A dead car battery is a terrible thing to discover at any time. It’s incredibly inconvenient and could result in a lighter wallet depending on the prognosis. However, if you have some fresh double-A batteries in your junk drawer, you might be able to get your car started. Thankfully, the Garage 54 crew figured out the minimum number of batteries you would need.

The number is either a lot or not, depending on your perspective. Most people don’t think about how many double-A batteries it takes to start a car, so don’t feel lost. The build began by deconstructing a regular car battery, making room for the new end plates to connect all the small round cells.

The build started with a modest number of eight, which didn’t do much. Sixteen batteries created some sparks, but it was 24 that got the starter to turn barely. The solenoid worked, too. The batteries and starters were then installed in a vehicle that would not start with the 120 double-A batteries.

It took 160 batteries to turn the engine over, but it wasn’t enough juice to start it. Additional batteries were added layer by layer to the housing, increasing the count to 200, 240, and 280 before cracking 300 batteries, and it was close to starting.

It took 308 batteries to start the car, which fired right up. However, it’s likely not going to get you far past the auto shop. The batteries in this vehicle weren’t rechargeable, so they eventually lost power, unable to restart the car. A proper car battery is rechargeable, making it a much better solution than 300 double-A batteries.

It’d be interesting to see the experiment performed again with rechargeable double-A batteries just to see how far a car could go. Batteries are going to be an even more integral part of the vehicle in the future as automakers ditch the internal combustion engine for a massive battery that powers at least one electric motor. We don’t want to think about how many double-A batteries an EV would need to run.

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