Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!





The Great Hybrid Battery Debate

1356722

Comments

  • Hey Zodiac2004,

    I will give you at least one instance of ONE SINGLE potential Hybrid buyer telling the salesman, I love everything sbout the Prius except the uncertainty of the battery life and the fact it is not avaialble with a standard transmission. --That person is ME!

    It really bothers me that the production of apparently all HSD Hybrids (Prius, RX400h, Highlander Hybrid, Ford Escape Hybrid) depend on on manufacturer Sanyo.

    If the traction battery did fail then you would have a wait to get it replaced or pay big bucks because of the shortness of supply.

    It also scares me that Toyota is so amazed that a car went 150,000 miles on a traction battery that they bought it back to tear it down and find out why and how.

    I guess I had the same trepidation with the turbos of the late 70's early 80's. Most of them went away except a few that fixed the bugs after 20-25 years.

    If you think there are unforeseen bugs that will not occur with the current HSD system , I think you are looking through rose colored glasses. Long term reliability is really unknown.

    Until we see sufficient aging and a representative statistic sample, we don't know what the true liveablity, long term relability of hybrid traction batteries are. One or two isolated cases of high mileage is not a good measure of the entire product.

    YMMV,

    MidCow
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    "It also scares me that Toyota is so amazed that a car went 150,000 miles on a traction battery that they bought it back to tear it down and find out why and how."

    That is a majorly cynical assumption that Toyota was "amazed" that the car went that far - you do know of real world stories of Toyotas going 200K, 300K and more? Why would they be surprised? I think a more scientific curiousity as to how the new technology held up is more likely than a "holy cow". Thinking they were shocked that it lasted that long is kinda pessimistic.

    I myself had a 1980 Nissan 200SX that I got 323,000 miles out of before I traded it in for $300. So "shocked" that a modern Toyota made 150K miles? Not me, dudes.

    And there have been what now, 40-50,000 Hybrids sold in the USA? How many lost sales does anyone reasonably assign to "battery fears?" There are hybrids on the road in the USA with 60K and 70K miles on them - are the "batteries dying" left and right? No.

    The hybrid battery is just another major component like a transmission or anti-lock brake systems.

    I would bet my left arm that "Battery Fears" is NOT NOT NOT a major factor in the slow adoption of Hybrid cars. Higher cost, limited choices, an uneducated public, and the "lack of urgency" about the environment and use of fossil fuels are more likely factors.

    You just WATCH how Hybrids take off when there are 10-15 cars to choose from across multiple manufacturers and car types......and watch the news reports for any customer balking because of "battery fears." :)
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,162
    I think a more scientific curiosity as to how the new technology held up is more likely than a "holy cow". Thinking they were shocked that it lasted that long is kinda pessimistic.

    Did they give the guy a brand new Prius for his high mileage old one? I don't find it astounding that they wanted to tear one down with high mileage. They can see what wears and improve on design.

    There was also the guy with the Insight that Honda was going to give him a new Hybrid Civic. He did not want it. I think they gave him a new Insight for his high mileage old one.

    I do think you are optimistic on 10-15 hybrids to choose from. All indications are that all hybrids will be in limited supply at least a couple more years. Which is good, because then the Diesel cars and fuel supply will be in compliance with the EPA regulations and we will have some real choices in high mileage vehicles.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Here is all I could find on the Prius buyback:

    "The second-gen Prius, sold in the US from about 2000-2003, has not had to replace any batteries. In fact, the best story on batteries is from a cabbie in Canada who drove one of them roughly 200,000 miles. Toyota bought back the car to study it - the battery was still fine."

    And then on the HCH/Insight story:

    "There was also the guy with the Insight that Honda was going to give him a new Hybrid Civic. He did not want it. I think they gave him a new Insight for his high mileage old one."

    That was a contest sponsored by a Honda dealer in the UK. He got a new Insight instead of the offered HCH because it was the vehicle that fit his lifestyle better.

