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Hello,

I love my fiat 500e, but the range I get is closer to 70/75 miles than anything else advertised. It's fine but I always feels that I'm missing the extra 30 or 40 miles that would allow me move around more. Seeing many other EV going 120 or even 250 miles makes me really wish I could have the same kind of range. Looking around I saw that the 63Ah cells could be swapped with up to 120Ah cells (from Samsung apparently) as the volume is similar. I'm sure this is not as simple as it looks but was wondering if people had looked into this and found ways to increase the overall range of the car.

thanks
 

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if you're really wanting the increased range, you could buy a "used" i3 pack with the 90Ah cells, strip it of the packs, and swap them into the 500e's pack.

Car-Part has a few packs from the IIHS test cars (brand new, but crashed) listed for $8000 each.
 

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I saw the scuderia one yes. Very expensive. I was thinking more of a DIY methodology where I can buy the cells and swap them out..
 

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Far as my reading has taken me, Nobody here has done it yet. I've only seen a few pictures of the 500e batteries disassembled, but it looks fairly easy to me. Note: you'll need to pull the rear suspension completely to get the battery out, thus a lift is probably the best way to go about it.
 

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I love my fiat 500e, but the range I get is closer to 70/75 miles than anything else advertised. It's fine but I always feels that I'm missing the extra 30 or 40 miles that would allow me move around more.
A) You know about range-maximizing tips, right? (#1 by a GIGANTIC margin is "drive a bit slower")

B) Consider battery upgrade cost vs $3k for the upcoming DC rapid charge kit which would add the 30 miles you asked for in about 9 minutes IF you have local DC chargers.
 

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A) You know about range-maximizing tips, right? (#1 by a GIGANTIC margin is "drive a bit slower")

B) Consider battery upgrade cost vs $3k for the upcoming DC rapid charge kit which would add the 30 miles you asked for in about 9 minutes IF you have local DC chargers.
Hey man :) Could you please share a bit more info on your B statement? keywords/links to the DC charge kit are hugely appreciated. Thank you!
 

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Wow. I never heard of this. (sorry if this is a silly question. I am not a car guy.) Can this be done by a mechanic here in the states?
That is not an easy upgrade. Its completely different cells and bms units. The removed pack I saw from them is very custom and probably has atleast couple 100 hours of labor in it. They rebuilt the entire battery pack.

Best bet it to get a battery pack from recent i3(17' up) and take the 94ah or 120ah SDI cells. which are the same type of prismatics in the 500e.
The 120ah cells should give our Fiats a 160mi range or more

Right now its still fairly unheard of swap for most EVs outside of leafs (or leaves?).

I would trust one of the EV conversion shops like EVwest as they actually break down alot of wrecked EVs to salvage cells for builds and they typically have pallets of wholesale cells.
I have a feeling they could do the SDI cell swap.

Another one which is more inline with swapping cells within factory builds is Véhicules électriques Simon André in Quebec. They have working upgrades using factory parts for the first gens of leaf and volt at the moment. And I believe they are expanding to other models.
 

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Reviving an old thread, here. Being an electronics and car tinkerer, the idea of swapping the cells to a newer-gen cell with more density would be a really fun project regardless of the time required. The recent i3 having the same prismatics as the 500e, would the larger density cells not confuse the system? I'd imagine at some point that the charge controller and BMS are programmed to monitor how much overall kwh have been pushed into the battery pack beyond their original programming, or do you guys think it's all voltage based instead? I would figure the rest of the software such as the GOM would self adjust to the new capacity after a few drives.
 

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Reviving an old thread, here. Being an electronics and car tinkerer, the idea of swapping the cells to a newer-gen cell with more density would be a really fun project regardless of the time required. The recent i3 having the same prismatics as the 500e, would the larger density cells not confuse the system? I'd imagine at some point that the charge controller and BMS are programmed to monitor how much overall kwh have been pushed into the battery pack beyond their original programming, or do you guys think it's all voltage based instead? I would figure the rest of the software such as the GOM would self adjust to the new capacity after a few drives.
Mostly voltage IMO. Cell level ODDV is what’s gonna trigger protections. Shouldn’t matter cell Wh/Ah capacity.

We really need to meet some folks who worked on this project. Buy em a round or two! Think of the nuggets of info we could glean? Or, find some Bosch/SDI folks we can bribe?
 

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  • It fails requiring resale of the i3 cells :rolleyes:
Considering ONE module from the I3 sells for ~$1200 5,3kWh BMW i3 battery module 45V 120Ah | eBay (well, only one seller, not sure if they actually sell)

AND, you can buy a full pack (well, with the 90Ah instead of 120Ah cells) for $4K-$7K

That means you can potentially sell the whole pack in modules for ~$20k

So, it might not be a bad deal either way.

Now if I only had the extra space, cash, and time to drop on an I3 pack, I'd totally be down for trying it out.
 

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And how is it known larger capacity SDI cells utilize the same physical package dimensions?

Seems like I remember reading something about that it but can't recall any specifics.
 

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I'm pretty sure I saw specs somewhere that the next capacity up from ours (90?) is has the exact same physical dimensions, but the one up from that (120?) is 10mm taller, which might or might not fit.
 

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Really need drawn documentation to know what can fit. 10mm difference most likely a deal breaker. However, same size and physical format configuration should be rebuildable.

They sure use a lot of pretty people showing off their prismatic automotive cells.

108296

108297

108299


The more info we can find about where 500e cells were previously and possibly currently manufactured would be quite useful info.

We’re sorta dealing with legacy product dating back 2013 but all things considered there may well be reworkable replacement cells with some increased energy density.

My feeling is that as need arises products and services to satisfy usually emerge. The fact there’s very little services offered for rebuilding/replacing 500e packs may indicate fairly low failure rate in the wild. 10 year mark will be interesting for sure.
 

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If you guys haven't seen the 500e battery tear down on youtube, you should check it out.

Evolving World


In my opinion, Fiat left quite a bit of space in the main enclosure, that I think a number of the taller prismatic cells would fit. 10mm difference shouldn't be much of a fit challenge. Its looks extremely simple to take the cells out of the main enclosure for replacement.

The issue EW brought up was removing the cells from their individual cases, he thinks the cases were spot welded together after placing the SDIs inside. But I can't be sure as he seemed to not want attempt to remove the cells for his next project.
 

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It's possible they made space for the 10mm-taller cells, just in case, ready for a cheap stock range spec increase in later model years (that they later deemed unnecessary).
 
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