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Is Project Lithium / Nexcell a scam battery?

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by BrianStranded, Feb 9, 2024.

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  1. BrianStranded

    BrianStranded Member

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    The aftermarket Lithium battery from Nexcell/Project Lithium seems like a scam to me for many reasons:

    1. It has several different names. Is it Project Lithium? Nexcell? Dr. Prius? Hybrid App? This makes it difficult to research.

    2. No legit longterm reviews with actually helpful data. 90% of the online reviews (including reviews on PriusChat) are from the same guys who obviously have financial interests in this company (or companies?) and NONE of these reviews report USEFUL data like the date of install? Miles since install? Quirks and errors? Exact mpg change? And the reviews that arent from investors are NEVER from people who’s had the battery long term or driven many miles, most just 0-5 months and under 10k miles.

    3. Lots of reported problems from the small sample size of reviews. Particularly errors after install and errors after 1 year ownership. And these issues are minimized as normal…failure is not normal to me.

    4. Lack of transparency from the owner. How are these made? Where? Whats the “factory” or production area look like or is this a garage operation? How are these being tested? Theres almost no incite into the process.

    5. All real life batteries had eras. I’ve only ran into 4 people in real life with a Nexcell lithium battery in their Gen 3 prius and they’ve all had failures. All the same story…mileage seemed to increase then intermittent battery failures occurred to the point where the car is no longer reliable.


    So I ask…is Project Lithium (or whatever the name is) a scam? Is it a great battery with no thorough reviews? Whats going on here. I’m replacing a battery soon, help me out.
     
  2. AzusaPrius

    AzusaPrius Senior Member

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    I have tested different versions of the lithium battery and have shorted, drained and overcharged these things with no fires.

    Jack is the developer of the Dr. Prius APP.

    He studied the HV battery and came up with a solution to improve mpg.

    These are imported from Taiwan and his work shop is in La Verne, California.

    He sells these HV batteries at projectlithium.com and they are made by Nexcell.

    Not a scam at all 20231117_074128.jpeg
     
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  3. jacktheripper

    jacktheripper Active Member

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    Hi @BrianStranded ,

    My name is Jack and ProjectLithium is my business, Nexcell is the factory name, and I wrote the Dr. Prius App many years ago to help testing the battery.

    If it is a scam business I would have closed the business before the V2.0 recall campaign last year, we lost a lot of money from our mistake but we stand behind our product like we always do.

    hope this helps.
     
  4. PriusTime

    PriusTime Junior Member

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    I don't think it's a scam. I do wonder about the longevity though and usefulness in cold climates that can get below 0 F, so I'd really like to see more long term data on this type of usage before I buy it. Here's a video that goes over some criticisms of the Lithium kit:

     
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  5. BrianStranded

    BrianStranded Member

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    I haven’t heard of the V2.0 recall. I do want to buy a pack, particularly the plug-in type. I’d like to have more info on performance from independent buyers. What is the oldest install and how is it holding up? I’m more interested in time than mileage. Does it require special upkeep?
     
  6. BrianStranded

    BrianStranded Member

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    Once again, a testing claim but no data to share. You’re not helping anything, can you be more transparent? Do you have a financial incentive connection to Nexcell? You guys are kinda proving my point
     
  7. AzusaPrius

    AzusaPrius Senior Member

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    To prove a point you have proof of such scam.

    I answered your questions of who is what.

    The recall is and has been turned into upgraded versions.

    This is why it is projectlithium.com

    We test and abuse and inform.

    Believe me customers would say scam if it really was, which it is not.

    Maybe you can edit the thread title to Questions about Project Lithium.
     
  8. Grit

    Grit Senior Member

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    There’s no low temp cut off bms on those packs. Every lifepo4 packs have bms with low temp sensors.
     
  9. AzusaPrius

    AzusaPrius Senior Member

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    Also in that video that is 1 month old the guy has a version 1 where it is currently for sale as version 2.5

    He rambles on saying the same thing but yet has zero proof it would not throw a code, which it always did.

    Comments are disabled and he links to gethub with results that are 6 months old.

    He is a competitor that is clearly trying to bash Jack and has zero experience with using a lithium pack in a hybrid.
     
  10. Tombukt2

    Tombukt2 Senior Member

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    I thought he made some kind of nonsense for the Honda insight which isn't that a hybrid I thought that's where his experience with hybrids came from the insight and whatever is going on with it some kind of lithium isn't that one of the blue in the silver modules that he showed aren't isn't that insight stuff? Anyway this is exactly the point of all this All the electronic engineers want to get on and argue and go on about wire sizes and gel packs and so on regular human beings don't care anything about all this they just want everything to err on the side of caution etc. just like Toyota would build it so they can get on with their oh what a feeling life. And that's pretty much the long and short of it All the banter back and forth about the latest this and that generally doesn't really interest people they're just trying to get to work back home to have dinner and that's what's made the Corolla the number one car on the planet.
     
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  11. rjparker

    rjparker Tu Humilde Sirviente

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    The problem I have is the lack of transparency about how they were tested and how they emulate the factory NiMH system from a charging, safety and monitoring standpoint. One might suspect the company is trying to keep competitors out while beta testing using paying customers.

    To your point, everything is and was always great by the people who got free or discounted batteries or those who make money off them.

    All was wonderful - until there was a better version available. Now the 1.0 interfaces were not so great and we can now get the improved 2.0 versions. Still no real transparency why.

