The Drive-a-Toyota Act

Page 4 of 15  
In alt.autos.ford snipped-for-privacy@12.usenet.us.com wrote:


I recall that there was an opened battery pack at the Ford Green Tea Tour, where it looked like a bunch of D-Cells, but I can't find a photo. I also recall reading about some intermittent solder connections in the early Insights, showing the batteries, but I can't find those now.
What I do find is a picture of the Insight battery pack: http://arstechnica.com/reviews/3q00/honda/insight-2.html It is described as a bunch of D-Cells here and on other sites.
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Clarence A Dold - Hidden Valley Lake, CA, USA GPS: 38.8,-122.5

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On Jul 18, 1:54 am, snipped-for-privacy@12.usenet.us.com wrote:

The original Japan-only NHW10 Prius used the cylindrical cells (like the D-cells), but beginning with the NHW11 Prius (2001 model year in the US) they started to use the prismatic (rectangular) cells. I think the Honda Insight and perhaps the HCH used the cylindrical cells as well.
I believe that Ford uses hybrid batteries made by Sanyo, while Toyota and Honda use hybrid batteries from Panasonic EV. http://www.peve.jp/e/shouhin.html
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Sure.
"Life of the car" for my use is 15 years and 200,000 miles. When they prove that, I'll buy one.
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wrote in message

This probably does not count as "proof," but here is some information on Prius battery life.
Here is a story about a Prius in taxi service with over 200,000 miles: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8839690 /
According to this page on Toyota's web site, Toyota has not sold a single battery pack replacement due to wear and tear since the Prius went on sale in 2000: http://www.toyota.com/about/environment/technology/2004/hybrid.html
Here is Road & Track's take on whether it is cost-effective to replace the battery pack in a worst-case scenario where it has to be replaced after 8 years when the warranty expires: http://www.roadandtrack.com/article.asp?section_id &article_id83
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Ray O
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Ray O wrote:

Facts??????
Facts have NO place on this newsgroup! <G>
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On Jul 5, 11:48 am, "Ray O" <rokigawaATtristarassociatesDOTcom> wrote:

Andrew Grant's Vancouver taxi was the first taxi at over 322,000km (200,000+ miles), and it was pulled from service because Toyota wanted to study it. His record has since been surpassed by one in Victoria at 410,000km (250,000+ miles). http://www.hybridexperience.ca/Toyota_Prius.htm#hybridtaxi
There are many members of the toyota-prius yahoogroup that are over 200,000 miles now, as well.

The Prius' battery pack is never allowed to fully charge or discharge, so no cycling (unlike the batteries in most consumer goods). When more electricity is needed, the gasoline engine comes on to either assist the electric motor (or take over for it) or to generate the necessary electricity.
The displayed charge on the battery (seen on the Prius' Energy Monitor screen) rarely ever reaches "full" or "empty" but prefers to stay at a happy medium. But the display only shows you the useable area of charge on the hybrid battery, displayed "empty" is about 40% and displayed "full" is about 80%. Actual charge levels can be seen at: http://www.privatenrg.com/#Full_SOC
Again, quoting from Toyota: http://www.toyota.com/html/hybridsynergyview/2006/fall/battery.html <quote> Q: Do they ever run out of power? GS: No. A computer makes sure the batteries never discharge completely. They never fill completely, either. .... Q: Do the high-voltage batteries ever need to be checked or serviced by the owner or by a dealer? GS: No, there is no scheduled maintenance for the batteries.
Q: How long do the high-voltage batteries last? GS: We designed them to last for the life of the vehicle. We're aware of owners who have racked up a quarter-million miles without replacing the batteries.
Q: What would it cost to replace a complete battery pack? GS: Less than $3000, plus labor.
Q: How long is the warranty? GS: The high-voltage batteries are warranted for eight years or 100,000 miles, and under California regulations the battery warranty extends to 10 years or 150,000 miles. </quote>
and from June 2004: http://www.toyota.com/about/environment/technology/2004/hybrid.html http://pressroom.toyota.com/Releases/View?id=TYT2004062345528 <quote> How long does the Prius battery last and what is the replacement cost?
The Prius battery (and the battery-power management system) has been designed to maximize battery life. In part this is done by keeping the battery at an optimum charge level - never fully draining it and never fully recharging it. As a result, the Prius battery leads a pretty easy life. We have lab data showing the equivalent of 180,000 miles with no deterioration and expect it to last the life of the vehicle. We also expect battery technology to continue to improve: the second- generation model battery is 15% smaller, 25% lighter, and has 35% more specific power than the first. This is true of price as well. Between the 2003 and 2004 models, service battery costs came down 36% and we expect them to continue to drop so that by the time replacements may be needed it won't be a much of an issue. Since the car went on sale in 2000, Toyota has not replaced a single battery for wear and tear. </quote>
although I'll note that the average miles traveled per passenger car in the US in 2005 was 12,375miles (http://www.bts.gov/publications / national_transportation_statistics/html/ table_automobile_profile.html ) , and the median age of automobiles in operation in the US in 2005 was 9 years (http://www.bts.gov / publications/national_transportation_statistics/html/ table_01_25.html ).
(again, remember that the warranty is 8 years/100,000 miles on the hybrid vehicle system (including the hybrid battery pack), and in CA emission states the hybrid battery on the 2004-current Prius is further covered out to 10 years/150,000 miles.)
http://avt.inl.gov/pdf/hev/end_of_life_test_1.pdf (fuel economy and battery capacity testing once 160,000 miles are reached on a Classic NHW11 Prius, GenI HCH, Insight) http://avt.inl.gov/hev.shtml (HEV testing in general)
http://www.arb.ca.gov/regs/title13/2112.pdf (California Code of Regulations, title 13, requiring vehicles to have a useful life of (depending on passenger vehicle) 5 years/50,000 miles (whichever occurs first), or 7 years/75,000 miles, 10 years/120,000 miles, or 10 years/150,000 miles. See Division 3, chapter 2, Article 2.1, section 10 and 17. (BTW: 2004-current Prius qualifies under the 10 year/ 150,000 mile criteria.))
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Ray O wrote:

