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Battery pack transition may not be as problematic as some would believe, though

The Toyota Prius debuted in 2001 and since has been the hottest seller in the hybrid car market.  Despite the recent downturn in hybrid sales, and a sharp drop in Prius sales, the vehicle remains very significant.

One issue constantly raised by hybrid doubters is the question of when will the batteries die on a hybrid and how to replace them when they do die.  Such a question has for a while has been purely speculative -- hybrids were young on the market.  However, for the Prius -- whose batteries are warranted for 10 years or 150,000 miles in California-compliance states and eight years or 100,000 miles in non-California compliant states -- an end of battery life may be coming in the next few years, and there may even be some premature failures in the next year or two.

While this is obviously an issue of serious concern to first generation Prius owners, early indications from Toyota are that the problem might not be a severe as some would imagine.  First of all, replacement batteries for the first generation (2001-2003) are available for an MSRP of $2,299 USD and the second generation batteries are available (2004-2008) for an MSRP of $2,588 USD (the latter being more expensive due to less time to reduce the cost).

Additionally, preliminary tests are showing the Prius batteries to be even more robust than expected.  In Victoria, British Columbia, where many of the taxi cabs are Prius hybrids, one service reports getting 300,000 miles, or twice the range guaranteed by the factory warranty.  It says it even got 400,000 miles on one Prius without a noticeable decrease in battery performance.

While this case should not be taken as standard, the good news is the Prius batteries appear pretty hearty.  First generation Prius owners can at least hope, though it’s no sure thing, that rather than a replacement in 3 years, it might be more like 5 or 6.

Replacing the Prius batteries is more intensive process than replacing a standard car battery.  Toyota can replace Prius batteries at any dealership.  It offers free recycling for its batteries, as a courtesy.



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Cost
By HotFoot on 1/2/2009 10:58:00 AM , Rating: 2
If the battery lasts 150,000 mi, and gas is $3/gal, then the savings of getting a prius over a corolla in 2006 for that distance would be roughly $4700 based on 'combined' EPA ratings. There are a lot of assumptions here of course - as the savings are larger if the batty lasts longer, if gas costs more, and if more city than highway driving is done.

Still, it sheds some perspective that, based on cost alone, these batteries need to come down in price to make the economics of hybrids better. I would assume that if $2300 is the replacement cost then it's also part of the initial sticker value. That one part of the hybrid system already takes up half of the savings from the gas that will be saved.

That's speaking strictly from an econonmic standpoint. I have no idea whether the manufacture/remanufacture and disposal of such a battery is better or worse for the environment than the consumption of an extra 1575 galons of gasoline.




RE: Cost
By Gzus666 on 1/2/2009 11:12:57 AM , Rating: 2
Yet the Prius was being had for about $30k average that I saw and the Corolla could usually be had for $18k, so you still haven't made up the difference in base cost.


RE: Cost
By tjr508 on 1/2/2009 12:21:28 PM , Rating: 4
Let's not forget that the Corolla is also a much more capable automobile. It even has tires that actually grip pavement.


RE: Cost
By Gzus666 on 1/2/2009 12:24:23 PM , Rating: 3
Whoa there feature-McGee, next you will be wanting seat belts that actually work and wipers that clear the windshield.


RE: Cost
By Seemonkeyscanfly on 1/2/2009 2:32:36 PM , Rating: 3
Or brakes that actually cause you to stop. Craziness, these young people expect everything. Why, I remember when I was young, we were happy to get our butt kick from one side of the yard to the other... after all it was a free ride - and there was no safety features.


RE: Cost
By Shining Arcanine on 1/4/2009 2:35:46 AM , Rating: 1
How about wheels that actually turn?

By the way, these comments are ridiculous.


RE: Cost
By retrospooty on 1/2/2009 1:23:18 PM , Rating: 4
"Yet the Prius was being had for about $30k average that I saw and the Corolla could usually be had for $18k, so you still haven't made up the difference in base cost. "

Thats a bad example, because they are 2 diff models. A better example is the Honda Civic. A Comparably equipped Hybrid Civic is 4-5k more than the standard. Not 12k like the Corrola vs. Prius.


RE: Cost
By Gzus666 on 1/2/09, Rating: 0
RE: Cost
By retrospooty on 1/2/2009 3:49:06 PM , Rating: 3
Apparently trim levels are too complicated for you... Either that or you dont know what "comparably equipped" means. You are comparing the low end without power locks, decent stereo, auto tranny, and no air conditioning. The EX has the same features as the Hybrid, only better RIMS.

