Hymotion targets hybrid battery replacement

Hymotion of Concord, Ont., which was purchased earlier this year by battery developer A123Systems, has certainly hitched itself to the right wagon. A123 is working closely with GM on its new Chevy Volt concept plug-in car, and Hymotion now has a role in helping educate major automakers about the challenges of vehicle systems integration. But Hymotion also has its eye on battery replacement for the hybrid aftermarket. The first Toyota Prius was sold in North America back in 2000, meaning in a couple of years those first cars will need to have their battery packs replaced. Should the owners go with nickel-metal hydride, which is already in there, or higher-density lithium ion packs? And should they consider converting their vehicles to plug-in hybrid models? Hymotion is hoping that its lithium ion packs, based on A123 technology, and its plug-in retrofit expertise will be in demand as more nickel-metal hydride systems come due for replacement. For a profile of Hymotion, click here.

2 thoughts on “Hymotion targets hybrid battery replacement”

  1. As an owner of two early Prius cars and a follower of the vehicle since its inception in the early 1990’s, I would urge caution on spreading information that might lead people to think these cars will have battery failure during their normal 15 year life. It is important not to give people any reasons to not buy hybrids, they represent the least commercially available and environmentally offensive way of transporting four people on four wheels.

    There is no mention of battery replacements due to aging on any of the Prius discussion groups I follow, this includes cars that have been sold since 1997 in Japan. Many Prius have clocked over 400,000 km, some in taxi service and no batteries have worn out. Our own cars have been remarkably reliable, not requiring any non-warranty (2 of those) repairs in 7 years.

    The Prius attracts what I call urban technology myths – I guess hybrids represent a necessary change that many people are struggling with in regard to the necessity of reducing our fuel consumption.

    Other myths about the Prius are the Hummer having lower life cycle energy costs, and that the batteries are toxic, neither of which is true, or close to being true. The Hummer study has been debunked by numerous qualified people – do a web search, and the battery is non-toxic potassium hydroxide and nickle – of course it should be recycled, but it can be put into a landfill if one chose to.

    Hybrids and clean diesels are critical in reducing our personal GHG emissions and we should be thoughtful when supporting these technolgies and very, very careful in delivering any potential negative news.

    Cheers

  2. Re the Prius – once you finished laughing – Obviously I meant the most commercially available and least environmentally offensive way of transporting four people on four wheels.

    cheers

    steve

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