Charging Plug-in is not good for the battery

Discussion in 'Prime Plug-in Charging' started by Arturo SG, Apr 21, 2021.

  1. Arturo SG

    Arturo SG New Member

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    Hi all,
    I just bought a 2021 Prius Prime. I was happy with the 25 miles full EV and 2 minutes away from my place there is a City charging station which is free.

    I have a friend that stop by and he is a former Toyota technician. He argues that I should charge the car using the plug-in only few times due to the fact the charging process creates heat on the battery cells and they will consume much faster.

    • Do you have any technical input of this argument?
    • For me it was a concerning argument as I thought the Plug-in charging was an advantage for the car (not a disadvantage)
    • I am even tempted to call Toyota to get more clarity on this.
    I have read other comments here that some of you are charging daily your car and almost do not use gasoline ( and that is what I want as charging the car is free and fast for me using a 240V charger).

    Thanks for your comments!
     
  2. Rich-T

    Rich-T New Member

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    Toyota says they warranty the battery and hybrid system (over 100K miles?), so no need to worry.
     
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  3. Rich-T

    Rich-T New Member

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    From Toyota:
    Hybrid-Related Component Coverage: Hybrid-related components, including the battery control module, hybrid control module and inverter with converter, are covered for 8 years/100,000 miles.
    Hybrid Battery: HV battery is covered for 10 years or 150,000 miles, whichever comes first.
     
  4. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    using any battery is detrimental to its health, but not using it is also detrimental.

    i feel sorry for your friend, and whoever crowned him a technician, and sorry that you have a friend like that.
    fud is a terrible thing to behold
     
  5. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    Obviously, your friend Toyota tech is just like many Toyota dealer tech who knows very little about the Plug-in hybrid. Unless you are charging your car a few times a day under the hot sun in the middle of summer, there is absolutely no harm in charging the battery every day. That's what the car is designed to do. Yes, the battery will degrade over time. That is the fact of life on any battery. But you can safely charge your PP every day for the life of the vehicle. Just don't charge it to full and let it sit under the sun to be baked.
     
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  6. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    No problems here. I’ve driven 16,000km in the last year and only used half a tank of gas. The rest were in EV mode. Car is 2 years old.
     
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  7. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

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    The key word likely is "former".
    I propose the he never WAS a real technician........and still isn't.
     
  8. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    You can charge it and have it wear out from performing its intended use many many times ...

    ... or you can let it wear out from age while performing its intended purpose only a few times.

    Either way, it eventually will wear out and fail. Whether it does its intended job many times, or only a few times, is up to you.
    Plenty of people are using it in this fashion. Yes, there are a few complaints about range reduction, and not all are explained by weather and season. But I don't recall anyone having it fail from overuse.
     
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  9. FuelMiser

    FuelMiser Senior Member

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    This must be a misunderstanding based on language barrier. One of the two of you is not understanding the other.
     
  10. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    I recharged twice per day for 5 years with my 2012 Prius PHV and for 2 years with my 2017 Prius Prime. As stated already, it's not a big deal unless you are routinely baking your car in the sun for hours prior to the charging. I never noticed any degradation after all that time.

    A cold-soak (rest for awhile to allow the battery to cool) is beneficial to the chemicals within for longevity, but that's how lithium batteries work in general. Operation of Prius Prime doesn't generate that much heat in the first place. And since we can never DC fast-charge, high temperatures aren't ever really an exposure.

    Think about how DC fast-charging works. The battery must be heated to achieve those super-fast speeds. That minimum temperature is higher than Prius Prime's pack typically gets anyway. That is 50°C (122°F). So, there really isn't much to be concerned about.
     
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  11. Froglegs

    Froglegs New Member

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    Also in the news: Using things causes them to wear out over time.
     
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  12. Old Bear

    Old Bear Senior Member

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    Take a look at my earlier post in PriusChat related to this topic.

    Charge-Counseling.jpg

    It has been written that owners of plug-in vehicles suffer from "range anxiety," but many never get beyond "charging anxiety." The reality is that you should just relax and not worry.
     
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  13. PiPLosAngeles

    PiPLosAngeles Senior Member

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    I don't know if it applies to the Prius battery chemistry, but some people who've done a lot of analysis on the Nissan Leaf discovered the battery degraded faster when charged exclusively by Level 1 over Level 2, and the Leaf's Level 2 charge rate is double the Prius's.
     
