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Next Toyota Prius won't launch with Li-Ion batteries

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Li-ion Not Ready for Prius
Higher-mileage batteries no longer part of the plan — at least initially
by Bengt Halvorson (2007-06-13)
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Link to Original Article @ TCC


The Wall Street Journal reports that Toyota has decided against the use of lithium-ion battery technology - at least initially - in the next-generation Toyota Prius, which is still expected in fall 2008.

The company will instead, at launch, use a new version of the company's existing nickel metal hydride battery pack in the new Prius, an inside source told the WSJ.

The battery system that Toyota had been considering, which was to be supplied by Panasonic EV Energy Co., would have enabled significant packaging benefits for the next Prius, as lithium-ion batteries allow an equivalent energy capacity to be stored in a smaller, lighter package. The only downsides for this relatively new technology, which is already commonplace in laptops and some personal electronics, are initial cost, which has been coming down considerably, and the safety and reliability concerns associated with the tendency of these batteries to run hot.

Hybrid experts have been anticipating substantially improved mileage in the upcoming Prius, due to the lithium-ion system's reduced weight, increased battery capacity, or a combination of the two benefits.

The WSJ mentioned that this delay might give General Motors a boost, as it has been aiming to get its Saturn Vue Green Line plug-in hybrid - which will sport lithium-ion batteries - to market by fall of 2009. If its launch can stay as scheduled, it now may be the first lithium-ion vehicle from a major automaker.

Company president Katsuaki Watanabe has recently been emphasizing the company's need to maintain its product quality. Recent product woes in the U.S. include a highly publicized engine-failure issue that may affect up to 30,000 new V-8 Tundra pickups.

A Toyota Motor Sales USA communications officer would not comment on the Prius decision, but said, "Our research and development, including that for Prius, is broad-reaching and being carried out from various angles."
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Oh my god, if Prius' start catching fire, barring anyone being hurt, I will LAUGH MY ASS OFF. Literally. Piss myself laughing. Tears of joy. And I wouldn't piss on one if it WAS on fire.

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any lithium battery I've had in a laptop or cell phone only last's about a year or two before it's shot anyway, but I'd assume the Li-ion battery's for a car would be quit different in design??

Just saying, if they are anything like laptop lithium battery's, they'll be friggin worthless.

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Oh my god, if Prius' start catching fire, barring anyone being hurt, I will LAUGH MY ASS OFF. Literally. Piss myself laughing. Tears of joy. And I wouldn't piss on one if it WAS on fire.

You might want to re-read that article. It will be the VUE that will be catching on fire as it requires the unreliable and dangerous LI-ion batteries to make GM's claims at all possible. And it will need many times more of them than a Toyota hybrid. That is, it will be when the battery becomes feasible. Whenever that is.

In other news, I will be flying to mars next year. I understand that the US is unable to do this. If I keep my schedule, I will be the first person to mars. Finally, the GXT space program will leap past the hapless NASA. And people said that my complete lack of experience running a space program would be a detriment! All I need now is a space program that will get me to mars.

I will give it to GM. This PR seems to be working not only on this boad, but also with the WSJ.

This whole thing is getting ridiculous.

Edited by GXT
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any lithium battery I've had in a laptop or cell phone only last's about a year or two before it's shot anyway, but I'd assume the Li-ion battery's for a car would be quit different in design??

Just saying, if they are anything like laptop lithium battery's, they'll be friggin worthless.

I think that would have to be part of the requirements. Also they would have to run cooler to avoid fire risk.

That is why every press release regarding GM's plug-in hybrid is quite clear in stating that a major battery breakthrough is required to make the vehicle possible.

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You might want to re-read that article. It will be the VUE that will be catching on fire as it requires the unreliable and dangerous LI-ion batteries to make GM's claims at all possible. And it will need many times more of them than a Toyota hybrid. That is, it will be when the battery becomes feasible. Whenever that is.

In other news, I will be flying to mars next year. I understand that the US is unable to do this. If I keep my schedule, I will be the first person to mars. Finally, the GXT space program will leap past the hapless NASA. And people said that my complete lack of experience running a space program would be a detriment! All I need now is a space program that will get me to mars.

I will give it to GM. This PR seems to be working not only on this boad, but also with the WSJ.

This whole thing is getting ridiculous.

Oh, its Li-Ion that get warm! My bad. Well, there goes my hopes of burning Prii...

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You might want to re-read that article. It will be the VUE that will be catching on fire as it requires the unreliable and dangerous LI-ion batteries to make GM's claims at all possible. And it will need many times more of them than a Toyota hybrid. That is, it will be when the battery becomes feasible. Whenever that is.