EX Automatic $20,105
http://automobiles.honda.com/tools/compare/?ModelN...

Hybrid 23,650
http://automobiles.honda.com/tools/compare/?ModelN...


RE: Cost
By Gzus666 on 1/2/2009 4:14:10 PM , Rating: 1
RE: Cost
By retrospooty on 1/2/2009 4:24:11 PM , Rating: 3
Your getting warmer... now try the EX. http://automobiles.honda.com/tools/compare/results...

Better yet, go try a Camry the difference is even less for a comparably equipped Camry.

Anyhow, my point is this... Your imaginary $12,000 difference by comparing 2 different models is rediculous.


RE: Cost
By Gzus666 on 1/2/09, Rating: 0
RE: Cost
By retrospooty on 1/2/2009 4:48:47 PM , Rating: 3
Yes, if you were looking at a Prius vs a Corolla, you are correct, no savings. But if you are going to compare 2 different models its not the same. How about a Prius vs. a BMW M3. you will save well over 20k by going with a Prius. The comparison is equally flawed, its 2 different models.

Industry standard is about a $4000 overhead for a hybrid model. That's it, and that's all. If you drive alot of miles, it pays for itself. If you don't, it don't. Simple as that.


RE: Cost
By JediJeb on 1/2/2009 5:32:32 PM , Rating: 2
So why do you have to get all the bells and whistles on the Hybrid? Why can't you get it stripped down like the non hybrid, that would put it at less than 18k wouldn't it? I think comparing the base hybrid to the base non hybrid is a fair comparison because it shows they won't sell you the hybrid as in intro model which is what many people would like to get to save money and fuel. Also it seems kinda rediculous to have power locks and windows on a hybrid since that would just use more electricity.


RE: Cost
By usbseawolf2000 on 1/3/2009 1:38:01 AM , Rating: 2
If you are waiting for a poor man's hybrid, Honda is coming out with one -- 2010 Insight.


RE: Cost
By MrPoletski on 1/5/2009 7:32:58 AM , Rating: 2
I'm not getting into a car A vs car B argument..

But everyone here is forgetting that electricity is not free and neither is petrol when used in a hybrid. The latter doesn't apply if the 150k mile figure is on battery power alone - but the hybrid will alternate between the two fuels meaning the car will do a lot more than 150k miles before the batteries die (which by the way, will not be to be a sudden process).

Anwyay, while getting 150,000 miles with electricity as fuel intead of petrol might be a lot cheaper, it still isn't free so should be factored into these 'cost saving calculations'.

We also have hybrids whos petrol/gas engine is just an electricity generator (not sure about the car in question) as apposed to a 'back up' source of propulsion.

well with that kind of hybrid I can't see how you would be more fuel efficient *at all* if you didn't ever charge from your mains supply.

The moral of my ramblings: Factor in the 'leccy bill when working out how much you save on fuel costs with a part or full electric car.


RE: Cost
By retrospooty on 1/6/2009 8:51:27 AM , Rating: 3
Uh... Hybrid batteries charge by the gas engine, and by adaptive braking - not by being plugged in. there is Zero electricity Bill.


RE: Cost
By dwcal on 1/2/2009 4:01:53 PM , Rating: 4
The Civic Hybrid has much more standard equipment than the $15,500 Civic DX. The DX has no air conditioning, no alloy wheels, no stability control, no power locks/mirrors, no center console with storage, no cruise control, no radio, no rear disc brakes and no CVT automatic. Not everyone needs all those options, but most people buying basic transportation would at least get the DX-VP with radio, AC, and automatic for $17,000.

The Hybrid is somewhere between the $19,000 LX-S and $20,000 EX, so say it's $19,500 for a similarly equipped non-hybrid. That gives you a $4,150 extra for the Hybrid, just like the GP post said.


RE: Cost
By retrospooty on 1/2/2009 4:03:56 PM , Rating: 2
That and for any manufacturer, the industry standard for a hybrid is appx 4000 over std. This imaginary 12,000 difference is rediculous.


RE: Cost
By Alexstarfire on 1/3/2009 8:19:20 AM , Rating: 2
Damn, I thought all that stuff was standard on all cars now. What are they going to do next, just give you rims and tell you to buy the tires yourself. You technically don't need tires to drive, but they sure do make the ride a lot more enjoyable.