  14. fotomoto

    fotomoto Senior Member

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    He is correct but.... he could also have told you, “Don’t buy this car because you will die”. He is technically correct but it’s the timing of when these things will happen that is more critical. ;)
     
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  15. MTN

    MTN Active Member

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    ^yes.
    Living leads to dying. So... don't live?

    OP - cars wear out from driving them. If you want to preserve your car, you should never drive it! ICE or EV!!!
     
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  16. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    I charge my Prime at least 10 times a week. Some at L2 and some at L1. It'll hit 51,000 miles in a couple days. It still takes over 6 kWh to fully charge the battery from fully depleted EV range. Makes me wonder ... how long will a Prius Prime battery last.
     
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  17. PiPLosAngeles

    PiPLosAngeles Senior Member

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    Well, if they're roughly charging to 85% and discharging to 15% you should expect somewhere around 5,000 charge/discharge cycles before reaching 80%, which is enough for about 125,000 EV miles.

    That would leave about 7 kWh of capacity in the battery. 7 kWh is still enough to accommodate the 25 mile range the car is rated for on day 1. I have speculated previously that Toyota may tap into that as the battery degrades to "hide" the degradation to some extent. I'm not sure how to test that hypothesis.

    I think of it like a current-regulated flashlight: To maintain a constant brightness the light has to draw 5W (for example). Using two freshly charged NiMH AA batteries at ~1.45V it will draw ~1.72A, but as the batteries are depleted it has to draw more and more amperage to maintain constant brightness. Near the end of the charge, when the batteries are at 1.0V, it will be drawing around 2.5A. I just wonder if Toyota's plug-ins are regulated similarly so that as the battery capacity decreases the car increases the portion of the traction battery used for each charge/discharge cycle to maintain constant performance over time.
     
    #17 PiPLosAngeles, Apr 26, 2021
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2021
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  18. AZBill

    AZBill New Member

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    Hello, Are there best practice any of you (especially in hot climates) have learned from trial and error?

    While my thoughts are the Prime was meant to be charged, and driven, and recharged. But that all things mechanical have a finite life which can be influenced in a big way by type of use and maintenance.

    I recently acquired a new to me 2017 Prime Plus. I live in an extreme heat area (near Phoenix) and am trying to figure out "Best practices for charging and battery life". So far read:

    From the manual:
    ●Avoid parking the vehicle in areas with a high temperature under direct sunlight when the hybrid battery (traction battery) is fully charged.
    ●Avoid accelerating and decelerating frequently and suddenly when EV driving.
    ●Avoid frequent driving near the top speed for EV driving. (→P. 87)
    ●Leave a low level of charge in the hybrid battery (traction battery) when leaving the vehicle undriven for a long period of time. After confirming that EV mode has switched to HV mode, turn the power switch off.
    ●Use the charging timer function as much as possible in order to fully charge the hybrid battery (traction battery) immediately before starting off. (→P. 147)

    From reading through other PC discussions posted:
    -Keeping the vents clear, along with periodically removing and vacuuming or blowing out the intake vent filters.
    -Saying "yes" to traction battery cooler when asked
    -Park in the shade where possible, and where not, use a front window shade and crack a window.
    -A battery life study cited in another forum that users using Level 2 charging were seeing slower degradation then those using Level 1 charging.

    So the questions?

    Are there other best practices? Is the level 2 charger really slightly better for battery life? How does the cool soak mentioned earlier in the thread work (is this simply pausing after recent use before charging, and if so for how long). Any other advice from experience?

    Thanks!
     
  19. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    These are the standouts...

    That is just plain wrong. Lithium chemistry actually does better from frequent short bursts of charging & discharging. Think of it as warming up for exercise.

    Long period means at least several weeks. Simply being gone for a week or two on vacation really won't make any difference when parked somewhere comfortable. Depletion down to HV is not necessary either. Anywhere in the middle is fine.

    Chemicals within the battery do better when given an opportunity to rest. Think of it as sleep. A nap is better than no rest at all, but actual sleep for a few hours is better for longevity.
     
  20. PiPLosAngeles

    PiPLosAngeles Senior Member

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    The biggest no-no is leaving the battery charged to 100% when not using the car or charging while the battery is hot. If the car will be parked where the temperature will exceed 80°F, try to keep the charge under 50%. The lower the better, but below 50% the gains are small.

    Another thing unlikely to be an issue in Phoenix very often is cold charging. Charging some lithium chemistries under 32°F can cause plating of metallic lithium on the anode, which is irreversible.
     
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