i-MIEV: Stripping Lithium Cells & Gettin’ Soapy

by Ben N on April 29, 2013


This weekend was finally the first nice weekend of spring. Sure, last week it was snowing, this weekend was 65 degrees and sunny, and now we’ll have rain for the next ten days. Well, that’s spring in Wisconsin for you…

So, it was time for a little spring cleaning, mostly to make some room so that I can keep working on the Mitsubishi i-MIEV electric car.

Already, I removed the battery pack and opened it up, revealing 88 lithium cells and several gallons of Atlantic Ocean. Two of the blocks of cells were easy to get at without removing all the rest, so those are the ones I’ve already pulled. The other 80 cells are all bolted in together, and if you are going to pull one, you may as well pull all.

So, I yanked all the cells from the battery pack! Next, I’ll have to start cracking them down to individual cells and see which ones I can get to take a charge.

I was also able to roll the car out of the garage. Since it was finally above freezing, I gave the car a wash – the first bath it’s had since SuperStorm Sandy! I also stripped off the windshield marker paint and stickers from the auto auction house. After all that, it was starting to come pretty close to looking like a new car again!

Without the weight of the battery pack, the car pushes pretty well, and I was able to spin it around and get it into the garage nose first. This makes it so I can open and close the driver’s door, and should make it a little easier to work on some other parts.

Here’s a pair of videos for you for what I did yesterday, and some photos below showing what the car looks like when it’s actually clean!


To see all the videos on this project, see the YouTube Playlist: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLmHss3DBZUikU6Iae3UlaNH73UojlDIkM


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 JoeS. May 4, 2013 at 9:35 pm

Ben, thank you for continuing to share your experience. Hope that many of the Lithium cells will be salvageable for use on perhaps another project. I was wondering where the battery cooling fan is located?

2 BenN May 5, 2013 at 2:19 pm

Hi Joe!
I shot a video just for you! http://300mpg.org/?p=2382
The fan is on top of the battery pack case. In the video I take the case apart and pull the fan out.

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