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Lithium ion or nickel metal hydride?? Which would be better in a hot summer climate.

Discussion in 'Gen 4 Prius Technical Discussion' started by kens97uber171, Nov 13, 2019.

  1. kens97uber171

    kens97uber171 Active Member

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    Looking at purchasing a 4th Gen Prius, would like some insight on whether to try to find a lithium pack trim car or to go with nickel metal hydride.
    I live in Southwest Texas, it's very dry here and we see a 105-110F. For some of the year.
    The rest of the year more mild.
    Currently have a 2008 Prius with 311,000 miles on it.
    Just wondering if there is any data available to show reliability on the lithium versus nickel metal.

    Thanks very much.

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    i gotta go with lithium, but it would be easier to tell you which would be better in cold climbs

    then again, if you're still on the original battery, why change?
     
  3. alanclarkeau

    alanclarkeau Senior Member

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    Li-ION was only on Japanese and a couple of US models initially. (But PRIUS v was always Li-ION, but I believe more for packaging reasons.) They've increased the number of Li-ION in USA, but, as far as I know, the rest of the world is still only NiMH (except PRIUS v).

    There was initial speculation that the Japanese market is for short-term cars - very few live much longer than 3 or 5 years before being either GreyMarketed to other countries, or scrapped.

    But here, TOYOTA has increased the battery warranty to 10 years/unlimited km for all Hybrids - meaning they must have confidence in the longevity of both. [That excludes commercial vehicles such as TAXIs.]

    Cold weather - TOYOTA has reiterated that the NiMH is best and that's all they offer on the e-AWD. RAV4, I believe is only offered as NiMH worldwide.

    Which doesn't answer your question - but some opinions!!
     
  4. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    It’s only been 3 years since Toyota launches a regular Prius with Li-Ion batteries in the US. The NiMH ones are the same but updated.

    if you want to be really conservative, go with NiMH since it lasted a long time on your 2008. They are definitely robust.
     
  5. vvillovv

    vvillovv Senior Member

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    I think one good reason Toyota is still offering NiMH is so they can continue to service older Prius with NiMH traction packs. It gives owners of the older cars plenty of options for replacement packs, modules and conversions using NiMH. Lithium needs much different battery control automation for charge, discharge and temperature compared to NiMH, so that when trying to use lithium batteries in a car designed for NiMH batteries, there are a lot more technical details that have to worked out.
    I don't have any facts to back up my beliefs, it just makes sense to me since I have to struggle with Honda NiMH modules that kept changing in pack density and output with every second model generation release across all their hybrid offerings.

    Southwestern US summer temps are known to be a hybrid killer, because of the temps that the inside of the car gets up to. And I don't believe there is any extensive data yet on which chemistry handles the kind of heat the southwest gets in the summer, better.
     
    #5 vvillovv, Nov 14, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2019
  6. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    I see sense in maintaining their NiMH production & development at least until some cars with Li-ion packs have reached the average retirement age established by gas & NiMH-powered cars.

    Until then, they get to say “Our NiMH products are time-tested, the Li-ion isn’t.” That’s valuable.

    I do hope they have the same eventual success with the lithium batteries and I haven’t seen any hints that they won’t… but it’ll be a few more years before we really know.
     
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  7. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    one thing we do know, no pip/tesla/volt problems in the south that we've heard of, although tesla and volt have liquid cooling, and pips have only done a few hundred thousand miles.

    comparing anything to 300,000+ miles in south texas is difficult, and o/p may find his next choice to be a disappointment
     
  8. kens97uber171

    kens97uber171 Active Member

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    Thanks guys for all the comments.. definitely appreciate the insight .
    Kinda sounds like we don't know for sure..
    But as you guys said my NmH battery has lasted.
    We don't get much significant freezing here.. it does get that cold over night. But it's usually warmer during the day..
    Was 75 today as a high.. 40 as a low.
    I'm leaning towards a level four touring model which I believe in the 16.17.18 models was MNH..
    Ultimately I may not have a lot of choice. it may come down to picking the car that I want and whatever battery it has is what I'm going to get stuck with. But if I have a choice of two cars it certainly helps me in my decision making process a bit...

    Thanks again guys much appreciated.

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
  9. davecook89t

    davecook89t Senior Member

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    For the years 2016 to 2018, you will find that all models sold in North America except the 2 have the Lithium Ion battery. If you want the NiMH in a Gen 4, you will have to go with the stripped down version of the car.
     
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  10. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    Yeah. The Four Touring has the Li-Ion battery. The base Two had the NiMH battery.
     
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  11. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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    5 Passenger v's are NiMH with battery behind the rear seats, 7 Passenger v's are Li-Ion with battery in the console.
    Some nations get one, some get the other, and some get both. (also called Prius+ and Prius Alpha, both better names than Prius v)
     
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  12. alanclarkeau

    alanclarkeau Senior Member

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    Now you remind me, I remember. Funny that. Yes, we only had the 7 seater with LiION. I was sorely tempted - but Gen 4 drove so much better, and didn't need Premium fuel at 17 cents/litre dearer.