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Although many high end vehicles are starting to come with a lithium starter battery as standard equipment, after searching various automotive forums, I found precious little information from owners regarding their performance in actual use. So I decided to purchase a lithium battery and provide some information to anyone interested in applying this relatively new technology. After reviewing the readily available lithium battery options, I purchased an Antigravity RS-30 lithium starter battery. There is considerable information available on the Antigravity web site regarding the company and technical features of the battery, so I won’t repeat all of the information on this forum.

https://shop.antigravitybatteries.com/products/starter-batteries/automotive/rs-30/

Basically, the RS-30 is a 1,200 Cranking Amp, 30 Ah lithium battery with a built-in battery management system and restart function in the event the battery becomes overly discharged. It is dimensionally smaller than the Group 94R (H7) battery supplied in the Challenger, and represents a significant weight savings of 33 pounds. At a price of $699, it’s currently one of the most affordable lithium batteries on the market designed for high performance and daily driver automotive applications. Not cheap by any measure, but a much more competitive price point than the $2,000 lithium batteries of past.

The RS-30 presents a few mounting problems, as it’s smaller in length and width, has no mounting feet like the factory Group 94R battery, and is around 0.375” taller. For now, I elected to temporarily secure the battery using the factory lashing strap, in combination with a second lashing strap under the battery tray and over top. This configuration is plenty secure for a light battery, but the esthetics aren’t too pleasing, and I will eventually look for a more rigid and permanent solution.

After all the terminals and lashing straps were installed, the battery did prove to be very slightly too tall and just barely made contact with the floor underliner. It was only a matter of a few millimeters, but just enough to visibly keep the trunk floor from laying flat. The only contact point was around the negative terminal, and I could probably have ignored the problem, but didn't want anything putting pressure on the terminal. The main issue is the negative terminal being secured with a nut that points up at a 45° angle, and extends beyond the top of the battery. There is sufficient room around the positive terminal, as the factory underliner was molded with a large indentation in that area. The positive cable bundle is also extremely thick and rigid, and allows for almost no adjustment of the battery. I eventually decided to notch a small section of the underliner, which is just some cheap resin and cloth material, so that nothing would touch the battery or terminal.

Following installation of the RS-30, I drove the car for 20 minutes to freshen up the battery before parking for a two-week voltage discharge test. I was initially going to just leave the car unlocked and monitor the voltage daily, but decided to keep the car locked, which activates the alarm, and unlock the car once per day to take the voltage measurement. Since unlocking and locking the car also activates the dash and interior lights, I thought that would add a little additional stress to the battery. The car was not driven and no charge was applied to the battery at any time during the two-week test period. A regular multimeter was used to obtain the voltage readings via the underhood posts. Although there was obviously a slow downward trend, the voltage reserve was incredibly steady. After two weeks, the battery voltage only dropped from an initial reading of 13.34V to a final reading of 13.26V. These readings were almost identical to another RS-30 lithium battery user on one of the Porsche forums that tested his car for four weeks, and recorded a similar voltage drop from 13.30V to 13.13V. At the completion of the test, I left the car unlocked all night and checked the voltage one more time the next morning. I was surprised to discover that the voltage actually recovered slightly to 13.29V. Looking at the simple regression equation from my two-week test, Volts = 13.308 - 0.0039(Days), it appears that after two months, the RS-30 would still retain more than 13.0V, which is truly amazing.

I have read that modern automotive electronics are more compatible with the steady output of a lithium battery, and I found that to generally be true. The idle seems to be a little smoother, and I don’t notice the battery voltage jumping around as much while driving. Starting is instantaneous, although that was not really an issue with my old lead-acid battery either. Initially, my biggest fear was how the battery would react to being stored, and the possibility of reaching the low-voltage shut-off limit. These fears were completely unfounded and the battery continues to perform flawlessly. It also recharges rapidly, as after two weeks of being dormant, it only took a 20 minute drive to restore the full charge of over 13.3V. Note that I do not have any additional electronics installed beyond those supplied by the factory, nor do I sit with the radio playing for long periods relying only on battery power; so my relatively low demand application is probably ideal for a lithium starter battery. I will continue to add to this discussion as new information becomes available.
 

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Although many high end vehicles are starting to come with a lithium starter battery as standard equipment, after searching various automotive forums, I found precious little information from owners regarding their performance in actual use. So I decided to purchase a lithium battery and provide some information to anyone interested in applying this relatively new technology. After reviewing the readily available lithium battery options, I purchased an Antigravity RS-30 lithium starter battery. There is considerable information available on the Antigravity web site regarding the company and technical features of the battery, so I won’t repeat all of the information on this forum.

https://shop.antigravitybatteries.com/products/starter-batteries/automotive/rs-30/

Basically, the RS-30 is a 1,200 Cranking Amp, 30 Ah lithium battery with a built-in battery management system and restart function in the event the battery becomes overly discharged. It is dimensionally smaller than the Group 94R (H7) battery supplied in the Challenger, and represents a significant weight savings of 33 pounds. At a price of $699, it’s currently one of the most affordable lithium batteries on the market designed for high performance and daily driver automotive applications. Not cheap by any measure, but a much more competitive price point than the $2,000 lithium batteries of past.