RE: Cost
By usbseawolf2000 on 1/3/2009 2:59:58 AM , Rating: 3
Base Prius is $22k while a fully loaded one is $28k. I don't know where you are getting $30k average Prius price.

Remember, Prius comes with the options that is only available in Lexus and they are not available in Corolla.


RE: Cost
By Spuke on 1/4/2009 9:03:40 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Remember, Prius comes with the options that is only available in Lexus and they are not available in Corolla.
Like what?


RE: Cost
By encia on 1/8/2009 6:39:38 AM , Rating: 2
Prius has CVT for the smooth and quiet ride.


RE: Cost
By Masospaghetti on 1/8/2009 5:36:15 PM , Rating: 2
You mean a CVT for an especially uninspiring ride. One so bland that it even makes a Corolla seem fun!

Most Lexuses don't have CVT's either.


RE: Cost
By WackyDan on 1/2/2009 5:05:47 PM , Rating: 3
2300-2500 dollars for the part. Now... how many hours of labor is it to swap out the old. Lets be generous and say it is only 2 hours of labor, maybe 3 hours billed if two techs are used due to the weight... hourly average for service is $85 an hour.

Quite frankly, the lower cost high MPG non-hybrids seem to have the higher return on investment overall. I also think it's comical how many people lease a hybrid for two years. That attains nothing for the buyer in regard to ROI. Add to that the environmental impact of the larger batteries required and I think today's hybrids are a feel good sham.

I've driven my sister's prius. I was impressed with it. It's a very capable, fun car. I just can't see the worth of it. Edmunds just rated the top 10 hybrids for ROI- how quickly the they pay off their extra cost.... Ford had the top 2, and Mercury came in 3rd. Prious came in either at # 10 or not even on the list... You can go to Edmunds and confirm.


RE: Cost
By Martin Blank on 1/4/2009 4:15:24 PM , Rating: 2
The environmental cost of the batteries is actually much lower than for batteries on average. They're removed professionally, and then they're recycled. I'm willing to bet that something in excess of 90% of the current hybrid batteries will undergo this process.

Current hybrids are not a sham, unless you're buying one to save money. I know plenty of people that did it to reduce their gasoline usage, but weren't doing it to save money overall. These cars also showed the commercial viability of hybrid vehicles, leading to the pluggable hybrids coming in the next couple of years. Those almost certainly will have quickly verifiable savings, so long as people remember to actually plug them in.


RE: Cost
By Calin on 1/4/2009 8:31:35 PM , Rating: 2
How much is that extra cost?


RE: Cost
By usbseawolf2000 on 1/3/2009 2:00:18 AM , Rating: 2
Don't forget Prius will have higher resale value than the Corolla due to:

1) Higher initial purchase price.
2) More standard features such as Climate Control, Touch Screen MFD, Power Windows, ABS, Traction Control, Airbags, etc...
3) Historically higher resale value.

When the Corolla is 10 years old with 150,000 miles and it needs to replace the transmission. Then what? Corolla's transmission has warranty for 5 years / 60,000 miles. Less than half of Prius HV battery pack.


RE: Cost
By Spuke on 1/4/2009 9:08:45 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
When the Corolla is 10 years old with 150,000 miles and it needs to replace the transmission.
I don't know anyone that's ever had their transmission replaced. If you or anyone else has, you (or they) were ripped off. A transmission is comprised of individual components. You only replace what is necessary.


RE: Cost
By alphadog on 1/5/2009 4:39:49 PM , Rating: 2
So, according to your numbers, I save nearly $5K and don't burn 1575 gallons of gas into the atmosphere, yet they "economics of hybrids" need to get better? Why? They already are according to your numbers...


Miles in Canada?
By Tsuwamono on 1/2/2009 10:43:22 AM , Rating: 4
quote:
In Victoria, British Columbia, where many of the taxi cabs are Prius hybrids, one service reports getting 300,000 miles,


Are you sure its Miles and not KM. 300 000 Miles seems a bit much for a Prius. 300 000km i could see on a taxi as they are well taken care of but not 300 000 miles.




RE: Miles in Canada?
By TheFace on 1/2/2009 2:48:54 PM , Rating: 2
You don't think a taxi could put on 300,000 miles? That would be a feat easily reached by a taxi.