Interesting articles.
I found a few sentences from the middle link interesting:
(1) "Why doesn't Prius offer a plug-in option so it can run in electric-only mode? Great efforts went into making hybrid cars so they DON'T have to be plugged in. If a car is converted, it will have a negative effect on the life of the batteries and the reality is that it's likely the grid electricity being used is derived from coal, so there's not much, if any, savings to the environment..."
Begs the question: Why is a one-off gasoline powered (essentially, distributed) system better for the environment than power derived from an extremely optimized (for efficiency and emissions) large (centralized) power plant?
(2) "...Additionally, the electric-only mode would be good for less than a mile at low speed, so the practicality of it is very limited."
Umm - what does that tell you about the efficiency of the car? That it is mostly due to an extremely efficient IC engine. I submit that the regenerative braking is a small part of the efficiency to the degree that the extra weight of the batteries and added complexity of the electrical system is beyond the point of diminishing returns. IOW - it would be interesting to not only disable, but to uninstall the batteries and their controls (i.e., convert in the opposite direction) to see what the operational characteristics and fuel economy are with the lower weight - even without regen. braking. The results might be extremely telling.
Bill Putney (To reply by e-mail, replace the last letter of the alphabet in my address with the letter 'x')
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<snipped>

Toyota had the electric Rav 4 which ran only in plug-in mode, but its limited range kept it from being very practical.
Toyota has found that there is demand for a hybrid drive with plug-in mode and is in the process of developing one. Toyota faces the same physics that GM has with its Vold concept, and that is that without a very large or (expensive) efficient battery pack, the range from electric only mode is very short. Keep in mind that Toyota is avoiding deeply discharging or charging the battery to prolong its useful life. A larger battery pack would reduce passenger or luggage space in the vehicle, so the practical solution is a lithium ion battery with more storage capactiy.

I am merely dispelling the false notion that hybrid battery packs have a short life span and need frequent and costly replacement. I am not promoting hybrid vehicles as the solution for everyone on the road.
In my personal opinion, hybrids are close, but not quite at the point where they are fuel-efficient and cost-effective enough to convince ME to buy one. Another possible barrier to acquiring a hybrid for me is that they may be too complex for me to diagnose without having to invest in a repair manual and diagnostic computer. Current OBD II diagnostic systems are for the most part very logically programmed and easy enough to figure out with an OBD II code scanner and volt-ohm meter, but I don't know if this will be true with a hybrid controller.
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"

It's actually no where near as efficient as it could be if it were a constant speed pure generator engine. If one were to use a purpose designed diesel for that bsfc could be in the .28 range. I doubt bsfc on the Prius engine is better than .35.
True, you gain a little efficiency with the direct lockup under power. But not enough to make it worthwhile.
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"Ray O" <rokigawaATtristarassociatesDOTcom> wrote in message news:db6f0$

