Berlingo Van

Do you own or use a EV. Then this is a good place to discuss things.
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Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2013 10:00 am

Berlingo Van

Postby berlingouist » Sat Sep 28, 2013 11:16 am

Hey all,

I am a newbie to electric cars but have a history in others (see my intro bio on welcome thread "Newbie with a Berlingo") and will soon be the co-owner of a Berlingo Electrique van with about 8000 miles on the clock (and around 8 years old at a guess). Unfortunately it seems that the batteries have not been looked after properly and it will not charge beyond about enough energy to provide a 5 mile run, and both the owners and the local specialists say that it is dead and so was to be sold for scrap.

A mate and I think there must be something we can do to save this van in some way or form given that it is such a low mileage vehicle, and such a useful one at that so we have offered the scrap value (ie not much!) and are going to bring it around to my place to have a proper go at recommissioning it and giving it the respect and maintenance it deserves.

Now, I don't yet have the full story, but I am sceptical to say the least of some so called specialist reports, and so want to do a full analysis of what we have here so we can make a plan to go forward.

Reading the forum here show a litany of problems that can occur and so what I first want to compile is a list of all the things we should check. Also, while I have access to the owners, what questions should I be asking about its history to help in a diagnosis?

It seems getting an evLite is the go (or if anyone is near Nottingham can assist with one for a day or so) and then plan from there.

Once we know what we have then we will look at options. Replacing the batteries with original items doesn't seem that viable cost wise, availability wise, or eco-wise that our current limited research shows and so will be looking at other options too. I just don't want to throw them out quite yet (I mean dispose of correctly) if not necessary.

It just may be the van is scrap, but I cannot believe it yet. Even then it could donate a lot of parts for another ev project that we would then consider as the next step. Yes the motors aren't made any more but only 8000miles it should be good for some to come, and all the other bits should come in handy.

So hello, and any list of what we should be checking for a thorough diagnosis would be greatly appreciated. Also what questions to ask for the previous owners to get a complete picture as possible would be very handy too.



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Re: Berlingo Van

Postby timpootle » Sat Sep 28, 2013 5:54 pm

Hello Dik. Welcome aboard.

It sounds like you have done some homework already, and are prepared to fix this van rather than "charge up and hope". It also sounds to me like the previous owner may not know much worth asking him about. The original van on good NiCads did 40 miles all the time, and 60 if you are really careful. Taking out all 4 battery boxes and checking all 27 monoblocks will tell you how many bad ones you have, and hence whether a couple of new NiCads will fix you up or if a complete change of chemistry is called for. There are easier ways, but if you are down to 8 miles per charge I fear you may have bigger problems than a single bad monoblock.

GrumpyB is the expert. He has resuscitated more vans than anyone else now, I think. The EVlite duplicates the function of the Citroen diagnostic tool, Actia/Lexia. Choose for yourself which you want to use.
Tim Crumpton

Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2013 10:00 am

Re: Berlingo Van

Postby berlingouist » Sun Sep 29, 2013 10:16 am

Thanks Tim for your reply.

Yes we are not under any illusions here but we can hope they may have missed something.
If we cannot get the current batteries going then we will plan the next steps and that just may be converting to lead acid to keep her up and running for a few years and learn the joys and pains of ec motoring whilst we save for a new set of what we can only hope are ever cheaper new batteries or maybe pick up something from a new ec car wreck.

To me the important thing is to stop this going to the wrecker and somehow keeping it on the road for now so it doesn't decompose further. We are all doing this for sustainability after all and throwing out an otherwise perfectly good car with so much embodied energy doesn't cut it.

It has been pointed out that this thread is in the wrong place and I apologise for that. I will therefore stop this one and will start a new one in the Berlingo specific thread!


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