RE: Miles in Canada?
By Calin on 1/4/2009 8:33:22 PM , Rating: 2
I've seen a Skoda Octavia cab in Athens with over 400k kilometers on it. It was running quite nice too (but I have no idea about the repairs to get it that far)


RE: Miles in Canada?
By Oakley516 on 1/2/2009 3:46:56 PM , Rating: 2
You are absolutely right, the original site this info is taken from states the mileage in kilometers, not miles:

"Canada’s highest mileage Prius, a 2001 model, has operated for over 410,000 kilometres with only a few maintenance repair issues. Jatinder Parhar, owner of a Empress Taxi in Victoria, British Columbia, operates this vehicle.

North America's first hybrid taxi was a 2001 Toyota Prius operated by Andrew Grant in Vancouver, British Columbia. Grant's 2001 Yellow Taxi Prius travelled over 332,000 km before it was replaced with a 2003 Prius. Grant now operates a 2004 Prius Taxi. View the 2001 and 2004 Yellow Taxi Prius’ detailed service and maintenance records."

Located at the bottom of this Canadian webpage:
http://www.hybridexperience.ca/Toyota_Prius.htm


RE: Miles in Canada?
By Bainne on 1/2/2009 3:59:01 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry to burst your bubble Mick, but as evident above, us Canucks travel in KM's....like most of the rest of the world ;)

Though, that translates into 254,800 (approx) miles, which still is a damn sight better than 150,000m.
Having to shell out $4CAD every 8-10 years for a battery would almost negate the minimal savings earned by avoiding the pumps a little longer. You would have to save $35/mo (or basically a full fill) in order to break even.

Not much incentive.


RE: Miles in Canada?
By DragonMaster0 on 1/4/2009 12:12:21 AM , Rating: 2
Maybe there's an error in the article, but let's quote recently-updated stats instead of 1½ years old articles (those same cars have done more mileage since then)

http://hybridexperience.com/index.php?option=com_f...
quote:
One Prius has travelled over 600,000 kilometres!

375,000 miles

http://hybridexperience.com/index.php?option=com_c...
quote:
The robustness of the Prius technology is reflected in taxi applications. This industry, in a city such as Victoria, BC has switched en mass to the Prius model with some taxi operators achieving 700,000 kilometres without any major repairs.

438,000 miles


By Elementalism on 1/2/2009 10:56:54 AM , Rating: 4
Should be interesting to see if Prius owners are retained over the years. Especially with a depression in fuel prices during this economic downturn.

btw are these things recyclable? Or are they going to end up in a landfill somewhere?




By conquistadorst on 1/2/2009 12:00:11 PM , Rating: 2
Your example may be true but the reality is many people who own a Prius probably wouldn't seek an H3 as an alternative vehicle. Gas is also not currently $4/gallon...

A real comparison for myself would be $2500 / $1.80 = 1389 gallons. My Honda Civic would deliver 35mpg (normal driving without hypermiling) which equals an unbelievable 48,611 miles. My driving habits yield me yet even more. I will purchase a hybrid car someday, but that day will not yet come for myself and many others until it simply becomes more cost effective.


By Elementalism on 1/2/2009 6:57:07 PM , Rating: 1
I should have clarified my point. That 2500 represents the price savings between buying a straight gasoline engine and a prius. Meaning if I buy a 30mpg malibu and you get a 45mpg prius. How many gallons of gasoline will we have to consume for you to make up that 2500 dollar replacement cost?

That said even at 4 bucks a gallon a 30mpg vehicle will have to travel a years worth of driving to cost that much. At 2 bucks a gallon a 30mpg vehicle has to travel nearly 40,000 miles to consume 2500 worth of gasoline. I dont see how a prius comes out in this equation.


By Masospaghetti on 1/8/2009 5:38:54 PM , Rating: 3
You really believe that? I would be more skeptical of where these batteries will end up. As a parallel, all of the PC "Recycling" that some companies tout really just mean extracting the expensive metals out of computers and shipping the rest to China to be buried.


By Gzus666 on 1/2/2009 10:10:34 AM , Rating: 2
Actually it is more dangerous than intensive. High voltage (relatively) and high amperage make for a dangerous mix for the average shade tree. Never done one myself, but saw it done many a time when I worked for Toyota (they had a recall at the time, so they came in rather frequently. I had to assist the old guy that did most of them as they were pretty heavy.)




