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Hi Dominic, I have so far only done around 4 short trips on my ‘City’ but a couple of those have been around 9 miles with a couple of serious hills, and the battery meter doesn’t move from full, i’m curious about its range too and hoping to get time to take it for a longer run soon, but it is already apparent from my short trips that the range is going to be better.
Regarding upgrading the batteries on the existing bike, I priced this project up last year, and it wasn’t worth the cost and effort, it came out around £750 to replace with Lithium, which meant it was cheaper to buy the new model instead.
The problem with a conversion is it is not just a case of sticking in some different batteries, you also need a compatible charger, and an on-board BMS (Battery Management System) as Lithium needs a specific management system to prevent over discharge.
Without a BMS you will fry the batteries the first time voltage drops below a certain point, there is also a possibility of the controller having to be changed too, so the whole lot adds up to quite a sum of money, hence the higher asking price of the new model, which I felt was still far better value than attempting a DIY conversion, especially given the potential for things to go wrong.
Apparently Lithium batteries behave very differently to Lead-Acid, there is no gradual fall off in performance, i’m told its a bit like running out of fuel in a car, you get full performance until the BMS detects a voltage drop to the pre-set minimum level, and it then shuts everything down to protect the batteries.