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Nickel Metal Hydride Battery

Discussion in 'Prius c Technical Discussion' started by magtataho1, Apr 26, 2012.

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  1. magtataho1

    magtataho1 New Member

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    Why did Toyota uses Nickel Metal Hydride in all its Hybrid battery? Is'nt it obsolete , heavier and old technology already?
  2. SquallLHeart

    SquallLHeart The Techie Guy

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    because it's cost effective..
    would you have rather paid $25-35K for a Prius C with Li-Ion?

    btw.. Toyota is phasing out NiMH batteries.. the PIP has Li-Ion already.. and the only Prius to have them so far... but look how much more expensive they are.
  3. magtataho1

    magtataho1 New Member

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    Thats exactly my point, toyota are now starting to phase out NiMH. So what will happen to us driving with those kind of hybrid battery?
  4. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

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    NiMH is not obsolete. Li-Ion has some advantages, but your question is like asking "Why do cars have lead-acid starter batteries?" The answer is that they do the job and are cost effective.

    Your Prius doesn't ask much from its battery pack. It's not like an all-electric vehicle. The battery pack stores a small amount of energy compared to the prime source of energy, which is the gasoline in the tank.

    Now that Li-Ion is becoming more mature and cost effective you will see it replace many NiMH applications. Still, this doesn't mean your Prius will stop running, and battery packs will be available for the life of your Prius.

    Tom
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  5. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

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    Tom is spot on. Nickel batteries have taken the RAV4-EV to over 100,000 miles for many - and running after 10 years of service. Saying lithium is superior is simply not true. It's a different chemistry ... not better. Both chemistries have advantages and disadvantages.

    .
  6. GrumpyCabbie

    GrumpyCabbie Senior Member

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    And the European version of the Prius V called the Prius+ will have Li-ion, whereas the US version has NiMH.

    You might think that's a good thing for us, but the concerns over is that the Li-ion might not last as well in a normal (rather than plug in) hybrid situation.
  7. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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    That's only for the 7 seat version only, correct? AFAIK, that's the case as well for the 7-seater JDM version.
  8. hyo silver

    hyo silver Awaaaaay

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    The sooner, the better. All these boxes of "I've got a Li-Ion in my tank" bumper stickers have been taking up too much space for far too long. ;)
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  9. priusCpilot

    priusCpilot Member

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    Also I believe Li-Ion has less use cycles then NiMh?? That being the case, the NiMh would be a better choice for the long haul.
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  10. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney EditProfOptInfoCustomUser Title

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    For a start, they aren't going to go away soon. Toyota had the ability to manufacture 500,000 NiMH Prius liftback batteries per year and are expanding it to 1,000,000 per year. Given that the Yaris/Aqua/c's battery is small than the liftback they may be able to make more of them. Importantly for NiMH Toyota now essentially owns all the rights to the battery so they are cheap for them to manufacture.

    Cars have long battery warranties. They have to be able to manufacture replacements.

    The worst case scenario is that after your warranty has run out you'll end up replacing your battery with a lithium-ion one.

    I believe that except for reliability, which isn't yet know, lithium batteries have better performance characteristics than the NiMH batteries (although reliability hasn't been proven) so given the relatively gentle life of a hybrid pack, they should fairly easily be able to build a pack compatible with the current programming, but it'd take a software update to get the full benefit out of it.

    Ironically, once 2014 gets here you could actually see some more use of NiMH batteries because 13 of the main patents on large-format batteries will have run out.
  11. pmike

    pmike Member

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    I think they got it all figured out. Extend your investment in R&D and tooling by staying in production longer. Pass on the cost of innovation on to those willing to pay a premium for Prius regular and V. I would imagine that they will continue with this process. When the Prius regular and V get a complete refresh Prius C will get the former components. I personally would rather a proven technology versus a new one.

    I think the Prius C is kinda like the Honda Element strategy. People come on the lot to buy it but end up with another model. The promise of a $20k Prius and leave the lot with a $25k+ Prius regular or V.