By TheDoc9 on 1/2/2009 10:22:18 AM , Rating: 1
"replacement batteries for ... $2,299 USD and the second generation batteries are available for ... $2,588 USD"

It would be interesting to know how many batteries these cars use and would have to be replaced.


By Gzus666 on 1/2/2009 10:31:57 AM , Rating: 2
It is one large battery "pack". It is about 1.5 feet deep by maybe 4.5-5 feet wide by about .75 feet high(sorry, I am trying to remember from memory, it has been about 5 years now and I could be off by a bit).


By RU482 on 1/2/2009 10:34:20 AM , Rating: 2
not really dangerous. there is an orange "key" that you pull out that opens the circuit in the middle of the pack. The structure of the battery pack is rigid enough and the conductors are insulated/protected enough that there is virtually no chance of shorting the pack (unlike with a cars standard Lead Acid battery with 2 or 4 posts exposed to the world)

There are 6 or 8 good sized bolts that hold the pack into the car, and two bolts that connect the high voltage cables to the pack.

I would love to see what they charge for labor for this service. Aside from the weight of the High Voltage pack, it's actually less cumbersome to replace than alot of standard Lead Acid batteries in cars that are on the market today


By Gzus666 on 1/2/2009 10:52:44 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
not really dangerous. there is an orange "key" that you pull out that opens the circuit in the middle of the pack. The structure of the battery pack is rigid enough and the conductors are insulated/protected enough that there is virtually no chance of shorting the pack (unlike with a cars standard Lead Acid battery with 2 or 4 posts exposed to the world)


Yea, I wasn't trying to say it was inherently dangerous, just more so than intensive. It is relatively easy to replace, few bolts and tada. But, you know someone would find a way to short it and kill themselves.

quote:
I would love to see what they charge for labor for this service. Aside from the weight of the High Voltage pack, it's actually less cumbersome to replace than alot of standard Lead Acid batteries in cars that are on the market today


I believe it paid a few hours, but it was more cumbersome than a lead acid battery for sure. Most normal battery replacements pay around .3-.6 depending on whether you get paid for the test as well.


?
By semo on 1/2/2009 3:22:45 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
MSRP of $2,588 USD (the latter being more expensive due to less time to reduce the cost).
i might be having a blonde moment but i don't understand why the new batteries cost more from the above explanation




RE: ?
By foolsgambit11 on 1/2/2009 3:56:50 PM , Rating: 2
I agree, it doesn't make much sense. If the batteries from the 3rd year on are different than the 1st and 2nd year batteries, then the batteries from the first two years of production haven't been made for 5 years. So what has made them cheaper? No process improvements would have been made - there's no process going on to improve them. Maybe if Toyota has a bunch of old model batteries laying around they want to get rid of?

It would make sense if the batteries from later years were inherently more expensive - more metals in them, for instance. But that's not the explanation given.


RE: ?
By Alexstarfire on 1/3/2009 8:25:02 AM , Rating: 2
It makes perfect sense if you go and look at the specs of the battery, which I'm assuming neither of you have done. The newer battery packs are more powerful. That's the simple way of saying it.


RE: ?
By semo on 1/3/2009 9:38:53 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
MSRP of $2,588 USD (the latter being more expensive due to less time to reduce the cost).
i just don't understand the above statement. it doesn't say anything about the batteries' properties. i can guess that the battery pack for the newer gen car are more advanced or powerful and hence more expensive


What the Toyota Engieer said...
By pandelta on 1/2/2009 8:20:01 PM , Rating: 3
Just because the warranty is about to expire doesn't mean the battery is.

There was a Toyota engineer on the news a couple of months ago, can't remember which show (I believe it was on Foxnews), but anyway he said the batteries are designed to last the life of the car and never be replaced. That is only faulty batteries should ever be replaced, the vast majority should not. A "full" charge as reported on the dash is actually only 80% of actual capacity and discharged battery doesn't drop below about 20%. It’s never fully charged and never actually dead. The reason is the battery is designed to lose 20% of its capacity over the life of the car and your not supposed to ever notice a difference in battery performance because it had a 20% extra capacity to begin with. It never fully discharges because by doing so it greatly extends the life of the battery packs.




By usbseawolf2000 on 1/3/2009 1:45:23 AM , Rating: 2
The SOC range is 80% to 40%. Prius use only 40% of energy from it's 99 lbs battery pack. The remaining 60% is left alone to prolong the life of the battery beyond 10 years / 150,000 miles.


