V 8.9 Ah
Mid drive brushless motor.


Looking forward to feed back!
Mom of one
 

George S.

Well-Known Member
I'm thinking this may be it?

jpn ebk.jpg

The battery is in a 'custom position' but there may be other battery cases that would fit there. The nominal voltage is probably the same number of cells as in a US 24v. So you might want to find a 24v and 10 to 15 Amp Hour battery that can be adapted to fit there. The easy option would be to put the battery in the front basket, if this is the bike. Then you might just want a battery made as a flat pack, in a protective case. Lots of places, in front. The battery might weigh 7 pounds.

You'd have to determine if you can find the two basic battery terminals. Some batteries are designed so you have to use the battery of the manufacturer. Generally, you just need to get the positive and negative terminals correctly.

I don't know who to suggest as a battery vendor. I have bought batteries on Ebay from China.

I would try to find a shop that would be able to determine if they can use a different battery, where they would put it, etc. Then you could decide where to buy a suitable battery. Prices might be $250 to $600.

It's an interesting bike, if this is the bike.

Good luck.
 

JoePah

Well-Known Member
Hi Mom!
That bike has a tiny, low tech battery and you shouldn't waste your time trying to import it.. Definitely leave the battery behind and take the bike. Sell the Charger and battery pack on japanese craigslist..lol

Just get detailed photographs and dimensions of the battery.

Contact Luna Cycle in CA.. They are very reasonable, and not too far from you.

Another great vendor who might help you is Golden Motors Canada.. That guy has an excellent reputation.

In either case, they will probably talk you into upgrading the bbattery to 36 v. And a new charger... And maybe a new controller.. just talk to them.

http://lunacycle.com/batteries/packs/

http://www.goldenmotor.ca/categories/Batteries/Batteries/
 

Mom of one

New Member
I'm thinking this may be it?

View attachment 4688

The battery is in a 'custom position' but there may be other battery cases that would fit there. The nominal voltage is probably the same number of cells as in a US 24v. So you might want to find a 24v and 10 to 15 Amp Hour battery that can be adapted to fit there. The easy option would be to put the battery in the front basket, if this is the bike. Then you might just want a battery made as a flat pack, in a protective case. Lots of places, in front. The battery might weigh 7 pounds.

You'd have to determine if you can find the two basic battery terminals. Some batteries are designed so you have to use the battery of the manufacturer. Generally, you just need to get the positive and negative terminals correctly.

I don't know who to suggest as a battery vendor. I have bought batteries on Ebay from China.

I would try to find a shop that would be able to determine if they can use a different battery, where they would put it, etc. Then you could decide where to buy a suitable battery. Prices might be $250 to $600.

It's an interesting bike, if this is the bike.

Good luck.

Thanks George S
That is the bike!
I have found another casing online with samsung cells. Its a knock off and will fit but I think I have to bulk order.
Its amazing to me that Chinese companies manage to get batteries shipped, while an individual must pay a fortune to get one on a cargo plane.

I will look into all the options you have suggested.

You brought up some questions I have been pondering. The conversion between my battery and a US volt battery. Panasonic claims that the bike can do 25 km full assist and 47 km low assist. So it never sounded like a weak battery to me. There is in fact a step down on offer too. and then an 13.6 Ah also.

These bikes are ubiquitous in Tokyo and they are basically designed to be the mom's workhorse. They aren't designed to go very fast and the have a stretched frame with a low centre of gravity. Infact the model I purchased in designed for people smaller then 157 cm. Basically small moms with 2 kids.

Its a very interesting angle on ebiking I think.
Do you have any thoughts on storing batteries over the winter? What ever I end up with wont be ridden for a few months at least.
 

Mom of one

New Member
Hi Mom!
That bike has a tiny, low tech battery and you shouldn't waste your time trying to import it.. Definitely leave the battery behind and take the bike. Sell the Charger and battery pack on japanese craigslist..lol

Just get detailed photographs and dimensions of the battery.

Contact Luna Cycle in CA.. They are very reasonable, and not too far from you.

Another great vendor who might help you is Golden Motors Canada.. That guy has an excellent reputation.

In either case, they will probably talk you into upgrading the bbattery to 36 v. And a new charger... And maybe a new controller.. just talk to them.

http://lunacycle.com/batteries/packs/

http://www.goldenmotor.ca/categories/Batteries/Batteries/

Thanks JoePah for the reply.

