96 Li-ion A123 26650 cells for $100! Group buy?

Jehugarcia (the famous DIY electric vehicle youtuber) is selling 12s8p modules of A123 26650s (normally $12 a cell) for $100. Would anyone be interested in doing a group buy for these cells as I certainly won’t need 96 cells for one build! The cells are used and a capacity test has not been done (as of yet) but apparently 25% of the cells checked were at 3.27V. I have put a poll below to gauge interest.

  • Interested in buying cells (reply for how many)
  • Not interested in these cells

0 voters

Cells’ datasheet: https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showatt.php?attachmentid=4155818

I like his videos, but that sounds fishy… He would have no problem selling these for way more… so where’s the catch? end of life cells?

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Emailing him about this.

Why so cheap? Voltage is not capacity. He should test the capacity of the pack to get an idea how much the packs have been used.

He hasn’t replied yet, but regarding the voltage: if a cell has been lying around unused for ages/ is dead, it will have a super low voltage (why he quoted their voltage).

He just replied and said he has not gotten his hands on the cells but reckons that by the time he does they will be gone. I just asked him for info about where the cells came from (electric vehicle) and if he thinks they are real - I will keep everyone posted for when he replies!

I’m still confused on the assembly of the pack.

If it is parallel pack of 8 cells with 12 packs in series, you have to break up the packs.

Unless it is 12 series cell packs with 8 in parallel and you just split them up.

It is a 12s8p format, so far I will be purchasing 2 modules. Let me know if you are looking to purchase some cells.

I’ll take one module. we’re going to be modding a power wheels hummer for maker fair this year for the power wheels race. These cells would be perfect because you’re not supposed to spend more than $500 total to do it, excluding the power wheels vehicle itself.


Yeah but it could mean either of the two ways I mentioned. Did you get any pictures?

@Pantologist No pictures as of yet - will ask that in my next email (he is going to think I am a very fussy customer)! @longhairedboy I included you in the 2 modules! Good luck with the build, with such high-output, long-lasting cells is, it is going to be an insane power wheels!

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not necessarily true. you can store 18650 for many years without using them (given they aren’t stored empty, 60% soc would be ideal). I’m using 10 year old sony cells in one of my boards. Jehu himself has several videos on the topic.


Jehu has confirmed that he does not know if the cells are legitimate - he has not gotten his hands on them so hasn’t advertised them on his channel. I have asked how mystery they are - trying to get to where he got the cells from - reputable seller? I was initially all in, but am a cautious buyer - advertised as 2500mah when actually 2300mah :pensive: (I hope they are real?). I will put up more answers as of when I get them.

doesn’t sound promising. You can buy printed heat shrink. Not saying its outright fraud but … you know… I could sell you some BatMan edition samsung cells.


I can buy 25Rs from Europe for super cheap with solder tags - if this fails I will go back to that on a 8s5p :frowning: .

There are different variants of the ANR26650 cells.

A variant - 2300mAh B variant - 2500mAh

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I just don’t have the budget for a fancy battery pack that has ‘artistic’ markings on the heatshrink and buy it pre-spot welded.

I know and he said he had bought the A variant … ‘Cells are $12 A123 ANR26650 m1a’ … hopefully Jehu made a typo or did some inaccurate research to prove this was a good deal!

If he said Variant A and 2300mAh then he is correct.

I am pretty sure they would be used cells to be variant A. Expect around 2100-2200mAh capacity.

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The cells are from bae hybrid drive buses and transit conversions, known for faulty BMS boards. Another seller has offered another two pallets of modules so seems like this is not fake - looking on the internet quickly there seems to have been large recalls for the ‘bae hybrid drive bus’ due to electronic shorting faults.

A123 cells have definitely been used by BAE Systems for a long time (so selling these used cells at such a cheap price is possible). I have quoted “https://ntl.bts.gov/lib/35000/35700/35796/DOT-VNTSC-FTA-11-01.pdf” below: "Currently, under the FTA/NFCBP funded Calstart Compound Fuel Cell Hybrid Bus for 2010 or BUS-2010, BAE is integrating HybriDrive with the air-cooled A123 Li- Ion Nanophosphate (LFP) battery, and with a fuel cell APU to extend the range of a 40 ft Orion low-floor bus. This fuel cell hybrid-electric bus will be demonstrated by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA).

The HybriDrive is also compatible with other bus platforms and RESS options: the latest New Flyer (DE40LFQA) bus also uses the BAE HybriDrive with more advanced, lighter and longer lived nano-phosphate lithium-ion batteries with 200 KW peak power and cooled with forced air (from Lithium Technology Corp of Plymouth Meeting, PA). "