Plug in Supply Site now shows LiFePO4 info

Discussion in 'Prius PHEV Plug-In Modifications' started by krousdb, Feb 3, 2009.

  1. krousdb

    krousdb NX-74205

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  2. bedrock8x

    bedrock8x Senior Member

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    Claimed battery last for life of car but only offer 1 year battery warranty.
    Sound like they are using ThunderSky Li Iron battery.
     
  3. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

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    So, are prices low due to the poor economy?
     
  4. DaveinOlyWA

    DaveinOlyWA 3rd Time was Solariffic!!

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    this price is low??
     
  5. Swingshiftworker

    Swingshiftworker Junior Member

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    Nope, not a low price . ..

    which is why I'm reconsidering the whole PHEV add-on idea. Hymotion seems to raise too many problems (at least as indicated by the posts here) and you lose the storage area to boot. Plug-in w/lead batteries is a good alternative at $7k, but only about a 10-15 mile range. Plug-in's lithium range is expected to be 30-40 miles w/all electric speeds up to 50mph, but at $15k the price is just too high. Plug-in installers will give you a full credit for a lead to lithium upgrade, so you can leg into it financially, but by the time you can afford the upgrade, the factory systems should be available.

    So, I'm going to sit on the sidelines on this for awhile and, if I wait long enough, I can probably just trade my 06 Prius in for an 10 or 11 model w/PHEV built in. :)
     
  6. ScubaGypsy

    ScubaGypsy Live Free & Leave No Footprint

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  7. DaveinOlyWA

    DaveinOlyWA 3rd Time was Solariffic!!

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    their battery pack is twice the size of hymotion's.

    i think i will wait until i can get 5 KWH for $5,000
     
  8. usbseawolf2000

    usbseawolf2000 HSD PhD

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    The website said 3 years limited warranty.
     
  9. usbseawolf2000

    usbseawolf2000 HSD PhD

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    Plugin supply may go faster in the EV mode. Below is from their site:

    Electric Vehicle (EV) Mode means the gas engine does not start. To exit this mode, the car must be brought to a stop, turned off, and restarted. The car restarts in normal Prius mode. Range in EV Mode is 10–15 miles per charge, depending on terrain and driving style. Max speed in EV Mode is 52 MPH.
     
  10. drees

    drees Senior Member

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    Or $8,495 for 10-15 miles of EV using LiFePO4 pack. Good price compared to the Hymotion kit. But are the batteries as durable? A123 batteries have a good reputation...

    $5k for the Pb batteries is tempting, knowing that in 2 years when they die there should be a lot more battery options available.

    Edit: Just realized that the Plug-In Supply cost doesn't appears to include shipping or installation - anyone know how much that costs?
     
  11. PeakOilGarage

    PeakOilGarage Nothing less than 99.9

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    The Hymotion issues have all been resolved with the latest software update. So looking at their $10,000 cost for 5 kwh and 30-40 miles of range, that is the best price out there. Also they have a 3 year unlimited mile warranty and their warranty promises to cover anything that Toyota declines to cover. Also the Hymotion system has been crash tested.

    Another positive is the long lasting nature of the A123 lithium-ion cells. In their test lab, these batteries are at over 3,000 cycles (est 10 years of daily use) and still provide 80% of original capacity.

    Full disclosure: I am biased in favor of Hymotion. Our company has installed about 200 of them in the pacific northwest.
     
  12. chogan2

    chogan2 Senior Member

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    The Hymotion figure is "mixed driving", meaning, 30 miles before the pack is dead. The 30 miles is some "average" mix of electrical and gas propulsion. This is non-standard. Everyone else cites PHEV pack size in terms of electrical miles. If Hymotion did what everyone else did, they'd call theirs maybe a 15 mile pack, maybe less.

    A reasonable rule of thumb that I've gotten from the various US national research labs tests of PHEV Prii is that, on average, they show a little under 4 electrical miles per usable KWH for a plugin Prius. That's the net impact on the gas mileagve, from using the electricity, if you follow that. Add the gas you burn at 46 miles per gallon, add the KWH you burn at 4 miles per KWH, and that's how far the average driver will go.

    You can't use the entire battery capacity, so plugin supply claiming 35 miles for 10.2 KWH, that seems pretty consistent with the NRL tests. They're citing electric miles. Hymotion is total distance traveled before the pack is dead, on average.
     
  13. chogan2

    chogan2 Senior Member

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    Could you expand on that a little more? I'm a Hymotion owner, had to return my first pack because it would not recharge properly (terminated early from what I think was due to lack of cooling). I've had the Hymotion recharge kill my auxiliary battery in cold weather, per another thread here (now fixed by jury-rigging a 12v trickle charger to run during Hymotion recharge). I've also had the Guest socket break (the ground prong pulled out of the socket when I unplugged the car -- have not yet taken that back to the dealer to fix, but don't need a lecture on electrical safety.) And the pack still sometimes does some funky things occasionally when I'm driving.

    On net, I'm still OK with Hymotion (Ie, given what I went through and now know, I'd still buy it). You expect a few bugs when you buy one of the first ones off the line.

    But this is the first I've heard of software issues. Would you mind describing the problem(s) that needed to be fixed?
     
  14. patsparks

    patsparks An Aussie perspective

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    Get a Vectrix scooter and ride that. Over 60 miles range and your SO can drive the Prius to the shops instead of the minivan. It's cheaper than a Hymotion conversion.
     
