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The Future of Hybrid Technology

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  • TROY WROTE: Another way to show weight isn't a problem is to take an electric car (e.g. Rav4-EV), subtract half the batteries and add the 39hp TDI engine..... Now you have a Rav4 serial hybrid.

     

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    LARS WROTE: That is not a serial hybrid, it's an EV.

     

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    Lars... where do I start? (rolls eyes) I explained in *clear english* that I was discussing a modified Rav4 EV to act like a Rav4 Serial Hybrid.

     

    troy
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,175
    I was discussing a modified Rav4 EV to act like a Rav4 Serial Hybrid.

     

    Honda makes some dandy little gen sets that could be used to keep the batteries charged up on longer trips.

     

    You can get an electric start 7000 watt unit for under 2 grand. It will run all day on 6 gallons of gas.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    Can you give me an example of a NiMH pack that has gone down in price? Every time I buy a new laptop battery they are more expensive.

     

    I don’t know about your laptop batteries but mine uses Li-ion batteries and they are expensive. Not so with NiMH. They are actually quite cheap and are much cheaper now than they used to be. I have a bunch of those at home.

     

    That said, how do you come up with replacement cost of battery packs?
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Aren't the batteries modular, meaning you can replace individually failed battery "packs" without replacing all of them?

     

    I know that as of a few months ago, Toyota was boasting as "never having replaced a Prius battery pack."
  • stevewastevewa Posts: 203
    It's true that Toyota has a modular battery with multiple packs that can in theory be serviced individually. My best guess is that at some point they will develop an exchange program where you pay a set amount and receive a reconditioned battery pack, then they take your old one and replace however many modules have expired. The biggest cost has got to be the labor to open up the metal can and actually test each module...
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,175
    That said, how do you come up with replacement cost of battery packs?

     

    If you look at the price and parts sheet for the Prius you will see that the battery assembly is $4920 while each module is $259 each. That would be the least of my worries with a hybrid.

     

    My first two laptops used Nicad, The next one was NiMH while the last two are Li-ion.

     

    http://ozgrl.com/images/rearbo1.gif
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    So, $15K was an exaggeration I believe. Still, do you have a link to price/parts sheet for Prius?
  • Why worry? Hybird batteries are barely used. They'll last longer than the engine!

     

    troy
  • yerth10yerth10 Posts: 428
    Its 7 years since the 1st hybrids came into market

    and so far, so there is no problem with those batteries even after a vehicle travelling for 200,000 miles.

     

    However for another 7 years, this topic about batteries will continue, since that is the only point where the critics can talk about.

     

    But definitely the battery tech has improved as the Prius-II uses only 28 modules compared to 38 in Prius-I and yet it gives the same amount of power.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,175
    So, $15K was an exaggeration I believe. Still, do you have a link to price/parts sheet for Prius?

     

    No exaggeration, these look like Toyota parts and price sheets to me

     

    For the Prius, there are $15,000 worth of parts related to the hybrid system alone:

      

    $5,153.24 for the hybrid electric motor/generator

    $4,920.39 for replacement battery

    $668 for "relay assy, hybrid vehicle"

    $1,250 for "computer, battery

    $970 for "computer, hybrid control"

      

    Plus many more. Check out the parts price sheets for the Prius:

    http://ozgrl.com/images/engine9.gif

    http://ozgrl.com/images/rearbo1.gif

    http://ozgrl.com/images/interi7.gif

      

    Not to mention the labor costs for any hybrid-related diagnosis and repair.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    For the Prius, there are $15,000 worth of parts related to the hybrid system alone

     

    So now we have moved on from batteries to "hybrid system", which includes the entire drive train. This is why I called it an exaggeration in the first place.

     

    How much do you think drivetrain in a $30K car costs to replace in its entirety?
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,175
    How much do you think drivetrain in a $30K car costs to replace in its entirety?

     

    $15,000 less than the same car that is a hybrid?
  • stevewastevewa Posts: 203
    Well, a typical automatic transmission costs at least $3K, and that's included in the price of the "electric motor generator" because it's all one assembly. All modern autos computer systems are in the $1K+ price range.

     

    So I'd say there is a small incremental expense but nowhere near the $15K you're quoting.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,175
    nowhere near the $15K you're quoting.

     

    That was directly off of the Toyota price sheets. It is not just a $4k battery & a $5k motor assembly. Much more than an ICE only vehicle.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    No link, just a total sales number:

     

    US hybrid sales double in January

    AWKnowledge (subscription), UK - 1 hour ago

    By AWKnowledge staff writer (SN).

     

    Hybrid sales in the US in January nearly doubled year-on-year, soaring 98.8% to 8,455 units.

     

    Here is a different link to the same data:

     

    http://www.greencarcongress.com/2005/02/january_2005_hy.html
  • I'm an electrical engineer. I know what's inside these hybrids. There is NO way that a battery + a motor + DC/DC converter = $15,000. Absolutely not.

     

    $4000 tops (about $1000 per system + labor).

     

    If you expect me or anyone else to except "$15,000" you better PROVE it (a system-by-system breakdown), or keep silent.

     

    troy
  • SylviaSylvia Posts: 1,636
    So if you want to discuss batteries - see The Great Battery Debate and post there.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,175
    If you expect me or anyone else to except "$15,000" you better PROVE it (a system-by-system breakdown), or keep silent.

     

    I looked at the price sheets from Toyota that were posted. They looked legitimate to me. Do you think someone would go to that much trouble to fake Toyota price sheets? Remember the Japanese mark replacement parts up a lot higher than US automakers.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    Remember the Japanese mark replacement parts up a lot higher than US automakers.

