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  1. #11

    Battery life and price

    LiIon batteries are fairly new and much like NiMH they were supposed to have no memory (compared to NiCd). That being said that the fancier the battery chemistry the more finicky they get. NiMH in particular is very very sensitive to being trickle charged (it quickly destroys their capacity) and I expect that LiIon is much worse.

    I've been dealing with short lived (2 to 3 year) UPS batteries (lead acid) and my only guess is that the UPS's must be overcharging the batteries all of the time because I've worked for big-time UPS companies where a single 2V cell is the size of a small filing cabinet and lasts > 20 years (also lead acid).

    Note that nobody selling home energy systems (solar or wind) uses anything but lead-acid batteries! The benefits of LiIon and NiMH is size and weight.

    That's why I argue that hybrids should be built with a 5hp IC engine (or whatever is needed at 65 mph) so that the IC engine is optimized for efficiency and minimum emisisons and pretty well run like a "fuelathon" car - you know the ones where they get > 1,000 mpg. Then the electric engine pretty well provides all acceleration and the battery pack cost/size/capacity is minimized.

    Any car that has > 50 hp output is not fuel efficient.

    The book The end of oil : on the edge of a perilous new world / Paul Roberts explains it best - the past 15 years has been a move towards more powerful cars that get the same or worse milage than previous generations. Before then we built more fuel efficient cars without performance/power taking a back seat.

    What we need to do is start building 30 to 50 hp electric cars with a 5hp IC engine to power a small battery pack. Yes we'll have 15 sec 0->60 times but
    who gives a damm - at least it'll get better milage (and have lower emissions) than a 1990 vintage Chevy Sprint. Currently we don't have any 4 seaters in production that'll touch my '91 Sprint for milage or emissions. It's disgusting.

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  3. #12

    Battery life and price

    Battery storage question answered here:


    Replacement costs here:


  4. #13

    Battery life and price

    I've been averaging over 65MPG over my past few tanks and well exceeding +900miles / tank.

    Is this not an efficient car?
    (HCH CVT)

  5. #14

    Battery life and price

    Yea Eric, but some people don't just want a rollerskate for a car either. You can't haul anything in them or tow anything either. I think that's why you're seeing such demand for SUV's and trucks. I'm 40 years old and started out with cars that actually accelerated when you hit the gas. I still want that. I own a bunch of cars, from trucks, SUV's, to my daily driver econobox to my old muscle cars.

  6. #15

    Battery life and price

    I pulled this info from 1need2know.org ("5 facts about hybrids) it doesn't answer the question of how long a hybrid can sit but addresses the battery pricing issue
    "Hybrid buyers may be saving on gas, but they are sporting a much more expensive battery. The cost of hybrid batteries ranges from $1,000 to $3,000, although we have gotten reports of some hybrid owners being quoted $4,800 to $8,000! This could be due to the current high demand for hybrid cars. And, although the hybrid battery may be covered under the car’s warranty, once the warranty expires, you could find yourself in for more of a ‘charge’ than you expected. "

  7. #16

    Battery life and price

    For me a 17 year old young adult trying to find a good car to start off is hard, but in the the hybrid case with all of the neat features that they have on them its almost impossible to pick. The battery in the car is nice, like everytime you brake to slow down the battery begins to charge and when your idling in one place the gas engine turns off and the electric motor turns on. It is almost silent to the ears when driving it. My sisters friend and her along with me were driving it around Madison Wisconsin one day and we were commenting on how silent it was and it was a very good car. But the battery life and price of the battery along with the car price is way too steep for me.

  8. #17

    Battery life and price

    Battery Life is not a real factor in my Prius due to the warranry and a history of no battery failures. As for the "10-days" parked issue, We have had our Prius sitting unused for two weeks at a time and no problems starting up on returning. The accelleration is fully the same as our Camry and the fuel economy almost exactly TWICE that of the Camry. The hatchback design provides generous storage potential. Sounds as if those talking about "econobox" simply aren't familiar with the size or performance of the Prius and probably feeding on the plethora of misinformation about Hybrids.

  9. #18

    Battery life and price

    Getting back to battery life/capacity we have both a
    99 Honda Accord and a diesel smart. I'd really like
    to replace my wifes accord with a hybrid but she
    is not sold on the battery life. I don't recall where I read it but a Honda Insight owner was complaining
    his battery would not keep the car going up hills
    like it used to. It appears the battery capapcity
    had diminished like our old cell phone batteries do over time. Honda's response was it still takes a full charge so too bad. It appears his battery has not
    "failed enought" for a warrenty replacement so he is stuck. I don't want an 8 year warrenty battery that "hasn't failed enough" problems.

    The guy was so mad he said he was going to dump
    the civic and go with a Prius.

  10. #19

    Battery life and price

    Wow. So many concerns and misconceptions about hybrids.

    I am a veteran Toyota senior Product Specialist, and can hopefully clear up some of these questions.
    The Toyota system is the ONLY full hybrid system on the market. It is used in many Toyota and Lexus products, and has been licensed by Ford, Nissan, etc. for their vehicles.

    The batteries are designed to never have to be replaced. This is assuming a normal lifespan of roughly 10-12 years and roughly 200K. If you drive somehow out of the ordinary... i.e. 2000 mi/yr for the next 30 yrs, then yes, you may eventually have to replace some cells. But, as mentioned previously, by the time you had to do so, the price would be 1/20th of today's price, due to volume and technological advances.

    And, by the way, being mass produced since 1998, Toyota has NEVER had to replace even one battery due to failure, and many vehicles have over 250K mi. So, I really would not worry about the batteries. And yes the 8yr 100k warranty is longer in green states, such as CA (10yr 150k).

    As for performance, a full hybrid system usually enhances acceleration, due to the enormous torque of the electric motor(s). In fact, the Prius, Highlander, etc. require traction control so that the front tires aren't smoked every time you hit the pedal. The new Highlander hybrid has more power than most V8's, with double the city mileage! An explorer V8 4x4, for example, is the same size and gets 15/18. The similar Highlander 4x4 will out-run it, and gets 32/27. How is that for a "slow" hybrid.

    The next to come out will be the '07 Camry hybrid, in less than a year. Also in the works are a hybrid Sienna and lots of pick-ups as well.

    As for the vehicle sitting for periods of time, there is a hibernate mode that can be activated to preserve the battery pack. As far as I know, most of the drain simply comes from the SmartKey transceivers in the doors and hatch. Not sure why much other drain would take place.

    I truly hope this is helpful. Spread the word, as Toyota really wants consumers to understand the ins and outs of this proven technology.

  11. #20

    Battery life and price

    Ok, i'm just going to throw this out there. What are the affects of solar storms on the batteries? those storms make everything electrical pretty screwy up north here.

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