In other news, I will be flying to mars next year. I understand that the US is unable to do this. If I keep my schedule, I will be the first person to mars. Finally, the GXT space program will leap past the hapless NASA. And people said that my complete lack of experience running a space program would be a detriment! All I need now is a space program that will get me to mars.

I will give it to GM. This PR seems to be working not only on this board, but also with the WSJ.

This whole thing is getting ridiculous.

Li-ion batteries are fine if handled correctly. Their discharging characteristics are way different from traditional secondary cells. Li-ion has the tendency to produce a huge current, and must be controlled by circuitry, hence the battery fires when the circuits are not designed properly.

The real deal is Li-ion polymer batteries, which is an evolution of Li-ion. Smaller and lighter.

Toyota probably didn't go with it because the cost of developing the proper controls was beyond the profit margin of the Prius.

Marketing is marketing. You just need to learn to take it with a grain of salt and common sense. Check your spelling, and make sure you have proof before claiming something.

Edited by ToniCipriani
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Li-ion batteries are fine if handled correctly. Their discharging characteristics are way different from traditional secondary cells. Li-ion has the tendency to produce a huge current, and must be controlled by circuitry, hence the battery fires when the circuits are not designed properly.

The real deal is Li-ion polymer batteries, which is an evolution of Li-ion. Smaller and lighter.

Toyota probably didn't go with it because the cost of developing the proper controls was beyond the profit margin of the Prius.

Marketing is marketing. You just need to learn to take it with a grain of salt and common sense. Check your spelling, and make sure you have proof before claiming something.

:thumbsup:

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Li-ion batteries are fine if handled correctly. Their discharging characteristics are way different from traditional secondary cells. Li-ion has the tendency to produce a huge current, and must be controlled by circuitry, hence the battery fires when the circuits are not designed properly.

Sure, this could happen at several hundred times the scale running the length of the centre of your car:

But it would only be because the controls were not designed properly, or manufactured properly, or installed properly, or the battery wasn't built properly, etc. Other than that, no problem. The batteries themselves are perfectly safe.

This in a world were Ford, Mercedes, etc. can't even get their simple electrical systems to function properly.

Forgive me for finding your post more than a little disingenuous.

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You might want to re-read that article. It will be the VUE that will be catching on fire as it requires the unreliable and dangerous LI-ion batteries to make GM's claims at all possible. And it will need many times more of them than a Toyota hybrid. That is, it will be when the battery becomes feasible. Whenever that is.

In other news, I will be flying to mars next year. I understand that the US is unable to do this. If I keep my schedule, I will be the first person to mars. Finally, the GXT space program will leap past the hapless NASA. And people said that my complete lack of experience running a space program would be a detriment! All I need now is a space program that will get me to mars.

I will give it to GM. This PR seems to be working not only on this boad, but also with the WSJ.

This whole thing is getting ridiculous.

Sure, this could happen at several hundred times the scale running the length of the centre of your car:

But it would only be because the controls were not designed properly, or manufactured properly, or installed properly, or the battery wasn't built properly, etc. Other than that, no problem. The batteries themselves are perfectly safe.

This in a world were Ford, Mercedes, etc. can't even get their simple electrical systems to function properly.

Forgive me for finding your post more than a little disingenuous.

Nice one. All I see you trying to do is make me lose credibility.

Fine, you win. I don't want to argue.

Edited by ToniCipriani
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Uhmm.. So GM wants to be the first major automaker to market hybrids equipped with Li-ion batteries. I don't think it will help at all. Honda came up with the Insight before the Prius but the Prius pretty much kicked the Insight's proverbial backside in sales and popularity.

Granted, the Saturn IMO is better looking than the Honda in question. But we have to consider the reputation of the automakers here and how consumers think about their products. Honda is known for its innovative engineering prowess as well as bullet-proof auto parts while Saturn, well, I can't say the same thing for Saturn.

Here's hoping though that the "American team do catch up...."

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If the Volt isn't vaporware they had better get it right from the get-go. The last thing GM needs is another 350 Diesel or V-8-6-4 fiasco. And maybe worse: a class action lawsuit. Toyota isn't dumb - no doubt they've looked at the Li-Ion thing hard. Exploding Dell laptops anyone?

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The Clarity is set to have a Li-Ion battery pack for supplemental power and brake regen coming this Summer. Not on as large of a scale as a plug-in hybrid, and with considerably more financial headroom than a plug-in hybrid, but nonetheless it will be interesting to see what happens there. Is it really just an issue of expensive circuitry? Or are Li-Ion battery packs too heavy when used on a larger scale?

The real deal is Li-ion polymer batteries, which is an evolution of Li-ion. Smaller and lighter.

I am with you there. Not only that, but cheaper to manufacture and the ability to be shaped into any shape giving more interior space.

copy-of-hybrid-x_011_tcm317-551665.jpg

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