     

    Only if they are imported, as was the case with my 1988 Corolla GT-S. Unlike the 1988 Corolla sedan, GT-S parts were more expensive since they were imported and not readily available.

     

    What about European makes? Are they cheaper than vehicles made in America?
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,175
    What about European makes? Are they cheaper than vehicles made in America?

     

    I don't know, you tell me. This was about someone refuting the prices on the Toyota Prius parts list. I guess they find it hard to believe that a battery pack will cost about 5 grand to replace, or each battery module is $259. I have no problem believing those prices as I have had to deal with repairs on our Lexus. And I can tell you they are not as inexpensive to maintain as my Suburban. One of the reasons I hated my 1978 Honda Accord was the rip-off prices for parts.
  • I see $11,000. $5000 for the inverter/motor assembly & $5000 for the battery + $1000 for bits & pieces (labels, nuts, bolts, etcetera).

     

    That's insane. I could build a battery for cheaper than $5000. Do these price lists include labor?

     

    troy

     

    http://ozgrl.com/images/engine9.gif

    http://ozgrl.com/images/rearbo1.gif

    http://ozgrl.com/images/interi7.gif
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,175
    Do these price lists include labor?

     

    I have no idea. Those price sheets were posted by someone else on another thread. I would think that proprietary information is not given out readily. As more people pass the warranty period I would think we will get more first hand pricing on all the hybrid repairs.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    I'm not attempting to nor do I want to nor will I ever attack anyone personally, but I do think attitudes like "BEWARE of hybrid" promote an "anti-hybrid" culture, which is bad for everyone.

     

    It is nothing more than sheer speculation to think a Hybrid battery will not last 150K-200K miles, or even longer. There are model year 1997 Prius 1 cars in Japan with 164K, 150K miles (hundreds of them) and we have not heard of vast numbers of battery failures. In fact, just a few months ago, Toyota had been boasting that they had NEVER replaced a Prius battery due to "old age" disease.

     

    At a 200K point in a car's life, simple things start to break besides major components. Like window motors dying, seat fabric ripping, rubber insulation around the hood/trunk/windows corroding, etc.

     

    The Honda systems are different in that ( at least in an HCH ) even if the battery DOES DIE, the car can function as a normal gasser, but will just lose MPG. So theoretically, if you are prepared to deal with the costs and headache of a a 200,000 mile car, you can deal with a car which gets only 35 MPG versus 45.

     

    If you are one of the 1% of car buyers who want and attempt to try and keep a car for 200K+ miles, you go ahead and rule out Hybrids.

     

    If you do so, that will be about 200K miles you COULD have saved a lot of gas and a lot of emissions, but instead you "worry warted" yourself to death about something we don't even know to be true.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    At 150-200K, any car is likely to have more problems than solutions. At that point, a $30K car would probably get you back no more than $2K. Whether it is the battery, or transmission, or catalytic converter, it wouldn’t be worth maintaining at some point. Replacement would make more sense.

     

    And if it is just replacing batteries makes hybrid ownership an issue, don’t! Let them be there, after all at that age there are more things to worry about than gain a few mpg.
  • kernickkernick Posts: 4,072
    Well I know Toyota advertises that 90% of Camries produced since 1988 or such. So I bet there are a lot of 150K+ mile ones on the road. And we can only assume the new ones made today are more durable.

     

    And since it's going hybrid, we can assume either someone is going to change those batteries or prematurely scrap the cars.

     

    And believe it or not, people who are struggling do own and drive these cars which you dismiss as junk. There are millions and millions of cars on the road are probably not even worth $500. Iused to live in an urban neighborhood and it was no big deal for many people to have 1 registered plate and slap it on whatever "beater" vehicle they decided to drive that day. Maybe hybrids would be beneficial if they kept old-cars off the road?
  • stevewastevewa Posts: 203
    Quote: That was directly off of the Toyota price sheets. It is not just a $4k battery & a $5k motor assembly. Much more than an ICE only vehicle.

     

    You've missed my point. I was saying that you have to offset the price of the hybrid components by subtracting the prices of the parts that do not exist in the hybrid. In the case of Prius that would include at least the automatic transaxle, alternator, and starter.

     

    Also given that eletric motors are much more reliable than mechanical contrivances like automatic transmissions, you have to factor in the likelyhood of replacement when you calculate the cost/benefit ratio.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,175
    Also given that eletric motors are much more reliable than mechanical contrivances like automatic transmissions,

     

    Why is it that the generator, alternator, heater fan motor and starter are the first things to need replacing, after the battery on a conventional vehicle?
  • "Why is it that the generator, alternator, heater fan motor and starter are the first things to need replacing, after the battery on a conventional vehicle? "

     

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    Not true. My 320,000 mile Dodge Shadow still had its original electronics. It all worked flawlessly. What failed? The engine's valve broke off, and self-destructed the engine.

     

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    General Electric did a test with 6 Rav4 EVs using NiMH batteries. 5 are still functional at 120,000 miles. #6 was totaled in an accident.

     

    Please note that these are 100% electric cars, and they put a lot of strain on the batteries, both undercharging & overcharging, but the batteries are still going strong after 120,000 miles!

     

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    In contrast, hybrids rarely use their battery... less than 1% of the power comes from the battery. Hybrids also don't undercharge or overcharge the battery, to avoid stress.

     

    So, if a NiMH can survive 120,000 miles of extreme stress in a pure EV, it ought to last far, far longer in a hybrid. Longer than the engine!

     

    I'd estimate 500,000 miles...and that's a conservative estimate.

     

    troy
This discussion has been closed.