  15. ScubaGypsy

    ScubaGypsy Live Free & Leave No Footprint

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    So if one stays in the pure EV mode, do they still have access to heat (or AC)? Are any other functions voided by operating in the EV mode?
     
  16. SageBrush

    SageBrush Senior Member

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    Yeah, the companies are making this unduly complicated. All I want to see is useable KwH from a full charge and total battery capacity. Battery life is related to the above, but more complicated and frankly more of a question when dealing with a small company that may not be around to honor their warranty.
     
  17. bstanier

    bstanier New Member

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    To clarify the warranty, as I read it its 3 years limited on the components but only 1 year on the battery itself. That alone would say no no no to me.
     
  18. ibcs

    ibcs New Member

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    I would like a little information on your trickle charge system. I had a dead battery last night and was not very happy. I love the Hymotion System, but I can't have a dead battery. I'm going to start monitoring the battery voltage on the Scangauge. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

    ---Kent
     
  19. chogan2

    chogan2 Senior Member

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    Yeah, that's a real pain in the ***, isn't it, to have an aftermarket addon totally disable your car. I was not pleased when it happened to me.

    Dave Roper was the one who clued me on on this -- see the auxiliary battery thread in this forum. The link in his first post shows his setup.

    It's really easy to do. I did the simplest possible thing, which was to wire the charger up and run an extension cord from the charger out of the car. So now I have to plug in two things to recharge the car. It would be more elegant to wire the AC directly to the Guest socket installed with the Hymotion pack, but this works.

    First, I bought a 1.5 amp *automatic shutoff* trickle charger from my local auto parts store (Advance Auto). The only important clause there is auto shutoff -- you don't want the cheaper manual-shutoff version, or you can overcharge the battery if you leave it plugged in. Seems like 1.5 amp is enough, would not hurt if you bought some reasonably higher amperage.

    I got this one, meant to be installed in the vehicle, with ring terminals instead of alligator clamps at the ends of the wires:

    While we find your parts, please enter your ZIP Code at PartsAmerica.com

    If all you can get is one with alligator clamps, I'd cut those off and put ring or spade terminals on.

    This one also has enough hardware that you can install in without having to drill any new holes, which made this go quickly.

    So:

    Pull the cover off the battery compartment, pull the floor out of the trunk.
    Pop the positive (red) terminal cover off the battery (screwdriver under the catch on the side did it for me).

    Assemble the attachment hardware for the trickle charger, including the piece that you can use to hold it in place by putting that piece under your existing car battery. Then shove that piece under the Hymotion pack. That's it for mounting it. Assemble it so the AC plug sits to the left. So far, that has held mine in place just fine. If you're worried about it moving around, I guess you can drill and bolt.

    Now attach the positive (red) wire from the charger to the battery positive, and negative (black) wire from the charger to the battery ground where the ground wire bolts to the car body.

    For the positive, I found a nut the right size, slipped the ring terminal from the charger over the existing bolt on the red battery cable clamp, and adding the nut. Done. Alternatively, you could use the nut that's already on the battery cable clamp, but I didn't want to muck with it.

    For the negative, go to where the black cable grounds on the body, remove that bolt, slip the black ring terminal over it, retighten. Done.

    NOTE: If you want to keep the car from doing a reset (e.g., keep your radio presets), then you need to keep up an electrical ground while you remove and replace the ground wire bolt. Take a set of jumper cables, take the two black ends, clamp one to the black battery terminal, clamp the other to (in my case) the ring tie-down fixture in the trunk. Then do the ground wire.

    Make sure the charger wires are run OK, i.e., they aren't going to get pinched when you put the floor back down.

    Run a (grounded) extension cord from the charger up to the trunk. You just have to squeeze the cord into some space when you put the floor back in.

    Clean up: re-attach the red battery terminal cover, put the floor and battery compartment covers back in.

    When you charge your Hymotion, pull the cord out of the trunk, shut the hatchback over it (to turn off the interior lights), and plug in the trickle charger when you plug in your Hymotion.

    No drilling, no splicing. If you can find a nut to fit the positive battery cable clamp and have a set of jumper cables handy, it'll take you about 10 minutes. I've only had mine in a few days, but no trouble so far.

    Here's my only worry. The trickle charger will mask the ongoing deterioration of the auxiliary battery. (In fact, I'd bet the reason that Hymotion didn't catch this is that they ran theirs on nice new cars with nice fresh auxiliary batteries.) My experience is that OEM batteries tend to be pretty short-lived. So I bet the reason that I had this problem is at least partly because my OEM battery is 3.5 years old. But now, instead of having it die overnight in my driveway, when it finally goes, it'll strand me at the end of a day after having been parked all day. I theory, I can keep an eye on how well the aux. battery is holding a charge during the day, and change it before it dies. In practice, I ain't going to do that. It's going to strand me somewhere. I'm thinking of getting one of those portable jump-starter gizmos, keep that in the trunk, just in case I end up somewhere where I can't get a jump-start on the aux. battery, when it finally dies.
     
  20. Rokeby

    Rokeby Member

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    ibcs,

    FYI, you can check the 12V battery voltage with the ScanGauge at any
    time, whether the car is in ready or not.

    This feature is especially useful for getting a reading in the morning before
    you use the POWER switch. Just hit the botton on the Lower right of the
    gauge, then bring up the voltage gauge.
     
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