HyMotion and Prius Life Expectancy

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by dbermanmd, Feb 22, 2006.

  1. dbermanmd

    dbermanmd New Member

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    I would like to throw a question up to you guys. I am fascinated by the HyMotion's "plug-in" modification and believe, given the right price point, it will be a huge success.

    That being said, do you think that by increasing battery capacity with something like the HyMotion product you would extend the life expectancy of the car itself? If you decrease the amount of use the ICE sees, won't it last longer? And what other parts of the car would we need to worry about it terms of their failure requiring replacing the car itself?

    Thanks in advance for your help. I am picking my Silver #7 up next week :D

    David
     
  2. KTPhil

    KTPhil Active Member

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    Toyota 4-bangers regularly exceed 200K miles before needing teardown. I don't think the extra battery capacity would mean much to the ICE.
     
  3. jdjeep98

    jdjeep98 New Member

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    I disagree. If it runs less often, it should last longer. That 200K you mentioned is typically running all the time, even when you are stopped and idling.
     
  4. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    Yeah, it's already extended by not running half the time.
     
  5. jdjeep98

    jdjeep98 New Member

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    ...so, if it typically runs about 200K and ours runs about 1/2 the time and with the plug-in mod it would run 1/2 as much as ours, then it should last about 800K, right?
    :eek: :blink: :p :D
    Let's see... 20K a year... that's 40 years! (I think I'll want a new car by then... I'll be 96!! :lol:
     
  6. bobr1

    bobr1 New Member

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    The issue of longevity would probably be more related to the electric motors and transmission (power split device.)

    Right now, the car is rated at a carrying capacity of 840lbs (IIRC), which is good for 4 passengers and some bags.

    The HyMotion system adds about 160lbs of net weight to the car, which reduces your spec capacity by one passenger. If you don't regularly carry a car full of people and/or luggage, this will not be an issue.

    The run-flats will also add some mass, but this will be below the suspension and partially compensated for by the removal of the spare tire.

    For whatever reason, Toyota chose a very low specified carrying capacity for a car this size. I suspect they didn't want to generate too much heat due to torque from the motor when accelerating a full load up a hill, or they are worried about stress on the power split device.

    Running in electric mode more often and with greater average weight may put premature wear on the PDS or motors. I would expect HyMotion's fleet tests to determine how much that is really an issue.

    There might also be an issue with needing to beef up the rear suspension since that extra 160lbs will be way in the back and will be there full time.

    - Bob R.
     
  7. ajrowell

    ajrowell New Member

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    I agree, the hymotion system with greatly increase the longevity of your superb machine. And, based on my calculations will pay for itself after 200,000 miles of use given the increased fuel economy on )40 mile commutes and the reduced maintenance costs. Only unknown is the adverse effects the hymotion system may have on your existing Prius componentry and the fact that the stability of this system is highly untested. I don't know if would want a 160 lb Lithium powerplant sitting underneath only 1/4 inch plastic as protection from those I care about. If she booms, or is rear-ended, wow it won't be pretty. Then Toyota will say, "that is why it voids the warranty."
     
  8. daniel

    daniel Cat Lovers Against the Bomb

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    Your Prius, as it is, given proper maintenance, will rust out and fall apart before the engine wears out. Given that, extending engine life will accomplish nothing.

    A much more important point is shifting a significant portion of your energy use from gasoline to the electric grid.

    But I still think that HyMotion will be an extremely small niche product. Few people will be willing to spend $9,000 on an unauthorized modification of their car. And if economics finally makes it financially beneficial, Toyota will introduce it as a factory option or standard.

    Oh, yes. Apparently, since the car was never intended to go long distances on electric alone, the PSD (or something?) does not get properly lubricated while the engine is off. This is not an issue for the unmodified car, because it cannot go farther than a mile or so on EV. The HyMotion mod, by allowing the car to drive 25 or 50 miles on electric, may actually destroy the car in very short order.
     
  9. Begreen

    Begreen Member

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    Yes, when I was looking at the HyMotion pdf that came to my mind as well. I wouldn't install it without being very well secured, but it shouldn't be that hard. If nothing else, there's the screw bolt anchor for the spare tire.
     
  10. EricGo

    EricGo New Member

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    I was thinking about this also. Maybe the installation instructions require the owner to dust a truck at least once every trip :)
     
  11. galaxee

    galaxee mostly benevolent

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    wouldn't be the first toyota i've seen do that. 250k or so IIRC ;)
     
  12. KTPhil

    KTPhil Active Member

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    "I disagree. If it runs less often, it should last longer."

    You misunderstood the question. The comparison is between a standard Prius and the modified one, not between a Prius and a conventional car.
     
  13. windstrings

    windstrings Certified Prius Breeder

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    Plus I haven't found anyone to explain how it will get 25 - 50 miles.... are these figures pulled out of the air, or did they really test this?
    Thats a tremendous amount of power to store.

    If the existing battery can only go about one mile... and its 1.5kwh... how can a 5.5kwh lithium get that much more?... even if you can access 100% of its storage, its only 5 times the capacity of our existing?... even after considering we only access about 60% of our present battery " I figure we have around 1kwh or real power that gets us one mile down the road?"

    How is this Li battery gonna get us 25 to 50 times the distance of our present?

    Are we being fed a pipe dream?
     