    And we already had the conversation about upcoming Hybrids earlier in this forum Gary, but here it is again:

    "Steaming into the future"
    Chronology of hybrid vehicle production:

    -- Honda: Insight hatchback -- 1999
    -- Toyota: Prius sedan* -- 2000
    -- Honda: Civic sedan -- 2002
    -- General Motors/Allison: city bus** -- 2003
    -- Ford: Escape SUV -- Sept. 2004
    -- Chevrolet: Silverado pickup -- Oct. 2004
    -- GMC: Sierra pickup -- Oct. 2004
    -- Honda: Accord sedan -- Dec. 2004
    -- Toyota/Lexus: RX400h SUV -- early 2005
    -- Toyota: Highlander SUV -- early 2005
    -- Saturn: VUE crossover SUV -- 2006
    -- Nissan: Altima sedan -- 2006
    -- Chevrolet: Malibu sedan -- 2006
    -- Mercury: Mariner SUV -- 2007
    -- Chevrolet: Tahoe SUV -- 2007
    -- GMC: Yukon SUV -- 2007
    -- Ford: Fusion sedan -- 2007
    * substantially revised in 2004
    ** diesel-electric hybrid.
    Sources: Booz Allen Hamilton, Chronicle research
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,162
    And we already had the conversation about upcoming Hybrids earlier in this forum Gary, but here it is again:

    I have not forgotten this projection. And that is all it is. Only four useable vehicles are on the market as we speak. None of which can you go to your local dealer, test drive and buy. Maybe an Insight, which I consider the cream of the crop for practical high mileage commuter cars. The Bus is great but not something I would buy to drive to the store. The GM offerings are only being offered to fleet buyers, with no plans to put them on the open market. If Honda makes their Dec 2004 rollout that will be 5 with only two possible in 2005. Not what I consider a choice of vehicles. My point was by 2006 ULSD will be mandated in all 50 states. Honda, VW, Mercedes, BMW and who knows them all, have diesel cars available and being sold in Europe that have PM filters and meet Euro4 emission standards. If they keep up with the demand in Europe we may get a chance to buy them in the states. We can only hope that we are not dependent on hybrids for our only choice in high mileage vehicles.
  • Larsh you said:

    " " "The second-gen Prius, sold in the US from about 2000-2003, has not had to replace any batteries. ..."

    WOW ,all I can say is that is incredible. NO battery replacements at all!

    Maybe that is why Sanyo has limited supply, because they make lifetime batteries .

    If so, there is not market for replacement.

    It makes one wonder what they do with the recovered traction batteries from a wrecked/totaled Prius since they are still good.

    If the batteries are that reliable then, I wonder why Toyota spent the extra money to make them modular, so they would only have to replace the failing module.

    Ker-Chunk Ker-chunk .. Brain thinking ..

    Let;s see the current date is 2004 so that means a 2000 car would be at most 5 years old with an average mileage of 15,000 a year would be maybe 75,000 miles. But wait the battery warranty is 8 years or 100,000 miles ( 10 years 150,000 for AT-PZEV).

    EVEN THE 2000 CARS HAVEN"T GOT PAST THE HONEYMOON (i.e. warranty) PERIOD!!!!!!!!

    We don't know what the battery life is or will be!! I wonder how long the first cromagnum man thought a fire would burn ?

    P.S.- There was one guy that had his car damaged by an aftermarket installer and had to have his battery replaced. So In my limited access to Prius users, there has been at least one replacement. And 1 is greater than zero!

    YMMV,

    MidCow
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    quote-"Larb you said: "The second-gen Prius, sold in the US from about 2000-2003, has not had to replace any batteries. ..."-end quote

    I actually did not say that. I cut that over from another website. And I wasn't quoting it for that section, I was quoting it for the reference to the 200K Prius that was sold back to Toyota. I have no idea how many 2000-2003 Priuses have had batteries replaced, but I'm sure the number is greater than Zero.

    I was in no way insinuating that battery failures and replacements will not occur over time. That would be a ridiculous assumption, and someone with half a lick of common sense would not expect "no failures" in any component in any car.

