New smaller lighter NiMH

Discussion in 'Gen 4 Prius Main Forum' started by goldfinger, Oct 18, 2015.

  1. goldfinger

    goldfinger Active Member

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    The new smaller lighter NiMH has the same design, 28 modules of 6 cells. I wonder if the replacement cost will be lower. The battery is smaller and the patents have expired. If so it may be possible to retrofit Gen 2 and 3.
    Gen4batt.jpg
     
  2. fotomoto

    fotomoto Senior Member

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    Well if it's smaller and assuming the wiring connection is the same, then it will certainly not be a bolt in affair. Some sort of adapter bracket(s) would be needed to line up bolt holes..
     
    #2 fotomoto, Oct 18, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2015
  3. mozdzen

    mozdzen Active Member

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    It's like updating one component of a 4 yr old laptop - forget it. Just buy a new one - too much new tech in the new one.
    Or just live with the old one and stop envying the new one.
     
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  4. Lee Jay

    Lee Jay Senior Member

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    I've never had a laptop last more than 7 years. I've never had a car last less than 14 years. Laptops cost 4% as much as a car.

    So the comparison isn't valid at all.
     
  5. goldfinger

    goldfinger Active Member

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    One of the biggest anxieties of a battery car is the battery. It would be nice (less anxiety) if it were cheaper. It would be nicer still if you could upgrade to lithium or technology X when that becomes better, cheaper, or more available. Cars are becoming like PCs. Wouldn't it be cool if the after market noticed an opertunity to make a replacement battery.

    Some here are running their cars longer than the original battery. If the new battery is cheaper I'm sure someone will do it.
     
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  6. mozdzen

    mozdzen Active Member

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    No, it is valid. Updating one component of a system whose other components are now obsolete is usually not a good idea. Why on earth would you upgrade just the battery? How could you ever recoup the cost? The car's system wouldn't be able to take advantage of the new battery. Waste of resources.
     
  7. Lee Jay

    Lee Jay Senior Member

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    Because updating the car costs 5-10 times more than just the battery.

    First day I use it. A $2,500 battery is much cheaper than $25,000 car, and it might well double the car's lifespan nearly cutting the total cost of ownership in half.

    It's a waste of resources to throw away a perfectly good car because of a single faulty component.
     
  8. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    there's a lot of anxiety about the battery, but only a little problem. i don't doubt some intrepid diy'er will pull it off, but as bright as some of our members are, few are willing to take on that kind of challenge.

    we haven't even figured out how to repair the battery reliably yet.
     
  9. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    I just upgraded my 5.5 year old laptop, replacing the original hard-drive with a new solid-state. What a huge improvement for surprisingly little cost.

    Swapping out old for new isn't as simple or wouldn't return as much of a gain with a Prius, but it sure would keep it going for a long time. After all, the gas engine is babied. The battery prevents it from being exposed to much stress.
     
  10. Lee Jay

    Lee Jay Senior Member

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    One of my current "daily driver's" is 27 years old. It's in pretty good condition, runs great, and it still nice to drive. It's been a very reliable car but if you add up all the little things I've had to do to it over the years, the difference between it an my 11 year old Prius would easily pay for a new hybrid battery for the Prius. I doubt the original hybrid battery will last 27 years, but it wouldn't surprise me a bit if just one replacement will extend the car's life that long.

    We bought my Prius because my other daily driver is a 2 door turbo charged sports coupe, and we decided to have our first child. We ordered it while my wife was pregnant and my son has never known a day without that being our primary car. He's pretty attached to it, and I'm thinking of giving it to him when he starts driving. It's a good car for a kid because of all the safety features (air bags, stability control, traction control, ABS) and the relatively low performance, at least compared to my turbo charged sports coupe (which has no airbags, no stability control, no traction control, no ABS, tons of torque steer and a manual transmission).
     
    #10 Lee Jay, Oct 18, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2015
  11. energyandair

    energyandair Active Member

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    So you replace your house if the thermostat fails or is out of date?
     
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  12. austingreen

    austingreen Senior Member

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    But if you replace it at 8 years what is the car really worth? My guess $6500, and many batteries last longer than that.

