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  1. #1

    IMA Batteries on the Honda Insight

    I recently bought a 2000 Insight used, I couldn't get a new one without paying many dollars over list. It has 70k miles and I worry about the IMA batteries. It seems they discharge sooner than I would expect but since I haven't owned the car since new I have no baseline. I now realize how expensive the batteries are to replace. I'm wondering if anyone out there has any perspective for me. I can charge the batteries almost to the top bar on the indicator but if I get a long hill they can totally discharge in less than 5miles. Are there any aftermarket batteries available?

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  3. #2

    IMA Batteries on the Honda Insight

    I've got an HCH 5-speed and live on the side of a mountain 2000 feet above LA. I definitely exhaust the battery pack by the time I get half way up the hill, especially if I stay in 5th gear. I've got a level step at about the 1500 ft level on the way up where I get about 1/3 charge which gets me part of the remaining 500 ft.

    Clearly, however, Honda skimped on the battery capacity of the HCH for anything but average driving so I'm sure the Insight is as bad or worse.

    These 1st generation hybrids were designed by old fashioned gearheads who clearly are biased toward the ICE portion, not the EV portion of the car. They added the minimal amount of electricity that would get them measurable improvements over their old ICE dinosaurs.

    Over time, market pressure will gradually drive them to favor the more efficient EV portion (battery capacity and torque) and diminish the old ICE. In the mean time we'll have to live with marginal performance for a while.

    I doubt, however, that there is anything wrong with the battery pack on your Insight. You only have 6 Amp-Hours of battery capacity when new.

    Your Honda dealer may be able to test the battery capacity if you ask. It's technically quite easy and done all the time on lead-acid ICE starting batteries but I don't know that the dealers are equipped to test the NiMH hybrid traction batteries yet.

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