    But remember: Prius batteries are expected to and designed to go 150K before replacement. And they come with the 8 yr/80K warranty. So Toyota seems pretty sure they have a solid component there, eh?

    And as far as battery life, does anyone have ANY REAL EVIDENCE that these batteries are failing before 150K? Sure, there are isolated incidents of batteries being replaced, like ANY OTHER CAR PART, but there is still no VALID REASON to DOUBT that you can get 150K out of the batteries.

    Why doubt it? Toyota makes great cars, and has BILLIONS of miles driven on their cars. If their engineers say 150K is a good lifespan for the battery pack, WHO ARE WE to doubt their engineering expertise?
  • Hey Zodiac2004,

    I will give you at least one instance of ONE SINGLE potential Hybrid buyer telling the salesman, I love everything sbout the Prius except the uncertainty of the battery life and the fact it is not avaialble with a standard transmission. --That person is ME!

    It really bothers me that the production of apparently all HSD Hybrids (Prius, RX400h, Highlander Hybrid, Ford Escape Hybrid) depend on on manufacturer Sanyo.

    If the traction battery did fail then you would have a wait to get it replaced or pay big bucks because of the shortness of supply.

    It also scares me that Toyota is so amazed that a car went 150,000 miles on a traction battery that they bought it back to tear it down and find out why and how.

    I guess I had the same trepidation with the turbos of the late 70's early 80's. Most of them went away except a few that fixed the bugs after 20-25 years.

    If you think there are unforeseen bugs that will not occur with the current HSD system , I think you are looking through rose colored glasses. Long term reliability is really unknown.

    Until we see sufficient aging and a representative statistic sample, we don't know what the true liveablity, long term relability of hybrid traction batteries are. One or two isolated cases of high mileage is not a good measure of the entire product.

    YMMV,

    MidCow

    Wow, hold up there. This post should be addressed to larsb, not me.

    I agree 100% with every word you have typed up here. Especially about the turbos.

    I think there are close similarities between turbos and hybrids. Both make smaller engines perform like bigger ones, although the green factor is to the hybrids' advantage.

    They have been around for 20-25 years but for the longest time many people regarded them as suspect, and some people still do.

    When you mess with powertrain technology it's going to be a very long time before it gets accepted as mainstream, and any failures in the meantime are going to have an amplified effect.
  • Zodiac2004,

    You are right , SORRY I read message #344 wrong.

    MidCow
  • jpricejprice Posts: 58
    < But remember: Prius batteries are expected to and designed to go 150K before replacement. And they come with the 8 yr/80K warranty.>

    The brochure for the Prius says 8 yr/100K.

    jprice
  • Lets get the facts right ..... The coverage IS 8 YEARS OR 100,000 MILES on the Hybrid Drivetrain. Isn't it funny how history keeps repeating its self with FEARS of the new "contraptions" that brave & bold folks go forth challenging "the old ways".
    "Look! Here comes that guy with that silly steam-powered automobile. Quick! Pull the old gray mare over before he explodes next to us(like maybe a battery?)."
    Those first cars were looked upon as so many crazy mechanized monsters that scared everyone except those brave "foolhearty" pioneers. Some thing just never change. I so glad I'm GREEN and also adventursome. Don't you wish everyone was?
    Culliganman (tasting the hybrid waters)
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    That's one of the good things about these forums - sometimes people can come along and in just a few words "summarize" a point of view and point out the folly of another.

    Great point about how pessimistic, irrational, unfounded "fear of the unknown" is rearing it's head in the battery issue....
  • You can choose to call yourself pioneers - we choose to call you scapegoats.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Scapegoat defined:

    "One that is made to bear the blame of others."

    I think maybe you mean Guinea Pig:

    "A person who is used as a subject for experimentation or research."