  14. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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    840 lbs is NOT that low for the Prius. My 02 Nissan Maxima that seats 5 w/reasonable comfort was rated at 882 lbs and that's w/a 255 hp V6. My 04 Nissan 350Z that seats 2 is rated at 450 lbs. Here are ratings for some other vehicles:
    Lexus RX400h: 925 lbs.
    Ford Escape Hybrid AWD: 900 lbs
    Nissan Xterra 4WD: 920 lbs
    Honda CR-V AWD: 850 lbs
    Hyundai Tuscon AWD: 860 lbs
    Chevy HHR: 820 lbs
    Chrysler PT Cruiser: 865 lbs
    Pontiac Vibe: 850 lbs

    I swear I've seen a table online that listed the max cargo + passenger weight for all US vehicles but can't find it anymore. Consumer Reports used to also list it in their April auto issue but I think they stopped doing that.

    I recall the 4WD Honda Element was VERY low, on the order of 550 lbs (I wish I could find the numbers on the net right now). That might be the reason for only 4 seats.

    Back to CR, Edmunds at http://www.edmunds.com/ownership/driving/a...86/article.html mentions:
    "Industry watchdog Consumer Reports publishes the recommended load capacity of many vehicles. For example, a 2004 Mitsubishi Endeavor XLS with all-wheel drive is listed as having a load capacity of 970 pounds. With five 194-pound people onboard, this maximum would soon be reached — with nary a kayak or mountain bike onboard. The fact that a 2004 Mitsubishi Galant sedan can safely tote up to 825 pounds goes some way toward disproving the myth that all SUVs can carry significantly greater loads compared to sedans"
     
  15. bobr1

    bobr1 New Member

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    Thanks... I stand corrected on the vehicle capacity issue. Although I would love to see how the Toyota Camry and Corolla compare to the Prius.

    The Prius is the first time I've actually paid close attention to the spec (or perhaps the first time it's been printed in the owners manual) on a new car. I guess my other poor cars got more than they bargained for on numerous occasions. :)

    - Bob R.
     
  16. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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  17. clett

    clett New Member

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    The current Prius pack is about 1.3 kWh, but the computer only lets you use a maximum of about 0.6 kWh, and much more usually only about 0.3 kWh (for reasons of battery longevity). 0.3 kWh is equivalent to about 1 to 1.5 miles in EV mode.

    The Hymotion pack would probably let you have 80-90% of its capacity, and 5 kWh should give you up to 20-25 miles in EV mode.


    Were Toyota to install this themselves on the next Prius, it needn't cost anything like the $9,000 asked for by Hymotion, Edrive etc.

    This independent review of Lithium ion prices tells you exactly how much it costs to make lithium-ion cells:

    http://www.transportation.anl.gov/pdfs/TA/149.pdf

    The most established, mature market for LiIon cells is 18650 size, which currently costs about $200 per kWh to manufacture. Thus, the 5.5 kWh pack could be made up for a cost price of just $1,100.

    Perhaps it could cost as little as a $2,000 factory option on the next Prius?
     
  18. dbermanmd

    dbermanmd New Member

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    Thanks for all the input.

    I am still in search for some insight from you guys.

    In your humble opinions, would adding "battery capacity" LIKE the HyMotion's product extend the life expectancy of the Prius?

    If you think it would add more wear and tear on parts like the PSD or motors, if they are replaceable, what would be the cost - would it worth it.

    I am looking for some original content :) on whether or not an electric car or hybrid that is mostly electric would have a greater life expectancy over an ICE vehicle or one that relies mostly on an ICE.

    Thanks in advance guys. The discussions above were very interesting. Particularly about the parts concerning how INexpensive the new battery technology WILL be in the near future.
     
  19. clintd555

    clintd555 New Member

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    I HIGHLY doubt that clett. You're forgetting the supply and demand factor. I'm sure Toyota could sell the Package 8 Prius for $19k and make enough good profit to share with the dealer who sold it. But will they? I don't think so! :(

    If hymotion is able to successfully sell theirs for $9000 and it voids the warranty. I'd bet you Toyota sell them for at least $10,000 regardless of how much it takes to produce them. Point in case. Each iRobot Roomba cost $27 iRobot to produce... including all the parts, labor and shipping expenses. In the stores, they're selling for $200+. :blink:
     
  20. dbermanmd

    dbermanmd New Member

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    You may be correct. I however think that market forces will play a greater role. One of the reasons for my question is that if there is a true advantage for EV's in terms of life expectancy and cost over their ICE forebearers, the economic potential for profit will be large enough to draw others into the marketplace - this may be true if there is no difference between them with regards to their life expectancy.

    You mention iRobot - how much do people who can afford the iRobot spend each week on a cleaning service?? I am sure that given current production rates and the number of people who think they are saving money with it that the marketplace is pricing it fairly. As they lower their cost of purchase, more and more people will find it affordable.

    The same is true for the Prius. Market forces apply to the overall cost of it too. The fact that it compete against gas and diesel powered cars that come close in cost or are lower cost and get similar or close to same milage helps dictate the cost of the Prius. I do not agree with you on the cost to produce the Prius, especially the HSD at this point. I think Toyota accepts losses or maybe not very large profits on their hybrids to get production of HSD's to a point where they are (more) profitable - and other obvious reasons.

    I think HyMotion will have to drop the price of its product to attract more buyers. It will happen gradually for them to acquire units of sale to people willing to pay different rates per unit. For someone who drives mostly less than 20-40 miles every day and where the price of gas is high - they may be willing to pay more than someone who does not drive that much.

    They will also be pressured by Toyota itself who is undoubtedly moving towards similar technology in its next version of the Prius and other hybrids. If HyMotion does not move quickly they will be shut out complete - Toyota itself could offer similar options instead of having to change the battery packs in all its original hybrids. Think of other battery makers that will jump in on this too. Eventually, HyMotion to stay in business will have to offer it for less than Toyota or other companies coming into this marketplace.
     
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