Thanks Ray, it was very interesting. I'd have to conclude it is sound engineering and a reliable product. Well on its way to long term viability in a car. If replacement gets down to $1000, it truly is in reach of replacability for an older car.
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Jeff wrote:

And of course that is proven in real world highways in real world cars over real world ownership time-frame. I think not.
Bill Putney (To reply by e-mail, replace the last letter of the alphabet in my address with the letter 'x')
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Dream on. Currently rechargeable batteries start going down hill at about 3 years. The fact that they are much weaker between 5 and the 8 yr guarantee point would not be that noticeable as the Prius battery is very large. A Prius might then be running as a mild hybrid, not going so far on battery only.
What Toyota is really saying (quietly to themselves) is that the batteries will last for the original buyers term with the car. Very few new car buyers keep a car 8 years.
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who wrote:

Which would cause the gas mileage to drop.
My in-laws are still driving a first generation Prius, a 2002, with over 100k. The MPG is the same as it ever was.
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B A R R Y wrote:

Ha ha! But Toyota slipped up by uncluding in that article that it would not even go a mile on battery only. That says that the battery is a small factor in its overall economy. And in most driving situations, regenerative braking probably barely (or doesn't quite) make up for the extra weight of batteries and controls it is carrying around. (IOW - the economy is from a small, optimized-for-efficiency IC engine.)
Bill Putney (To reply by e-mail, replace the last letter of the alphabet in my address with the letter 'x')
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Bill Putney wrote:

I don't know what you mean. I've driven the car in 25-30 MPH traffic where the car didn't start for a good amount of time.
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In general hybrid use a small engine to move the vehicle when not much torques is required and to generate electricity when required. The electric motor is used when torque is required to get the vehicle going and to keep it going on a grade.
We hear of the great mileage while driving at slower speeds in a hybrid but one can not continue to do so for long before the engine will need to run to recharge the batteries, provide heat and AC
Seems to me we should be looking to improve the newer technology, that permits several of the cylinders to be disengaged when torque is not required. That is a better solution to lowering ones average fuel consumption since the majority is mileage is accumulated where torque is not required.
Several manufacturers are offing that technology and obtaining well over 30 mpg, with V8 engines, on the highway and still offering the larger, safer, more powerful vehicles that the buyers prefer. Cylinder deactivation does not add much to the price of the vehicle as apposed to hybrids that cost much more to build and add to the wealth of batteries to be build and recycled.
mike
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Mike Hunter wrote:

I have to disagree with you on this one.
To me, it seems that no running an engine at its most efficient speeds, as the hybrids do, and storing energy as electricity and using that in such a way the efficiency is maximized will make a better combination than cutting off cylinders.
Even buses in NYC use hybrid technology rather than disengaging cylinders (or in addition to it). And the Swedes are working on hybrid garbage trucks.
Plus, but using a hybrid design, you can have a smaller and lighter engine than with an engine that has a variable number of cylinders. Of course, the technologies are not mutually incompatible.

What manufacturer offers a V8 that gets well over 30 mpg?
OK, some V8 get close to 30 mpg highway, but none get even 30 mpg highway, at least in the 2007 or 2008 model years:
http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/FEG2007.pdf http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/FEG2008.pdf

It's a trade-off. Some people prefer a bigger car, some prefer one with a smaller environmental footprint, which hybrids may or may not have (I haven't seen a good accounting of the environmental costs of the batteries and other technology).
Jeff

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You are free to believe whatever you choose. A modern V8 will run quite efficiently at 1,500 RPMs, even on four cylinders, at 60 MPH. Most 4 cy engines need to run at nearly twice that number of RPMs at 60 MPH.
You are confusing EPA test highway figures with what I actually said. ANY car will get better than the EPA figure, driven strictly at speed on the highway. The average is three to four MPG. My V6 Lincoln Zephyr with a fuel computer and six speed double OD tranny, had an EPA mileage of 29 but will constantly do 34/35 at 1,700 RPMs at 60 MPH on a flat road. ;)
mike
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Mike Hunter wrote:

Yet the 4 cyl cars get a lot better fuel mileage. Go figure.

That's true of any engine, regardless of whether it is 4, 6 or 8 cylinders.
The V8 with the highest highway estimate has 28 mpg highway, which comes to 32 mpg highway. That is not what I would call well over 30 mpg, especially when one has to get to the highway and frequently travels at slower speeds, especially around construction sites.
So that just means that the smaller engines are even more efficient at highway speeds.
None of this has anything to do with the fact that the most efficient vehicles available today in the US are hybrid vehicles with small engines (1.5 liter).
Jeff

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