Battery Shipping

George S.

Well-Known Member
http://electric-fatbike.com/2015/12...dirty-little-secret-haz-mat-battery-shipping/

Karl has a lot of information about shipping batteries. Apparently Bionz got hit with a large fine for some shipping issues. Pedego had a massive recall of batteries, and there have been fires.

It's disappointing to see a Chinese vendor adopting this approach to the regulations:

lith customs.JPG
 
Last edited:
I noticed about halfway through a video tour of Grin Technologies, that they are experimenting with small packs comprised of 18650 cells potted into ~100Whr packs. It seems the idea is to increase shipping safety, comply with the shipping restrictions on larger packs and allow for modular packs of varying sizes. Seems like a cool idea. Also, could increase battery longevity, since if one of the 100Whr modules went bad, it could be replaced.

There is a video showing a thermal runaway test induced by short circuiting one of these packs. Lots of noxious smoke was liberated, but it didn't appear to explode or burst into flames:

 

RoyL

Active Member
The battery i ordered with the BBS02 from BTN China was supposed to be 48v 13aH, it arrived like this, 11.1v 5500mAH!! Apparently they have to sticker it like this to get past FedEx/TNT checks.

IMG_20150618_161715.jpg
 

Adrian

Active Member
This beggars the question, what will happen to battery shipping when the big shipping companies wise up to this kind of fakery...?
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
There's a lot of proof these battery companies in China are not only breaking shipping company's rules, but laws and possibly endangering people with cheap batteries. Lithium ion batteries have gotten a lot of bad press lately over hover boards catching fire and apparently many have caught fire while discharging in use. Fear over this stuff could lead to bans on air freight as it has on passenger flights. There's currently a CPSC investigation over this. Amazon states they will only list U.S.-certified boards.

It might be important to ask about certification and/or labeling from your seller before putting your money down on a battery pack.

 

Doker44

New Member
Batteries have become small and powerful. This allows excellent performance in products like bikes, R/C products, etc but the down fall is fire hazard. It is recommended R/C batteries be charged in fire proof bags and they recently stopped allowing electronic cigarettes from being checked. Of course the downfall for our community is batteries cant be shipped quick. Many hobbies are having the same issues our hobby is having.
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
It's disappointing to see a Chinese vendor adopting this approach to the regulations
I ran across a listing on Amazon for a 48v, 15ah battery for $340. Great price! No free Prime shipping offered and I then saw the shipping was $10 and knew something wasn't quite right.
bat shipping.JPG
 

George S.

Well-Known Member
This is nuts. I looked at the listing on Amazon (Search 48v 15 ah) and found a LiPo battery. The weight and dimensions, and the 1P spec, suggest it is a LiPo. They are just pouch batteries, but very high energy density, so relatively explosive. LiFePO4 are low energy density pouches, and much safer.

Not sure how Hobby King is shipping their LiPos these days. They must sell tons. For ebikes the cost of better cells, like Panasonic or Samsung, has come down enough to make LiPos pretty obsolete. LiPos are handy. You can have a 'real' ebike battery pack that weighs 3 pounds.
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
It's all nuts! For quick profit. If even a cargo plane with a small crew goes down due to "ebike batteries", the price of everything in our sandbox goes up. And ebikes really will have killed someone.
 

RoyL

Active Member
while we`re on the subject of battery cells which do you think are the best/most efficient for an ebike build?
 

George S.

Well-Known Member
http://lunacycle.com/batteries/packs/48v/48v-panasonic-11-5ah-13-5ah-shark-pack-with-charger/

I have one of these in transit. They offer either a high capacity cell, or a high output cell. I'm hoping the slim pack will give my build a Euro look:). I'll get cleaner wiring with very short runs. It seems like 48v is now the standard. Luna has different packs

If you go with EM3ev he will basically give you high capacity cells, or high discharge cells. He uses Samsung. Depends on what your amp loads will be.

http://lunacycle.com/blog/18650-cell-ebikes/

The LiFePO4 from China are really low cost, but I'm not sure they are shipping by the regs. The Ebay vendors have good ratings. I have a pack. The only issue is size and weight.
 

Ann M.

Well-Known Member
As an ebike dealer who has sold a limited number of these self balancing scooters, it is UL, Underwriters Laboratories, for the Charger that is best, and CE/ UN 38.3 that you look for on the battery. Which is primarily found on LG/Samsung batteries with a good BMS along with a few other Asian brands who have taken the time to get certification. There are no US manufacturers of these scooters, NONE. Any bearing a US branding label were contracted and built in China. Take a close look at the pattern on the wheels and the body panels and you see that any claiming to be US made are the same as those in China. With that said, it is no different than with other inexpensive ebikes; if all you look at is the pricetag and go super cheap then somewhere a corner is cut.

