Renault Fluence Z.E. battery

While the dark cloud that was the Better Place bankruptcy may have had a silver lining for some in Israel, in the US that cumulonimbus is wrapped with lithium. Or, more precisely, lithium manganese oxide (LiMn2O4) with a sprinkling of lithium nickel oxide (LiNiO2). That's because a boat load of batteries intended for those erstwhile BP swapping stations have found their way across the Atlantic and into the clutches of our friends over at EVTV.

For the next five days, these 24-kWh packs will be available for a mere $3,600.

If you've been considering rebooting a classic car by installing an electric drivetrain, or perhaps something decidedly more ambitious, this might be a good week to procure the batteries for your project. For the next five days, these 24-kWh packs, manufactured by Automotive Energy Supply Corporation (AESC), will be available for a mere $3,600. That works out to $150 per kWh, which is really (really!) cheap. After Friday, the price will go up to a-not-unreasonable $3,995, or about $166 per kWh. That's likely less than it costs Nissan to put these same (relatively safe) cells in its Leaf.

While this might look like a drop-in sort of solution, it's probably not as easy as it might seem to incorporate a finished pack into any old vehicle. On top of the thorny issue of the battery management system, there is also the fact that the shape of the 640-pound lump – designed to slide up into the rear of the Renault Fluence Z.E. – might not fit into your dream ride. At least, not in the way you might want it too. In fact, EVTV's Jack Rickard tells us he expects customers will take their packs apart and mount the 48 individual battery modules in configurations of their own choosing.

You can get all the specifications and see pictures of the freshly delivered packs over at the EVTV web store. Scroll below for this week's entire episode and you can hear Jack and his co-host Brian Noto discuss their latest haul and do a little battery unboxing. The show is famously lengthy, so if time is an issue skip the first hour and 40 minutes to get right to the pertinent part, or click here for the printed details.