    Likely you will scavenge cells or repair the battery. $3000 is really high for a used car repair. So chewing gum and duck tape when that happens (or bobwilson would use used parts better). It doesn't make sense for toyota to make this a cheap upgrade.

    Now tesla or bmw that is a different deal. They may want to lock out competition by giving good parts service. We know both cars have modular batteries. Perhaps these modules will be standard with standard replacements.
     
  13. Lee Jay

    Lee Jay Senior Member

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    The car is worth to me what it would cost to replace it.

    A family member of mine replaced her automatic transmission at 135,000 miles for $3,500.

    The question is, will it cost less to replace the battery with an old design battery or a new design battery? My guess is the new one is substantially cheaper than the old one or Toyota wouldn't have changed it.

    However, that doesn't mean it will work without some sort of mechanical and/or electrical adapters, and so it might still be cheaper to buy a "new" old one.
     
  14. austingreen

    austingreen Senior Member

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    I gave the private party number, really if you replace used with used that should be in the ball park, you don't get all the bells and whistles of the 2016 model when you replace a bad battery with a new one. Often these new batteries sit in wharehouses not maintained well, and fail much faster. Isn't it more likely to use a used one. I can't say your family member made a great financial decision there, but it probably was emotional. Salvage sale versus replacement costs of the car (with a similar car to the repaired) are often better.



    A lot cheaper have a shop repair your battery with some old parts, than replace the electronics. I doubt toyota wants to kit it up and sell it at a loss to keep more old cars on the road, when they can sell a new one. Current Toyota batteries have 2002-2015 to share cells, so not a great business. Since the old ones cost more if you want one you need pay more. My guess is mtbf is around 11 years, which magically is about the average age of cars on the road in the US.
     
  15. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    If I keep my Gen 3 Prius long enough to have to deal with HV batttery replacement I'll worry about it then.

    I'm sure by the time I'm likely to be facing the failure of the HV battery, Toyota will have worked out whether the "New" NiMH battery is compatible and adaptable.

    At this point I'm not seeking out the solution. I don't need to do so.
     
  16. roflwaffle

    roflwaffle Member

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    A retrofit would be awesome. The mounting shouldn't be too bad if it's smaller. Someone will just need to create some adapters to mount to a gen2 or gen 3. The bigger question is whether the new battery ECU can talk to the older ECUs.
     
  17. David Beale

    David Beale Senior Member

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    More details please. We have been told the battery is smaller and lighter -physically-, but I suspect it's the same or close to the same capacity. In other words, they are still figuring out how to make it better. More reliable intercell connections was the first change a number of years ago.

    Smaller and lighter is better because the car becomes slightly more efficient with less weight and more space for the designers to mess with. I suspect a more compact battery will be "more uniform", that is, the cell to cell temp. will be closer, the intercell connectors shorter with less voltage drop, etc.

    But, because the HSD is programmed with the original battery in mind, any large change in function may cause it to react differently. I would be careful just swapping out such a part with something that may be very different. How many have installed GII batteries in first gen cars? How did that work out?
     
  18. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    Programming is easy to update, just ask Tesla. That's a normal expectation with hardware upgrades anyway.
     
    #18 john1701a, Oct 22, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2015
  19. austingreen

    austingreen Senior Member

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    From another thread
    Gen 4 Staff Manual (In Japanese) =/ Specs/Design/Other Info | Page 15 | PriusChat
    The new nimh is only 1kg(2.2lbs) lighter, to make it really lighter you need to go for the lithium which is 16.8 kg (36.5 lbs) lighter. The nimh may need a new electronics package, the lithium would definitely need one.
     
  20. David Beale

    David Beale Senior Member

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    Those electrical specs. are the same as the GII and GIII battery. Looks to me like it's only different in physical size, though the actual battery may function better (lower internal resistance etc.). If this is the case it probably could be swapped to a GIII (or GII). Don't know about the interface to the computers though. It might be necessary to keep the old battery computer/connection system.

    As far as John's comment about easy to reprogram, lots of luck!! NONE of the info has ever been released by Toyota or is likely to ever be. Toyota might be able to do it, but I don't think anyone else could or would. Toyota would just tell you to buy (from them) a replacement battery for the model you have. ;) They would also recommend the dealer install it.
     
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