I have been wondering about the battery specs here vs. the specs I have been seeing in Japan. Panasonic claims this battery can do 25 km on full assist and 47 km on low assist. I'm not sure how inflated that is. What do you think the difference would be with a 36 V?
Selling the battery might be the way to go. They sell for 350 $ CND over there.
 

Mom of one

New Member
Thanks George S
That is the bike!
I have found another casing online with samsung cells. Its a knock off and will fit but I think I have to bulk order.
Its amazing to me that Chinese companies manage to get batteries shipped, while an individual must pay a fortune to get one on a cargo plane.

I will look into all the options you have suggested.

You brought up some questions I have been pondering. The conversion between my battery and a US volt battery. Panasonic claims that the bike can do 25 km full assist and 47 km low assist. So it never sounded like a weak battery to me. There is in fact a step down on offer too. and then an 13.6 Ah also.

These bikes are ubiquitous in Tokyo and they are basically designed to be the mom's workhorse. They aren't designed to go very fast and the have a stretched frame with a low centre of gravity. Infact the model I purchased in designed for people smaller then 157 cm. Basically small moms with 2 kids.

Its a very interesting angle on ebiking I think.
Do you have any thoughts on storing batteries over the winter? What ever I end up with wont be ridden for a few months at least.
Thanks George S

This is a close up of the battery. The charger is actually a 100 V as well so I need a converter to charge the battery. I'm not sure if that has any impact on a new battery.

Do you know if control panels and sensors on Ebikes are at all universal? The manual wont help anyone over here.
Thanks again George Sbattery1.jpg battery2.jpg battery3.jpg battery6.jpg GyuttoAnnys.jpg
 

George S.

Well-Known Member
That's a really nice design. Looking at the battery, it's a little more complicated than what I was hoping. The mount looks like it has 5 terminals, so there may be a circuit in there to discourage using non-Panasonic batteries. That's what they do with their cameras.

You might find a single battery on Aliexpress, rather than Alibaba. Not sure. As far as the shipping from China, it is cheap now, but they are gambling no one will open the shipments. Legitimate shipping from China is very expensive. None of the air transport companies want Li Ion batteries on their airplanes without complicated packaging.

If you can get the battery, the best way to store for a few months is at about half charge. If there are 'charge' lights you can check every month or so, to see if it is too far below a half. It's not a big battery, around 9 AH as marked. But the low speed ebikes go farther. The voltage is not a problem if it is a 250w motor, which is what most of the world uses as the upper limit. If you can get a battery with more AH, it's generally a good idea.

I hope you get it working. I think most of the other stuff on the bike could be worked out with trial and error, if you had the power source.

(Edit-- Japan does use 100 volts, so you would need an adapter or transformer)
 

Mom of one

New Member
That's a really nice design. Looking at the battery, it's a little more complicated than what I was hoping. The mount looks like it has 5 terminals, so there may be a circuit in there to discourage using non-Panasonic batteries. That's what they do with their cameras.

You might find a single battery on Aliexpress, rather than Alibaba. Not sure. As far as the shipping from China, it is cheap now, but they are gambling no one will open the shipments. Legitimate shipping from China is very expensive. None of the air transport companies want Li Ion batteries on their airplanes without complicated packaging.

If you can get the battery, the best way to store for a few months is at about half charge. If there are 'charge' lights you can check every month or so, to see if it is too far below a half. It's not a big battery, around 9 AH as marked. But the low speed ebikes go farther. The voltage is not a problem if it is a 250w motor, which is what most of the world uses as the upper limit. If you can get a battery with more AH, it's generally a good idea.

I hope you get it working. I think most of the other stuff on the bike could be worked out with trial and error, if you had the power source.

(Edit-- Japan does use 100 volts, so you would need an adapter or transformer)
Yes George S
It is a 250 W motor.
I have found a copy of the battery but its bulk order unfortunately.
I'm looking at all options at this point.
I have a cousin in South Korea who may have a sea freight contact. He works in the automotive parts industry in Seoul.
I also have a shipping company possibly willing to do the paper work on the battery and ship it via Fedex. Not cheap.

And some of the links here look useful, especially Emv3ev offered by flymeaway. They are in Hong kong and may have an idea for these models.

