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It is with deepest regret that I inform you that Hybrid-Battery.com has ceased operation and closed its' doors. Our battery supplier will no longer ship batteries to us and we can no longer fill orders.

We shipped more than 400 BetterBattery modules and without exception, every purchaser has expressed happiness with their new packs.

We have shipped all warranty batteries back to their owners, some working, some not, so that they will at least have a core for a Honda solution, or to purchase a battery from Re-Involt.com (ask for Dave Taylor) or from Hybrid-Revolt (Matt).

The repair business is no longer tenable and there are no good cells to be gotten anywhere for repairs. It is doubtful that anyone can repair a battery anymore and make it last more than a couple years.

Good luck to everyone and keep on hypermiling.

This will be my last post here.

Ron Hansen
Former President of Hybrid-Battery.com
 

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I've been trying to get ahold of you Ron for a while. You still owe me $500 for the battery's and BCM and ECM you took from me a while back. I would like the batteries and ECM/BCM back if possible so I can recoupe the money.
 

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Looks like we are all out of luck. anyone in the NY area willing to file a class action suite. Start a list now. I had faith and paid the total amount.
NEVER AGAIN....I hope.

Willie
 

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Bummer. Sounds like Peter's PP50 pack may be a possible option to more people now. I have suspicions that my warranty replaced pack (March '10) may be getting a little iffy so I'm hoping my job holds out until I can afford something else in the next year or so. I suspect the difficulty H-BR had with keeping on top of customer service may have spread to dealing with their vendors. I hope and pray everyone gets batteries and monies owed them back.
 

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I... uhh...

Wow.....
 

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I don't have anything much to add apart from total surprise and sadness.

I hope everyone gets back any outstanding monies/packs.

In the UK I will have fitted about ten BB since they were introduced.
My last two orders from Ron came through a few weeks ago.
 

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Yikes! scary. Chickens coming home to roost. So much for that BB Warranty . . . Hopefully someone will step into the new cell void at some point soon.

If anyone on the west coast is looking for a good used OEM battery, I have one I am drive testing now and another waiting for testing. (Not doing this as a business, just a couple used packs I got from my local dismantler.)
 

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It is doubtful that anyone can repair a battery anymore and make it last more than a couple years.
Based on conversations I have had with Mike Debrowski in the last couple days, I feel this statement is not true at all.

It just takes more work than certain people want to expend . . .
 

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I doubt anyone who has paid partially or in full for OEM battery reconditioning or the Better Battery is going to get any of the money back from Hybrid Battery Repair. That's really unfortunate. I even thought about putting a deposit for the Better Battery. Luckily my existing battery is still good and under warranty. I have a year left and 19,000 miles to go, so I wasn't in a hurry to get one.

However, a few months ago I heard that Re-Involt Technologies in Sanford, NC plans on coming out with a Lithium battery pack replacement for the HCH 1 and I emailed them asking if they planned on coming out with that battery pack for the 1st Gen. Insight. Dave Taylor got back me and said that they will have this battery pack for the Insight also. If you go on their web site (Remanufactured Hybrid Vehicle Battery Packs) it says that they are going to come out with this product for the Civic in the 2nd quarter of this year. So it should be available soon. I'm not sure what the final cost is going to be. From what I recall, I think it's going to be in the high 2K to low 3K range. But don't quote me on this.

Another thing I would like to point out is that last night I got a call from this lady named Shay from a company called Rego Electric Conversions in Minneapolis, MN and Madison, WI. They claim they can convert any hybrid into a plug-in hybrid while installing a 4KW lithium-ion battery. But they might be more expensive and on their web site in the FAQ page they state Honda hybrids do not benefit from the conversion as much as like Toyota Prius does.

Both companies that I just mentioned also do battery reconditioning, but when I talked with Shay from, she had mentioned that they send these out to have repaired. Anyways, she said that she will send me more information next week.
 

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Based on conversations I have had with Mike Debrowski in the last couple days, I feel this statement is not true at all.

It just takes more work than certain people want to expend . . .
I don't know the details of your conversation with Mike, but I do know that Mike has developed the capability to disassemble and reassemble 6-cell sticks. Probably in most cases, there are some decent cells in every stick that is considered bad. But disassembling a stick, testing its 6 cells, and reassembling sticks of matched cells seems particularly labor-intensive (i.e., costly). So considering the age of the cells used in our battery packs, is there enough life remaining in these old cells to justify the cost of building good sticks from bad sticks?