    Honda was going to can the Element but it brings people on the lot who eventually buy another model.
  12. ftl

    ftl Explicator

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    Hard to say if that's the case, since the C has only been available for a couple of months, but here are the March numbers:

    The top hybrid cars in March by sales:
    1. Toyota Prius: 18,008
    2. Toyota Camry hybrid: 5,404
    3. Toyota Prius v: 4,937
    4. Toyota Prius c: 4,875
    5. Chevrolet Volt: 2,289
    6. Lexus CT: 2,223
    7. Chevrolet Malibu hybrid: 1,416
    8. Hyundai Sonata hybrid: 1,397
    9. Buick LaCrosse hybrid: 1,117
    10. Honda Insight: 1,032

    It'll be interesting to check these again later in the year.
  13. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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    Really? Other than a former coworker who owned one and a weird former coworker (when I had an 02 Nissan Maxima) who said I should get an SUV :confused::rolleyes: and that it should be an Element, I can't think of anyone who's ever wanted to buy one.

    That latter coworker was weird. Why would I give up a 255 hp V6 sedan that has plenty of power and was a pleasure to drive for a slow, ugly 4 banger box box?

    As for going to can the Element, isn't it already canned? It's not at Honda Cars - New and Certified Used Cars from American Honda anymore.
  14. seilerts

    seilerts Battery Curmudgeon

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    One of the more significant issues is having a small battery that can deliver or receive 100 amps. The cells in the PHV are much larger than what would go into a C. Small Li cells that can deliver and receive high charge rates are as yet unproven in large scale automotive applications.
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  15. GrumpyCabbie

    GrumpyCabbie Senior Member

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    Yes.

    The li-ion is smaller than the NiMH and on the Euro version the Li-ion HV battery is actually under the gearshift to save space in the back for the 2 extra seats.

    Now in some ways that's good - more flexibility, but I'd be a little wary of its long term capability. Especially as we don't have the 150,000 mile 8 year warranty as required in California.
  16. magtataho1

    magtataho1 New Member

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    I got this from another forum (aaron12)

    Talking about LiION VS NiMh I just point out few difference which will clearly define them
    LiION Plus points:
    LiION have better energy density
    LiION have better power density
    LiION have better cycle life for deep cycles
    LiION base materials are far less expensive and more abundant
    NiMh Plus points:
    NiMh is more robust to low voltage abuse
    NiMh proven to last hundreds of thousands of cycles in real world "low stress" applications (parallel hybrids like Toyota Prius and Ford Escape)
    And on the Other side:
    LiION - not much in the way of real world history
    NiMH - shown in a real world application to need a good BMS and charging regimen otherwise shortened life should be expected.
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  17. alfon

    alfon Active Member

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    If Toyota warranty for the battery is 150,000
    miles in C.A.R.B. states, such as Oregon where
    I live, I am sure they will last that long at
    least, if not, with all the Prius's in those
    states it would cost them millions to
    replace those thousands and thousands
    of batteries.
  18. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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    You mean in the armrest area as pictured at http://car.watch.impress.co.jp/docs/news/20110309_432016.html ? Was from http://priuschat.com/forums/prius-h...irst-hybrid-mpv-cnbc-video-2.html#post1280811.

    Actually, the CA and CARB state HV battery warranty is for 10 years/150K miles.
  19. GrumpyCabbie

    GrumpyCabbie Senior Member

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    Yes I did :)

    Maybe they're using us as guinea pigs to see how long they last? The negative reports of the gen3 HV batteries failing in Greece isn't boding well and they're NiMH. Getting more out of a smaller Li-ion might not be a good idea.

    Saying that, at least where the Li-ion pack is sited on the + will mean getting a good flow of cold air from the a/c is possible.
  20. strongbad

    strongbad Member

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    Toyota uses NiMH because its cheaper, which is fine, but Lithium-ion is superior in every way (except initial cost). Lithium-ion is just as durable. It has much lower self-discharge rate. Lithium-ion has higher voltage so fewer batteries are needed to obtain a certain voltage. Lithium-ion has much better energy and power density. NiMH will go the way of NiCad batteries--soon to be completely obsoleted by even cheaper and more powerful Lithium-ion variations.

    I'm disappointed that Toyota didn't give Prius c buyers an upgrade path to Lithium-ion. Instead they leave the drivetrain the same for all levels and punk buyers with gimmicky, overpriced interior options.
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