    Yes, we are experimenting with the 150K life of the batteries......:)
  • SylviaSylvia Posts: 1,636
    and now that we are off the name calling, let's get back to discussing batteries.
  • rfruthrfruth Posts: 630
    You're going to muddy the waters with facts larsb.
  • "What it makes me feel is that Toyota is surprised that the car made it to 150K miles, so they want to evaluate it. Causes one more concern about the product, rather than the other way around."

    Prius battery has warrenty for 150K miles in California and New York, etc... Engineers do not design just to last up until warrenty period. They test and verify them to last at least 20% longer than warrenty period. Toyota answered the following:

    "How long does the Prius battery last and what is the replacement cost?

    The Prius battery (and the battery-power management system) has been designed to maximize battery life. In part this is done by keeping the battery at an optimum charge level - never fully draining it and never fully recharging it. As a result, the Prius battery leads a pretty easy life. We have lab data showing the equivalent of 180,000 miles with no deterioration and expect it to last the life of the vehicle. We also expect battery technology to continue to improve: the second-generation model battery is 15% smaller, 25% lighter, and has 35% more specific power than the first. This is true of price as well. Between the 2003 and 2004 models, service battery costs came down 36% and we expect them to continue to drop so that by the time replacements may be needed it won't be a much of an issue. Since the car went on sale in 2000, Toyota has not replaced a single battery for wear and tear."
    http://pressroom.toyota.com/photo_library/display_release.html?id- =20040623

    Toyota was suriprise with Andrew Grant because he drove over 200,000 miles(more than Toyota tested) on the classic Prius taxi in 2 years and averaged 48 mpg(US).
    http://www.toyota.ca/NWS/media/ftp/04gazette_winter_e.zip

    Dennis
  • "It really bothers me that the production of apparently all HSD Hybrids (Prius, RX400h, Highlander Hybrid, Ford Escape Hybrid) depend on on manufacturer Sanyo."

    Only Escape Hybrid and Accord Hybrid use HV NiMH from Sanyo. Panasonic EV provides HV NiMH packs for Insight, HCH, classic Prius, 04' Prius, and many other Toyota hybrids in Japan.
    http://www.peve.panasonic.co.jp/e_catalog2.html

    "It also scares me that Toyota is so amazed that a car went 150,000 miles on a traction battery that they bought it back to tear it down and find out why and how."

    Your statement is out of context from what Toyota said. Read the story at above link from toyota.ca.

    "Until we see sufficient aging and a representative statistic sample, we don't know what the true liveablity, long term relability of hybrid traction batteries are."

    7 years old japanese Prius still running on the road is not a representative statistic? What are you pretending not to know?

    "One or two isolated cases of high mileage is not a good measure of the entire product."
     
    Yup, one or two isolated failures is not a good measure for the entire product either. If HV battery pack is unreliable like you described, there would be so many failures for 7 years old classic Prius battery packs but there aren't. Facts speak for itself, so do FUDs.

    Dennis
  • "I think there are close similarities between turbos and hybrids. Both make smaller engines perform like bigger ones, although the green factor is to the hybrids' advantage."

    Not even close. Turbo forces air into the combustion chamber and burn more fuel along with it to produce more power from the ICE. In another word, pushing the ICE to do more work by increasing more stress.

    Hybrid works completely the other way around. By choosing two opposite powertrains, the stress can be split into two. The benefits created by both powertrains is the synergy effect which translates to more power, less emission and fuel usage. ICE used in HSD does not need to reach high RPM either. For example, Prius ICE output max 76hp at around 5,000 RPM.

    The real issue is the realiability of the battery pack. Let me first say that all your experiences with battery do not apply to hybrid vehicle batteries. Everything you ever used that had battery utilized battery in a "dumb" way. You fully charge it so that you can fully drain it and repeat the cycle. That behavior damages the battery and consumer electronic NiMH do not last over 1,000 recharges.

    Since HV battery pack usage is managed and protected by a dedicated CPU (battery management unit), HV packs last a lot(10x) longer! To go into detail, not every hybrid design can take care of the battery pack the same way. HSD can recharge the battery on demand. It is possible because there are two electric motor when one is driving the wheel, another can generate electricity.

