Featured The New Repair For Toyota Prius Hybrid Batteries May Be Lithium-Ion

Discussion in 'Prius, Hybrid, EV and Alt-Fuel News' started by Tim Jones, Oct 23, 2020.

  1. Tim Jones

    Tim Jones Active Member

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    #1 Tim Jones, Oct 23, 2020
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2020
  2. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    If it's a full battery replacement, they'll have to fiddle with the computer energy management system too so that the computer knows the capacity and current SOC of the new battery.

    Maybe with the Gen 4 where both batteries exist and the coding exists for either type of battery, a battery swap of different chemistry might be feasible.
     
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  3. royrose

    royrose Senior Member

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    Sure sounds like he is talking about the project that @jacktheripper has been discussing in PriusChat. If not, then there is somebody else out there that we don't know about.

    Jack has stated that he can do it without changing the ECU: "I have been running the home-made version Lithium on Gen2, Gen3 for more than 3 years now, no ECU refresh."
     
  4. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    If they are at the testing phase, I'm sure they had the means of digging in the car's software to alter the battery control parameters. Or the replacement has its own control module that just tells the car what it needs to know. Even if the new pack can only be used in the NiMH SOC range, it should be lighter and cheaper than getting a new NiMH pack.

    Definitely has both. My little Sonic had the fuel mapping for E85 locked up in it, and US GM's from the 80's and 90's had the lean burn code used by Holdens in them.
     
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  5. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    i don't know who peter neilson is, but i would say he was having a very slow day
     
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  6. alanclarkeau

    alanclarkeau Senior Member

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    I read that earlier today. Had a giggle and closed it as irrelevant and frankly crazy.

    I can't see it as viable. He's talking about Gen 2, maybe Gen 3.

    Who, in their right mind, would spend big $$$ to upgrade a Gen 2 to Li-ION. The Engine Management and other computers would need changing or programming - and then, after proving that it ACTUALLY WORKS - there's the cost of certification of a Li-ION battery for Fire and Insurance purposes - that can cost millions.

    But - with a Gen 2 - better to spend the same or less $$$ and get a much better, much safer car in a Gen 4.

    The other reality is that there is very little MPG difference between a Gen 4 with Li-ION and NiMH - so there is no €ff€ctiv€ $aving at all - just big lo$$e$.
     
  7. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    He's well known for his head scratching impressions/observations... I'm usually not very impressed with his journalistic prowess. My friends often refer to how we roll our eyes as we start to read what he says.

    This time it was the fact that he's confusing Nickel Cadmium with Nickel Metal Hydride. NiMH were NOT even commercially available as batteries until 1989, rather than his claim of '69. But that's the way he is. He also, I might add, takes personal offense at those who correct him when he gets it wrong so I don't even bother anymore.
     
  8. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    US regulations are laxer. Generally, you don't need to inform your insurance company of any mods. We can put in Li-ion starter batteries if we want, and those are available.

    The Li-ion cells they are likely using should be cheaper than a replacement NiMH pack. So this could be an alternative for those that need a new pack.

    A gen4 doesn't see a difference between the two because the usable capacity is basically the same. More capacity could help, but the intent here seems to be keeping older Prius on the road longer.
     
  9. alanclarkeau

    alanclarkeau Senior Member

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    The Gen 4 Li-ION and NiMH batteries aren't interchangeable from what was said on PriusChat a few years ago - quite a bit of the infrastructure is different, and the computers won't "just" accept a swap.

    I'm surprised that legislation wouldn't be affected. It would affect the emissions for a start, and fire safety. The last thing Fire Responders would want is to be called to a 2008 PRIUS and discover to their dismay that they're dealing with a Li-ION battery fire. And NHTSA, I'm sure would want to know. FCC particularly.

    But - I fail to see how an old PRIUS would be worth spending that much money on an old-fashioned, non-working car. I didn't notice the article saying that the Li-ION swap would be cheaper - a few comments below gave a price for a GENUINE NiMH replacement.
     
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  10. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    I'm sure the code is for both is in the appropriate module; it's lower cost, and less chance of issues, for Toyota than separate ones for each pack. Now, that doesn't mean it is plug and play. You'll need to go into the software which battery type it is working with. That's how it was on the Sonic; just installing an alcohol sensor on the fuel line didn't unlock the E85 fuel trim maps. Needed a tuner to do it.

    The NiMH is bigger, so different mounting hardware might be needed.

    If there is legislation in the way, the company can probably get around it by saying its for off road use. That's how bypass valves to mufflers and catalytic converters find there way onto trucks and cars.

    Li-ion batteries have been falling price for years now. NiMH has not. NiMH started out cheaper, but now it isn't, and likely not even for Toyota. It is possible that securing new NiMH for these older cars isn't easy, and some people just like having older cars.

    Toyota has been switching from NiMH to Li-ion with some hybrid models without much of an announcement. The Li-ion is either cheaper, or they have a supply issue with NiMH.
     
  11. alanclarkeau

    alanclarkeau Senior Member

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    Yes, the "The NiMH is bigger, so different mounting hardware might be needed." The venting under the seat it different too.

    It looks like the Hybrid Vehicle Control ECUs are different - with different connections, and, not certain, but the schematic indicates that there might be different Inverters with different connectors. Could be a huge job.
     
  12. Prodigyplace

    Prodigyplace Senior Member

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    Some of that MPG difference on the Eco was attributed to the higher recommended tire pressure. I just run my Trim Two with higher tire pressures.
     
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  13. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    i highly doubt this 'company' he is talking to is making all this investment for gen4. the money is in gen2 and 3.
    it will be a long wait for massive gen4 out of warranty failures, and the numbers of gen4 on the road are lower as well.
     
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  14. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    Add to that the fact that peak annual sales of Prius was in 2008 so there's much less market share in Gen 4 Prius. The most Prius on the road right now are late model gen2 and early model gen3 and the nature of those car owner's is quite frugal...
     
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  15. Tim Jones

    Tim Jones Active Member

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    I run 42 front and 38 rear......41 to 42.5 consistent mpg with 262,000 mles
     
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