    In other Priuschat businesses we had the NiMH cylinders replacing oem. But the lifespan proved to be 10-20% of oem at close to 100% of the oem cost considering labor needed.

    Also we see guys drop shipping products like lift kits and accessories, taking money and then ghosting customers. While still selling through posts on Priuschat and denying everything.
     
    #11 rjparker, Feb 10, 2024
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2024
  12. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    I work with the guy who made this video. I'm right now learning to install his Honda hybrid Lithium-Ion conversions via his Linsight product that's still in beta testing with 200 Gen1 Insights using it right now. As he says in this video he plans to enter the hybrid battery market as Jack's competitor. In his most recent post on insightcentral.net he said he estimates he will need 10 employees to enter the Prius Lithium upgrade market and of January 2024 he has done slightly more than 0% of the work to get started on his plan.

    Meanwhile, I have discussed all the concerns raised in this video with Jack and as each new version of his pack comes out (currently at V2.5) every valid issue raised by this guy will be addressed.

    What's more, Jack is very generous with upgrades so the cost of ensuring existing pack owners can afford to upgrade without having to buy a brand new pack at full price is constantly demonstrated. Additionally, the packs are always designed with user repair-ability in mind, so things like spare modules and an upgrade to the newest circuits are easy to obtain.

    After 4 years of working with Jack and getting a small commission if people buy with my affiliate link: http://www.projectlithium.com/?ref=9qLPw (Next shipment of V2.5 arrives at end of Feb.) I think the most important thing to be aware of is what he often says about how this is not a product, but a project and he will never stop improving on the initial design.
     
  13. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    Actually, Toyota Prius battery ECU has a low temp cut off system for the BMS that is more than sufficient to manage LiFePo4. I have a published white paper analysis of that system if you're interested in reading it. But yes, still lots of room for improvement for the coldest most extreme weather regions in the world. In fact, just today Jack and I were talking about someone we found in Mongolia who is going to help us with winter testing of future iterations of pack design. Few places get colder than that region and people who live their own more Prius per capita than anywhere else in the world.
     
  14. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    Jack has never limited transparency for me in past 4 years... Ask anything you want, Jack never avoids the challenges of being a small business startup that is honest and transparent. But true to the nature of startups he's one person doing the work of what his future competitor thinks will require at least 10 employees, so he's a bit overstimulated and often experiencing input overload.
     
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  15. V Sport Wagon

    V Sport Wagon Member

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    There's more Prius' in Mongolia than Los Angeles (and I am not kidding)...I was watching a Vlogger that travelled through that region filming cities and countryside and everyone drove Gen 2 and Gen 3's...probably 8 to 1 ratio. If someone opened a shop up there, they could make a killing.
     
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  16. V Sport Wagon

    V Sport Wagon Member

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    I originally ran the V1 starting in June 2022, then upgraded to V2 middle of last year. (Either version no issues at all). I have put about 20k miles on it since then. Recently upgraded to 2.5...never had any issues. Went from 41 mpg to 49-51 average in a Prius V. Friends with Jack, but I do not get paid to say this and everything I post here is in regards to my personal vehicle and personal account.

    Don't forget all you annoying DIY's, you need to clean the bus bars and nuts off from the corrosion before reinstalling the Lithium Packs. Also, make sure your ICE is in top condition or that will ruin a battery. Replace break pads...also will kill a good battery. I think 90% of Nexcell "issues" are user or installer error and Jack is just taking it in the shorts trying to be an honest business man and follow up on all his commitments to his customers.

    (Parker: to compare Jack to JimmyDuwayneTron is a crime, they are on two opposite spectrums of Truth and the Moral Compass).
     
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  17. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    That's because there's no import tariffs on Prius... Mongolia is 3.3 million people, very poor country, only 10% of roads are paved which means most Prius have lift kits.

    Here's an article about a guy who shipped 1800 used Prius to that country and quickly sold them: Why the Toyota Prius is conquering the land of Genghis Khan - The Globe and Mail
     
  18. Tombukt2

    Tombukt2 Senior Member

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    Well that's good to know that low brake pads will ruin the battery pack quite interesting course I change my brake pads on the Prius before they're even broken good because they're inexpensive and only take a second to change and under normal conditions they're never doing very much to begin with so I can't imagine how they would wear down more excessively run a battery down I thought the brake pads didn't come into play until the last little bit of breaking It seems on most of my four generation twos I almost never use the brake pads except when the actuator is going bad then I'm on hydraulics a lot but when all that is working my stopping distance is to the point where the hydraulics seem to never engage I live out in the country where there's nobody so I don't really have to do a whole lot of serious stopping and these cars run so bad when the ice engines acting up you pretty much have to straighten it out or get it right or something will fall out from under the hood of the car.
     
  19. rjparker

    rjparker Tu Humilde Sirviente

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    No legitimate lithium battery bms and poor construction leads to reliability and safety concerns. A proper implementation will take engineering effort.

    I do not suggest moral issues on anyone’s part. I suspect unprofessional design in one case and outright consumer fraud in other cases possibly caused by medical issues.

    The only vendor promoted on Priuschat I would consider is Hybridpit.
     
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  20. AzusaPrius

    AzusaPrius Senior Member

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    @rjparker

    That is funny Hybrid Pit sells products from both Project Lithium and Prius Overlanding, so what do you say about that?
     
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