Auto hybrid batteries: long-lived, not immortal
\"I want to make a statement to reduce our dependence on dinosaurs,\" said Finley, 66 . \".
The promise made him an early adop for hybrid cars.
It also gave Finley of the South Orange. J.
The opportunity to face the fatal weakness of batteries predicted by many skeptics --
Electric car: high replacement-
A voltage battery pack that powers the car at low speed.
Critics of hybrid cars have long said that if the new battery fails after the car warranty expires, its cost will soon run out of the car owner\'s years of savings in gasoline.
Given the high (at first uncertain) cost of the battery pack, this argument is not unreasonable because the battery pack has not really proven its durability yetworld driving.
This has changed since the hybrid went public in the United States a decade ago.
Market leaders Honda and Toyota now have considerable experience in hybrid power.
Both companies have recently lowered prices for alternative nickel. metal-
Mature technology and growing sales make the move possible, they say.
Even so, it will cost $2,000 to replace the new battery.
While car owners and automakers say hybrid batteries are proven to be reliable in general, they may reach the point where they are no longer charged.
For the Prius at Finley, there was a glowing \"check engine\" light on the dashboard, and the fault reached 80,000 miles.
\"My mechanic told me that he had good news and bad news,\" he said . \".
\"The bad news is that I need a radiator and a replacement battery.
The good news is that the battery pack is under warranty.
\"A Toyota dealer repaired the car in two days and the battery didn\'t cost a penny.
Since the introduction of Prius in 2000, Toyota has sold more than 960,000 hybrid vehicles in the United States, including about 670,000 Prius.
Toyota spokesman John Hansen said the company had replaced about 350 battery packs for the second vehicle
Launched as a generation Priuses for 2004 models.
Nine out of ten are covered under warranty (in some states, 10 years or 150,000 miles, in other states, 8 years or 100,000 miles), or insurance claims, he said.
Honda has sold more than 220,000 hybrid cars in the United States.
Earlier this year, the company issued a service announcement on premature failure of battery modules and extension of battery warranty;
Honda worries, in seven warmth-
4 Insight batteries are overcharged and overheated during regenerative braking.
Honda is reluctant to disclose how many batteries have been replaced;
Spokesman Chris Naughton said, \"the change rate of parts is proprietary.
\"Fuel economy and environmental issues are not the only driving force to motivate buyers of hybrid cars.
Chad Melin, 36, is a mortgage banker living in Chandler, Ariz.
Bought his 2002 Honda Insight so he could drive alone on the highway carpooling track.
Last year, the battery was still working during the 45,000 mile warranty period.
\"I didn\'t spend any money and I picked up the car that day,\" said Merlin . \".
But then he sold the car.
One of his reasons is: \"I don\'t want to have a hybrid without warranty.
\"In some cases, when what Insight owners call\" recal \"begins to happen more frequently, the driver is alerted to the battery problem. The recal -
According to Honda, this is actually the normal function of automotive electronics.
Reset the hybrid electronic device to consider the charging level of the battery more accurately.
When a repeat occurs, there is no electric motor assist and the car is only driven by a gas engine.
James Frye, a computer programmer from Nev.
He said that on the car he bought at a speed of 110,000 miles, there began to be a recital.
He replaced the battery himself and installed a $250 package he bought from an internet parts supplier.
He also purchased the manual Integrated Motor Assist kit for sale at www. 99mpg.
Com in Grosvenor, north of Connecticut.
Mike Dabrowski, owner of the company, said the auxiliary kit was designed to solve the duplication problem by giving owners greater control over the battery charging process.
With this kit, \"I can charge as much as I want, and I can discharge as much as I want,\" Dabrowski said . \".
Honda has a reservation for Dabrowski\'s equipment.
\"First of all, any modification that changes the power system\'s power assist or charging properties can put pressure on components (such as batteries) far beyond its intended operating parameters, Honda\'s Norton said.
Since Escape and Mercury Mariner Hybrid came out, Ford has sold 81,000 units.
According to Ford spokesman Jennifer Moore, the company did not encounter major problems with the battery and only replaced \"very few\" batteries during the warranty period.
(Ford declined to disclose the exact number of batteries replaced.
General Motors has big plans to add battery power to its cars, but at this point it\'s new to the hybrid market.
Spokesman Brian Corbett admitted that GM\'s hybrid was not in trouble.
Free: about 2007 Saturn Vue Green Line owners experienced a voltage drop and the company began a voluntary recall in 2007 to replace 9,000 battery packs in the Saturn Vue and Aura hybrids.
The recall ended on last June.
If current hybrid car owners are about to face a battery failure, it is logical that they may first appear in a fleet that accumulates miles a year.
This is not the experience of Sean bowdoen, general manager of yellow taxis in Vancouver, BC, who said his fleet took the lead in using commercial hybrid cars in North America.
The company currently has nearly 100 hybrid vehicles.
\"The maintenance of hybrid cars is nothing,\" Bowden said . \"
\"Their purchase costs more, but you can get it back in three years in a way that saves fuel and low maintenance.
\"The hybrid of the yellow taxi runs around the clock, and the accumulated mileage is very high, exceeding 300,000 miles in many cases.
Bowden estimates that only four or five hybrid battery packs in his fleet have been replaced.
Repair could be delayed for a few days, he said, as dealers do not have bulky packaging in stock.
Bowden said that the first Prius in the yellow taxi was very high.
Got 2001 kilometers from the driver.
The owner of the Toyota Motor vehicle shipped the vehicle back to Japan so that the company could study the wear and tear of the battery pack and the car itself.
Prices for hybrid battery packs have fallen sharply.
Price of the second battery in September
A generation of Prius was cut to $2,588, the first
From $2,299 to $2,985.
On June, Honda was Insight (formerly double-
After 2006 years, the seat model was discontinued), reaching $2,000, $2,200 for Civic Hybrid, and $2,400 for Accord Hybrid, all of which exceeded $3,000.
All prices are for the battery pack only and do not include installation.
The replacement cost for Ford and Mercury hybrid batteries is $6,000.
Ford spokesman Deep said the company \"spends costs\" every year and should be cheaper when customers have to pay for battery changes.
Although the warranty period is long and the cost of battery pack replacement is falling, some consumers are still worried that they will get stuck with very expensive bad batteries.
At one point, this problem affected the resale price of used hybrid cars, and with the recent surge in gasoline prices, this concern has basically disappeared.
At one point, a 3-year-
According to John Blair, chief executive of the car rental guide, the old Honda Civic Hybrid kept 58% of the original price, compared with 60% for non-hybrid Civic in the same period, companies that set resale value for the industry.
\"But over the past six months, concerns about fuel prices have meant that hybrid cars have retained a larger share of their value,\" Blair said . \".
\"I think you will find 3-year-
\"The old hybrid has appreciated, not depreciated,\" he added . \".
\"In the early days of selling hybrid cars, as a company, we were concerned that replacing batteries would affect future resale value.
We find that it has never been a problem.
\"The greater unknown lies in the durability of lithium --
Ion packs that will be used in many of the next-Generation plug
Hybrid and battery
While it has long been used to power phones and laptops, lithium
On the scale necessary to power a car, ions are still an unproven technology.