    Dennis
  • "Maybe that is why Sanyo has limited supply..."

    Check your facts. Sanyo doesn't supply HV battery for the Prius.

    "If the batteries are that reliable then, I wonder why Toyota spent the extra money to make them modular, so they would only have to replace the failing module."

    Panasonic EV made 7.2V modules to get around licensing lawsuits. Ovonic(I think) only license out NiMH technology to produce small cells. They reserve the right to make large cells for electric vehicle development. One way for Japanese battery manufacturers to get around is to make and sell small modules. Hybrid car manufacturers buy those modules and form a bigger pack. Ability to be able to replace bad modules is a side benefit from that lawsuit loop hole.

    Dennis
  • "Toyota makes great cars, and has BILLIONS of miles driven on their cars. If their engineers say 150K is a good lifespan for the battery pack, WHO ARE WE to doubt their engineering expertise?"

    Some people do. They would question why anyone would spent extra for green technology, while for them, spending more $$ for performance is perfectly acceptable. They don't care what comes out of the tail pipe if certain type of engines make great low end torque. They question how long the battery pack would last but not how long the oil supply would last. They would question environment impact of the battery pack recycling but not the whole car itself. They don't question spending $$ for bigger and more powerful car either. They don't care realiability of a car as long as the car is more than they are used to. It is sad but true.

    Dennis
  • Once again I'd like clarification. Isn't the hybrid battery manufactured by PANASONIC and not SANYO for the PRIUS? Who makes Honda's battery? While we're at it. What about the FORD ESCAPE Hybrid? Also, isn't the mother company MITSUSHITA? (excuse the spelling)
    Culliganman
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,162
    This is one of the lawsuits that was settled to allow the use of the NiMH technology in hybrids.

    JUDGE ISSUES SCHEDULING ORDER IN OVONIC BATTERY/MATSUSHITA BATTERY LAWSUIT

    http://www.ovonic.com/news_events/5_2_press_releases/20011101.htm
  • "Once again I'd like clarification. Isn't the hybrid battery manufactured by PANASONIC and not SANYO for the PRIUS?"

    Yes, you are correct. Refer to msg#81 for more info. You can visit below link for confirmation.

    http://www.peve.panasonic.co.jp/e_catalog2.html

    Dennis
  • "This is one of the lawsuits that was settled to allow the use of the NiMH technology in hybrids."

    Yup. Ovonic filed the lawsuit anyway. I believe Panasonic EV could of fought it and won but it would delay Prius and other HSD car production. It was the best interest for Toyota to settle it ASAP. Maybe that's how Ovonic took the advantage of the unexpected 04 Prius demand.

    Dennis
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,863
    "Lets get the facts right ..... The coverage IS 8 YEARS OR 100,000 MILES on the Hybrid Drivetrain."

    I believe that Cailifornia mandated 10 years and 150,000 miles. 8/100K is the Toyota warranty.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,162
    I believe that California mandated 10 years and 150,000 miles. 8/100K is the Toyota warranty.</B.

    That is the way I understand it. My question is if the car has a problem in CA at 125k miles. Will the State of CA force Toyota to fix it. The car is required to get AT-PZEV rating, that it maintains the same level of emissions for that 10 yr 150k miles. So if the battery or electric motor or ICE dies it will not maintain that emissions level.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,863
    "My question is if the car has a problem in CA at 125k miles. Will the State of CA force Toyota to fix it. "

    Toyota will honor the warranty; it is part of the cost of doing business in California.
  • I'm an electrical engineer, and I did a lot of research before I bought a hybrid. Based upon what I uncovered:

    - the battery in a hybrid will last as long as the engine (~250,000 miles)
    - unless you abuse it (lots of stop-n-go)

    The reason the battery can last so long is because the hybrids barely use it. Lack of use = lack of stress = long life.

    Troy
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,966
    are you saying thay have more battery than they need?
This discussion has been closed.