I am however pretty confused about how the V vs the Ah changes. Nothing seems consistent in the this relm I have noticed. My battery is a 25.2 V, often called a 26 V. But I can't find any batteries internationally that are a 26 8.9Ah. They seem to be 10 or 12 Ah. So how do I determine if they will be compatible?
 

George S.

Well-Known Member
With batteries and motors, voltage matters more than amperage. If you have a 24 volt motor, you might be able to use a somewhat higher voltage, but everything will be stressed. The normal battery types in the US are 24, 36, 48 and 52.

With a 24 volt battery, you should be fine, and a 36 volt might work. Amp hours are like the size of a fuel, so more is just more. Batteries work more efficiently with a larger 'tank'. I believe a 24 volt Lithium Ion battery is 7 common cells in series, and the 36 volt is 10, so they just link more batteries to increase the voltage. For the 250w system, you can get by with 24 volts.

Sending an email to EM3ev (Paul) is a good idea, since he has connections to manufacturing. He designs batteries and advanced motors. But he might know someone who could supply the battery, or equivalent. Paul does all his battery shipments 'by the book', and it is expensive.

The other way to go is to get at the controller for the battery and find where the power goes into the system. The five connectors on the battery are a place to start. Someone might be willing to disassemble the bike far enough to get at the battery connections, into the controller, and put a more standard connector somewhere. I'm not sure how the bike is set up. You can't work from the battery side, like to find the plus and minus connection, without the battery. All you would want to do is take another 24 volt battery, hook it to the correct terminals, and see if the bike will power up. There could be circuitry to force you to use their battery.
 

Jolly

Member
@Mom of one,

Definitely give Paul @ Em3Ev a email. Also, since you are in Toronto give Greg @ Ezriders ebike store a call or go to his store on Danforth in Leslieville. He might be able to help.
 

Mom of one

New Member
@George S.
Thanks for all your insight George. I am actually having problems keeping my battery in Tokyo. Panasonic wont give a MSDS on it because they claim that they have never made one and recommends that I don't export it or the bike.:mad: Of course the bike is already exported.

So the only chance I have at saving the battery is getting Panasonic's Product Safety Data Sheet (PSDS) which they seem to produce many of. I just cant figure out what type of Li-ion battery it could be. It states that there are 28 cells in the casing. I don't understand how the cells break down in size to make up 25.2 V. Is that a finite number or does it bend. I have heard people call a 25.2 V a 26. And I have found a data sheet for Li-ion by Panasonic that are 3 V cells. That is for a Manganese dioxide lithium battery.

Any idea what I could be looking for?

I'm getting a little worried that the bike will be wasted.....:(
 

George S.

Well-Known Member
The 28 cells sounds right. That would be 7 in series with 4 rows, so about 25 volts and about 10 ah. So that is fixed. I figure that is a Material Safety Data Sheet, from a quick Google search.

When I Google the battery # NKY450B02 I get a listing for something that looks like your battery

(Link Removed - No Longer Exists)

(Link Removed - No Longer Exists)

Also here:

https://www.jitensyakan.com/item_detail.php?id=108

The specifications do match.

At least these vendors have the products in hand, so they can handle shipping. A lot of this stuff is in Japanese, translated mechanically. The price is pretty decent, I guess?
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
@Mom of one

I've been following your thread with interest, I'm no expert in battery tech but with the clues in your conversation with George it sparked a memory of 26v batteries I've read about. Originally it was in connection with aftermarket Bosch batteries in this thread, made by a German company using Panasonic cells. I retraced the information I posted in that thread and came up with the following.

Company: E-Bike Vision http://www.microsofttranslator.com/bv.aspx?from=&to=en&a=http://www.e-bike-vision.de/produkte/power-pack-ersatzakkus/fuer-das-26-v-panasonic-antriebssystem/

Original site in German: (Link Removed - No Longer Exists)

Bike blog with additional information on Panasonic 26v battery: http://www.50cycles.com/blog/panasonic-electric-bike-batteries/

*Note: Good pictures of the battery in the above links, along with specs.

I know Germany isn't North America, but it is a lot closer than Asia and I believe this German company does ship to N.A. for a variety of bikes. The other possible good news is that the 26v, 10ah battery can in most cases be replaced with the upgraded 26v, 18, 21 or 25ah battery.

I'm not sure this information is of any help, but I hope it is! Good luck.
 