As I have stated before, there are distinct differences in the quality of Lithium Ion cells coming from China, so looking for better quality cells along with a decent BMS is worth the few dollars difference in price. Also, it makes a difference if the manufacturer is willing to communicate with the buyer. Mine has provided certification and I opened up a couple of the scooters to verify what battery, etc. was actually inside. Did my homework before purchasing for my customers. Can't prevent folks from doing foolish things that might cause a problem; however, did what was possible to get a quality product and more importantly, EDUCATE people about proper charging protocols...let the batteries cool before charging and don't leave the unit on a charger 24/7. These particular packs are small and will be fully charged in 2 hours or so. Use a timer and a surge protector...all standard info from our shop.

What Amazon did helps create a rapid push back on the scooter manufacturers that inferior product will not be tolerated. That's good feedback which will help weed out the Asian brokers looking for a quick buck in the US market. Reminds me of the trendy cheap scooters that used to be sold in parking lots and street corners 15 years ago. Some people got hurt and US Customs, along with CPSC, stepped in and whole container loads of inferior product were being detained/refused. That altered the manufacturers process within a couple of years.
 

EddieJ

Well-Known Member
while we`re on the subject of battery cells which do you think are the best/most efficient for an ebike build?


I have a company that follow me on Instagram who's name has currently slipped my mind, but the quality of their battery packs has to be seen to be believed. They are a work of art and the workmanship is 1st class. I'm sure that they use Panasonic batteries, and I would imagine that by gauging the quality of their work, and the tooling/machinery that they use, that they aren't going to be using rubbish cells. Samsung would be good another good bet.

The problem that you might have is sorting the genuine from non genuine. I have no idea how you would do that.
 

RoyL

Active Member
I have a company that follow me on Instagram who's name has currently slipped my mind, but the quality of their battery packs has to be seen to be believed. They are a work of art and the workmanship is 1st class. I'm sure that they use Panasonic batteries, and I would imagine that by gauging the quality of their work, and the tooling/machinery that they use, that they aren't going to be using rubbish cells. Samsung would be good another good bet.

The problem that you might have is sorting the genuine from non genuine. I have no idea how you would do that.

@ Eddie, that wouldn`t be Insat around the London area, guy called Jimmy?

Have exchanged a few emails, seems to be well clued up on battery building, they use the best cells,

see here -> http://www.ebay.co.uk
 

George S.

Well-Known Member
I have a company that follow me on Instagram who's name has currently slipped my mind, but the quality of their battery packs has to be seen to be believed. They are a work of art and the workmanship is 1st class.


In the original article, from the first post, Karl mentioned this:

What is the solution to this stupid problem?

I have spent a lot of time thinking about this while sitting on the squatty potty and I have come up with an ingenious solution that absolutely no one is doing yet (that I know of). Sell the ebike batteries in kits and ship the batteries in separate shipments of 300Wh or less without Haz Mat declarations. The buyer gets their battery kit in several different shipments, one with the case and 300Wh of batteries and a couple other shipments of loose 18650 cells of 300Wh or less. They unscrew the case which has contacts for the batteries instead of spot welding (see image) and just put the cells in with the proper orientation and screw it back together. If one of the batteries gets put in backwards then it will blow up in their face but if the kit buyer is not a complete idiot then it should work. Of course, if you make the kit idiot-proof, then someone will probably just make a better idiot.

If they can make battery cases that are a completely integrated system that helps a lot. Some of us were involved with the Karmic Koben, and that was going to use a battery case that had no welds (NTS). It didn't seem to pan out. There are clear issues of resistance and battery balance as you build big packs. It is tough to say where this technology stands. I'm not sure the packs need to be a work of art. I think batteries are the driver of electric transport, so I like simple and efficient. For basic bikes, the battery is the main thing, price and quality. I'm not sure people realize how much this aspect of ebikes has changed. The shipping really tends to expose the garbage side of things, the Aliexpress hover batteries that work out to a dollar a cell. It should be possible to get graded and certified cells.
 

George S.

Well-Known Member
It's all nuts! For quick profit. If even a cargo plane with a small crew goes down due to "ebike batteries", the price of everything in our sandbox goes up. And ebikes really will have killed someone.
J.R.

It doesn't seem to be too big a deal to do a domestic shipment. It will have to go by truck. This package stayed in Gardena for 4 days. I figured they wouldn't put a hazmat on just any truck, so maybe that was the delay. I called UPS on the 4th day, looking for information. After an hour with UPS, I knew less than when I started. They don't seem to want to say anything about hazmat shipping. Can't say what it really added to the cost, but maybe $20-30 to me?

Luna Cycle said they were doing their batteries by the book, and I really wondered if it would be a big hit, so I was pretty pleased. I'm with you, not risking air crews.

ups lith.JPG
 

Doker44

New Member
I just shipped a 48V 11.6AH battery. I had to put the red/white hazmat envelop which contains a little Velcro so it can be opened and closed. I had to put four sections of the hazmat sheet and OP/950A sheet in the envelop. I had to put three Hazmat stickers neatly on one side of the box which included a UN3480 sticker that had to be placed in the diamond configuration. So yes its a pain.

On another note I called FedEx to have them hold the battery in their warehouse after they tried to delver so I wont have to take off from work and sit around all day waiting for them. I was told it wasnt possible because they dont hold hazmat in their warehouses...what!...doesnt make alot of sense because it had to be in warehouses and trucks at some point.