Hybrid Battery Repair apparently had thousands of cells in bad sticks. If rebuilding sticks can be cost-effective, this would undoubtedly be the best source for cells. But where are these sticks now? Would they be available to someone who wants to try rebuilding sticks?

Also, why was Ron's BetterBattery cell manufacturer unwilling to supply him with more cells? If it was due to lack of payment, then these cells should be available to others. How do we find out who the manufacturer was? Using new cells like these seems like a much better approach than rebuilding battery packs with old used cells.

Lots of questions with hopefully lots of good answers…
 

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But disassembling a stick, testing its 6 cells, and reassembling sticks of matched cells seems particularly labor-intensive (i.e., costly).
I like the recycle aspect of reusing the good part of old batteries ... but to me this hits the nail on the head ... the labor involved in doing a quality job down to the individual cell level is the breaking point ... and I don't see an easy solution to that.

Perhaps some type of rig to automate as much of the process as is feasible could potentially deal the the labor issue ... but I suspect the design , testing , and construction of such an automated system would itself be very labor intensive and costly... at least it would have the potential in the long run to be a lower cost in $ and labor ... but how much of a long run?

Then the question becomes ... what is the viable market breaking point of labor and $ cost of reusing what is still good from old batteries vs building replacements with new batteries.

So for those who themselves have the technical know how to DIY ... it is a possible option ... for those who don't have the know how to DIY ... they are at the mercy of the market ... in a bit of a pickle.
 

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Better Battery Rebuild

Just received my Better-Battery from Ron with brand new batteries in newly assembled sticks last week. I had uninstalled my battery and shipped it to him since he had trouble finding battery housings. I installed last Saturday and drove for 20 miles and received an IMA light. I plugged in a tester, I got a P1447 code. I talked to Ron on Monday & he said that I had a bad stick. I hate to throw my $2K+ away if it is possible to have it repaired. Any suggestions? caveat emptor!
 

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Could BB quality issues be what sunk Ron?

Give Mike D a call. You are not the first to have issues with a new BB. Maybe one of the others will have an unrepairable pack and could sell you a stick or two.
 

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Better Battery Rebuild problem

I am new to Insight Central. Bought my 2000 Insight new in 2001 but no real problems until battery failure. Who is Mike D. and how would I contact him? Thanks, Jim
 

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Could BB quality issues be what sunk Ron?

You are not the first to have issues with a new BB.
I've not heard of any issues with the BB, can you elaborate?
Thanks
 

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Could BB quality issues be what sunk Ron?
I doubt it was all one thing.

I suspect multiple things all contributed to the difficulties and ultimately the choice to pull the plug.

As they say , most businesses fail in the first few years ... it is a lot harder to pull off than most people think ... a lot of risks.
 

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I would hope that Ron , who is surely reading this thread, could at least offer some answers to this group that have supported him thus far.

Are the old sticks in your closet available, and for how much.

Why can't you get the cells from China any longer, and you can you give us the contact info so someone else may try.

On the stick rebuilding, it is mostly a matter of eliminating the labor and developing an automated cell level test that quantifies the state of each tested cell, and an inventory system so cells can be binned based on their capacity, self leakage and Internal resistance.
The cell separation system could also be automated by mating a CNC milling machine with a custom stick holder and a CNC rotary table, on a linear stage. A vision system could locate and position the welds, and the system would mill off the welds.
I expect it would take some man hours to get it to work, and the custom stick handler would need to be built from the ground up.
Ron and I had discussed this, but when he got the cells from China, the conversation stopped.
The welding fixture and welder are already built and would require an operator. so a single guy could probably keep the separation process loaded and monitored, and be welding cells in between.
While most old sticks will not have cells that are perfect, from my experience, there can be a majority of good cells in a "bad stick", and there may only be a few bad sticks in a pack.
Of course this is a continuum, where there could be a pack that is totally toast,with no cells worth fooling with, which is where the cell level testing will be so important, to get the whole picture, rather than looking at 6 cells, we need to know where all the cells are to fully evaluate the stick.
That can be easily automated with the right test system.
Ron has a cell level tester that he paid big dollars for that would do that nicely on individual cells, but not when they are in series in the sticks.
Not an easy problem, but solvable with some serious work.
On the other hand, this may be a sign that we need to develop a new replacement pack that is lithium based, and just replace the packs. Dave Taylor Is working on one like RussellC indicated, and I have been looking into that for some time, but we are just too busy to go down that road just now.
 
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