Battery cell shopping guide for 2016


Well-Known Member
Nicely written article by Carl. Didn't realize how much the performance of the 18650 cells have improved just in the last 2 years.

As a point of reference my 2009 A2B Metro with LiMn cells was 36v11.4ah, and weighed ~ 12 lbs, around .410 kWh. So that's about 30 lbs/kWh. Maximum discharge was 2C, and not for long.

The latest and greatest cell according to Carl, is the Panasonic and Sanyo joint venture : The NCR18650GA, or GA cell. This cell does not even get warm at it’s rated 10Amp discharge rate and stores an insane 3500Mah per cell. That's 3C.

Carl's 52v 24.5 Ah pack weighs 12 lbs, or 1.27 kWh. That's 9.5 lbs per kWh, or 1/3 the weight of my old Metro battery.

So in the last 7 years, the performance has increased by at least 50%, and the energy density has tripled, with the same or better reliability.

George S.

Well-Known Member
Karl Gesslein's range of knowledge is staggering. Plus he is a very entertaining writer. Everyone should read Karl, if they care about ebikes.

Right now you can buy those GA cells from Luna for $6 each (50's). So a typical 48 v pack is around $300 worth of cells. Maybe the best cells ever, but a great cell. Shows you what a battery pack should cost. I think the cases go for $50 in China. A BMS is around $50. Someone needs to put it together, do it right. The shipping requirements are significant, with the Hazmat stuff.

The auto companies are driving this. They don't want 2 year packs or 5 year packs, they want 10 year packs. Seems like this should all work out really well for the ebike market.


Active Member are selling these cells and these packs. Dolphin, shark, and larger. 52v GA cell 13.5ah dophin on the way. Make my BBSO2 all it can be. Have a 2nd battery. Now long outings and longer trips are realistic. More power, more distance! And a power source for my BBSHD when it arrives. And George is 100% correct. Karl has probably the most relevant BBSXX information in one place anywhere. And you will definitely smile when you read his articles. Not far behind is Several very good contributers to that site. From those 2 sites you can find most of what you need to know about all things BBSXX

Paul E.

Active Member
Does anyone know if you could use those cells to rebuild something like a Currie iZip battery? Is it likely that all the control electronics, display and the charger would handle the new higher capacity cells to at least charge it full, maybe even display the status correctly?

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
Apparently, the same 3500 mAh GA cells that Luna is selling for $6.4/cell can he bought for $4.8/cell (of course in bulk quantity) from this supplier.
If only there was a way to replace the aging the cells on most E-bikes!!