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Mom of one

New Member
The 28 cells sounds right. That would be 7 in series with 4 rows, so about 25 volts and about 10 ah. So that is fixed. I figure that is a Material Safety Data Sheet, from a quick Google search.

When I Google the battery # NKY450B02 I get a listing for something that looks like your battery

(Link Removed - No Longer Exists)

(Link Removed - No Longer Exists)

Also here:

https://www.jitensyakan.com/item_detail.php?id=108

The specifications do match.

At least these vendors have the products in hand, so they can handle shipping. A lot of this stuff is in Japanese, translated mechanically. The price is pretty decent, I guess?

Thanks so much @George S.
If the figures make sense then it makes things a little easier for me. I am considering buying a new one. But with all the problems on the Japanese end of things, I am doubtful that it will actually get shipped. Panasonic wont even give paper work for it.
But I am still trying to stay optimistic that I will solve this problem somehow. I may just end up as you suggested. Hooking up a new pack and putting it in the basket.

Thanks again!
 

Mom of one

New Member
@J.R.
Thanks for your input J.R. I have actually seen this battery in my research and I'm glad you brought it up again. There is a serious learning curve to all this time me. I am not very mechanical but I'm a a pretty good researcher.

I am going to look into this battery and see what shipping options are as well. The mounts look to be exactly the same. And the reason I bought a Panasonic over a few cheaper brands was because of their presence outside of Japan.

It is an interesting problem, also in a time when we would figure we can get anything mail order. But it's quite a puzzle. I think there is a lot of opportunity for the kid carrying bikes like the one I have bought to make a go of it in North America. If there had been a reasonably priced option here I would have happily bought it. But in my research while I was abroad I couldn't find one.
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
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Mom of one

New Member
Thanks again @George S. I am getting a chance to read over your posts. I'm a bit of a slow learner sometimes when I comes to this kind of thing. But I think I'm getting it a little.

Paul at Em3ev wrote me back asking for more details on the battery. I have given him specs. But other then that and photos, I'm not sure what he would need. Do you have any thoughts on what a bike mechanic would need in this case?
 

George S.

Well-Known Member
Hi,

No problem on working this out.

Basically you have a bike without a battery. The battery is 24 volts. If you can install another battery, in the front basket or anywhere else, the battery has to be 24 volts, to be safe, or maybe around 36 volts. I don't think you need to go to a 36 volt, for the size of motor. The way they connect the battery to the ebike is not simple. My last factory bike had a battery with two terminals, and I could put connectors on the bike for the battery. They could make it hard to connect anything but the Panasonic pack. That is something a shop would have to try. I'm pretty sure Bosch makes it hard to substitute a battery with a chip or circuit. It's easy when there are just two terminals. The battery slid into these terminals, and I put connectors in the same spot. This isn't permanent, just an experiment, so it's a little rough. Basically I could connect any 36 volt battery to my ebike in this manner. You need a battery that delivers high amperage, but that is what ebike batteries do.

jumper.JPG


The exact battery does seem to be available from Japanese vendors. You'd have to ask them about the shipping. There is also an upgrade or larger battery, apparently. I hope you gave Paul that model number, but I'm not sure if he can build that battery. I've dealt with Rakuten in the US. They are basically a very junior Amazon, and they are a 'mall' for small stores or store fronts. How they would or could ship is something they would have to tell you. I know that a lot of ebike batteries get put in boxes and no one mentions what is inside. They are cracking down on this. They would have the data sheets on the batteries they sell. It would be up to them. I don't know what happens to the original battery, but I guess it is just a 'refugee'.:cool:

I would definitely ask those Japanese vendors who have the battery how they could ship it, and the cost. Otherwise, I think you need to find a local ebike store that is willing to try to figure out how to mount a different battery. That is figuring how to make the connections. Panasonic is a big corporation. They are the folks who tend to lock people in to their batteries and parts. But someone would have to dig around to determine the compatibility. If you could verify that the online vendors, in Japan, have the exact battery, and if the price with shipping is reasonable, that might be the surer bet. Digging around to connect a battery is great if they can determine compatibility in 10 minutes, but anything more is a gamble.

I agree that it's an interesting design, and someone could configure something like that for the US market. I'm not sure what it would take to establish the market. There is a big market for 'cargo' bikes, including the recent RadWagon.