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Scrounge a Hybrid Car Battery Pack for EV?

by Lisa

Hybrid Car Battery Pack (2002 Prius)

Hybrid Car Battery Pack (2002 Prius)

Can I use a hybrid car battery pack in an electric car? I saw "Who Killed the Electric Car?", and although they said NiMH batteries had been pulled off the market by Chevron/Cobasys who are reportedly squatting on the patents, there are still NiMH batteries in old hybrids. Even the new Prius has NiMH batteries made by Panasonic!

So could this be a source for good electric car batteries?

Lisa -
Sadly, no.
The NiMH batteries found in a hybrid are high-power (short bursts of speed, quickly recharged) rather than high-energy (which is what you need for an electric car). It's all in the amp-hours; the Prius has a 6.5AH battery pack, the Rav-4 EV has a 95AH pack.
It's not that much different from the difference between the gas-gobbler's Diehard and the golf cart's 12v batteries, really. One is a sprinter, and one runs marathons. It's no good to send a sprinter to do a distance-runner's job!

The patent Chevron is sitting on, according to the book Plug-in Hybrids, pertains to those large size, deep-cycle batteries that would so cheaply, conveniently, and safely power an electric car.

I wonder why?


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Aircraft Batteries

by Drew

Airplanes Need Batteries, Too!

Airplanes Need Batteries, Too!

Aircraft batteries in the electric car would be more expensive, but how much more - and would it be worth it?
I would think that would be where the best technology would go first, and they are mass produced and are made to start huge turbines.

Hi, Drew -
Ah, the temptations of the Boeing Surplus lot on the south end of Seattle. Believe me, I'm not immune either; )
Sorry, but you already found the problem yourself in your last sentence..."made to start huge turbines." Aircraft batteries are high-power batteries (lots of cranking amps) designed for starting those turbines, not the high-energy batteries (lots of amp-hours) needed to run your electric car. Typically, these aircraft batteries deliver 350 cranking amps or so, and about 30 amp-hours.

Your EV needs:

  • deep-cycle batteries, which have the ability to be drained down to 20%SOC (state of charge) and charged back up again and again;

  • batteries that are forgiving of high rates of amp-withdrawal;

  • batteries that don't mind being bounced around;

  • batteries that are reasonably lightweight;

  • batteries that are reasonably cheap.

As for the price of aircraft batteries, I'm going to guess they're more expensive only because of the need for FAA certification. It's not like they're special; they come in all the usual flavors - lead acid (wet, gelled, AGM), NiCd, LiFePO4, and probably others.


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