Prius comparisons
By ksspyder on 1/3/2009 12:47:05 PM , Rating: 3
If hybrids are your fear, just wait.
I predict that Toyota is breaking ground that will be fruitful for years.
Imagine the world without electronic fuel controls or ant-lock brakes. No air conditioning, no automatic transmissions, or pollution control equipment.
In twenty years, the ground will be covered with V8 powered hulks.
Imagine vehicles that have the performance level you want to set vs fuel economy. What does that do to the auto market?
Most of the arguments I see are personal grudge matches.

Porsche rejected aerodynamics back in the 50's because it made non-factory cars competitive. See Michael May's 550 spyder. His car was rejected with its wing because it came in fourth in time trials behind three factory prepped cars. Porsche argued that the wing created a blind spot for cars leading in the race.
Don't make it personal. It's coming and no one can stop it.




RE: Prius comparisons
By alphadog on 1/5/2009 4:45:57 PM , Rating: 2
No air conditioning? Not in Florida, you don't!


I'm waiting to see what the consequences are...
By Beenthere on 1/2/2009 4:28:54 PM , Rating: 1
...when these vehicles get in a bad accident and the batteries break open or when the batteries actually need to be recycled. You don't easily lift hundreds of pounds of batteries out of a vehicle. I hope the electrical cabling is flexible and non-corrading or it will be toxic in addition to needing to be cleaned. This doesn't sound like a good chore...




By Alexstarfire on 1/3/2009 8:27:49 AM , Rating: 3
These packs are so well protected it'd be one of the last things to break in the car. Unless you physically ripped the car apart it's probably not going to happen. Course.... you could really say this about any battery or other toxic fluid.


Resale Values
By Spookster on 1/2/2009 11:28:24 AM , Rating: 2
Toyota's normally have great resale values. I wonder how the Prius does especially if people start ditching their Prius right before it's time to replace the battery and pass that cost along to the buyer of the used Prius.




RE: Resale Values
By Bateluer on 1/2/2009 12:04:27 PM , Rating: 1
An informed buyer will inquire about the batteries, their condition, last time replaced, age, etc. If not, then they deserve to get screwed.


$200 bounty
By usbseawolf2000 on 1/3/2009 1:51:25 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
Toyota can replace Prius batteries at any dealership. It offers free recycling for its batteries, as a courtesy

That's not accurate. For whatever reason if you need to replace the HV pack out of warranty, the dealer should give you $200 bounty / rebate for the old battery pack to recycle. The battery pack has about 35 lbs nickel that is worth quite a lot.




By Bateluer on 1/2/2009 10:59:04 AM , Rating: 2
The Phoenix valley weather tends to destroy regular car batteries. I have to replace the battery in my Corolla twice as often as my sister in Indiana or my parents in Michigan.

Would I have to spend the cash to replace a Prius' batteries more often as well?




Prius Battery Costs
By Brian Fisher on 1/3/2009 12:06:55 AM , Rating: 2
I have a 2001 Prius. It has over 190,000 km (120,000 Miles) So far, aside from one recall to fix a terminal corrosion problem, things seem to be rolling smoothly. I see that the traction battery replacement cost is just over $2000. If there is a battery failure the likelyhood of having to remove the entire battery is fairly low since only the failed sections need to be replaced as far as I have been able to understand it. This probably means a possible charge of under $1000 unless Toyota gets overly greedy.




Interesting
By MrPoletski on 1/5/2009 7:20:39 AM , Rating: 2
Battery packs, being the hot research topic right now, are going to go through a number of advancements in the near future I would imagine.

So it would make sense to design a vehicle using batteries in such a way so you can upgrade the batteries in, say, 2 or 3 years. You could get money for the old packs, which could possibly be re-engineered into newer higher capacity things - or just used in other applications.

would be nice to be able to upgrade your car and get an extra 20%, say, distance on a single charge.




By Darkk on 1/3/2009 9:01:36 PM , Rating: 1
$2,300 to replace the batteries are a bit steep but if that is what it costs then it's what it is.

I do like the idea of driving up the Toyota Dealership, pop the trunk open and yank out the battery pack and swap it out. Be done in 15 mins or less.

Why they engineer these things to be NON-user replaceable is beyond me. Sounds like Toyota will prevent third party battery replacements simply because it takes an engineer to do it.

Sheesh




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