The RS-30 presents a few mounting problems, as it’s smaller in length and width, has no mounting feet like the factory Group 94R battery, and is around 0.375” taller. For now, I elected to temporarily secure the battery using the factory lashing strap, in combination with a second lashing strap under the battery tray and over top. This configuration is plenty secure for a light battery, but the esthetics aren’t too pleasing, and I will eventually look for a more rigid and permanent solution.

After all the terminals and lashing straps were installed, the battery did prove to be very slightly too tall and just barely made contact with the floor underliner. It was only a matter of a few millimeters, but just enough to visibly keep the trunk floor from laying flat. The only contact point was around the negative terminal, and I could probably have ignored the problem, but didn't want anything putting pressure on the terminal. The main issue is the negative terminal being secured with a nut that points up at a 45° angle, and extends beyond the top of the battery. There is sufficient room around the positive terminal, as the factory underliner was molded with a large indentation in that area. The positive cable bundle is also extremely thick and rigid, and allows for almost no adjustment of the battery. I eventually decided to notch a small section of the underliner, which is just some cheap resin and cloth material, so that nothing would touch the battery or terminal.

Following installation of the RS-30, I drove the car for 20 minutes to freshen up the battery before parking for a two-week voltage discharge test. I was initially going to just leave the car unlocked and monitor the voltage daily, but decided to keep the car locked, which activates the alarm, and unlock the car once per day to take the voltage measurement. Since unlocking and locking the car also activates the dash and interior lights, I thought that would add a little additional stress to the battery. The car was not driven and no charge was applied to the battery at any time during the two-week test period. A regular multimeter was used to obtain the voltage readings via the underhood posts. Although there was obviously a slow downward trend, the voltage reserve was incredibly steady. After two weeks, the battery voltage only dropped from an initial reading of 13.34V to a final reading of 13.26V. These readings were almost identical to another RS-30 lithium battery user on one of the Porsche forums that tested his car for four weeks, and recorded a similar voltage drop from 13.30V to 13.13V. At the completion of the test, I left the car unlocked all night and checked the voltage one more time the next morning. I was surprised to discover that the voltage actually recovered slightly to 13.29V. Looking at the simple regression equation from my two-week test, Volts = 13.308 - 0.0039(Days), it appears that after two months, the RS-30 would still retain more than 13.0V, which is truly amazing.

I have read that modern automotive electronics are more compatible with the steady output of a lithium battery, and I found that to generally be true. The idle seems to be a little smoother, and I don’t notice the battery voltage jumping around as much while driving. Starting is instantaneous, although that was not really an issue with my old lead-acid battery either. Initially, my biggest fear was how the battery would react to being stored, and the possibility of reaching the low-voltage shut-off limit. These fears were completely unfounded and the battery continues to perform flawlessly. It also recharges rapidly, as after two weeks of being dormant, it only took a 20 minute drive to restore the full charge of over 13.3V. Note that I do not have any additional electronics installed beyond those supplied by the factory, nor do I sit with the radio playing for long periods relying only on battery power; so my relatively low demand application is probably ideal for a lithium starter battery. I will continue to add to this discussion as new information becomes available.
Thanks for sharing this information. If you take requests, please put the car in Accessory mode and leave the radio playing or better yet, if you have the radio with a color screen, then play music from the hard drive - I'd like to know how much the battery drops after an hour or two.
I have the heavy duty SRT battery in my 2011 Challenger and it drops to about 12.0 volts after playing music for 45 minutes.
I once sat in a drive-in movie theater (that used my car radio with car in accessory mode as the audio source) and my car would not start after the movie. It would be nice if that could be solved with a different battery. Now I bring a portable battery operated radio, but the sound isn't that good.
 

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Per your request, I put the car in ACC mode and let the radio play. Unfortunately, I didn’t remain in the car, and after approximately 30 minutes, everything powered down. The starting voltage was at 13.30V, dropping to 13.13 after 25 minutes, my last test point. While in ACC mode, the instrument cluster, shifter, and touchscreen all remained lit. This type of use isn’t a lithium battery’s forte, but I imagine you would be around 13.0V after an hour. Next time, I’ll stay with the car and cycle the ACC back on to get a full hour.
 

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I give you credit for trying out something new. Those 1200 cranking Amps are impressive.

Everything sounds good, but unless this lasts 10 years, that's more than I want to spend on a battery.
 

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What about just using an AGM Dry Cell battery. They can have reserve AH up to 80AH. I used to use them for high power audio systems. I can play music at a very high volume for a few hours.


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