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Discussion Starter #1
There is this site that I have made a bookmark of and keep checking on every month:
http://ev.whitecape.org/insight

It ends with: "To be continued..." but seems to be dating from 2003 and has not changed.

Does anyone know who it is and if there have been more work done on the car (AC, heating,regen....)?
 

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Neat site, thanks for the heads up.

I've thought ever since I got my Insight that their resale value would be buffeted by a lot of people buying them for EV's down the life of the vehicle. I've seen 250k+ mileage Insights on eBay and thought that was a perfect use for them... cool ;)
-Philosophy
 
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Hi Yves:

___Someday there will be a real battery breakthrough and the Insight being a car light enough to make a practical long range EV might be the car of choice. I personally could not deal with a < 200 mile automobile as most are today but when they are capable of around 400 + miles, look out! That is if they do not cost $42,000 < 200 mile range RAV4-EV or $400 - $500/month (I think that is what they leased them for?) EV-1 did :(

___Good Luck

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email:27jumnup][email protected][/email:27jumnup]

 

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I thought "John Wayland" from honda-hybrid already HAS an electric Insight?
 

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No Wayland has a couple of electric Datsun's he's converted. I got to see the White Zombie in person when NEDRA did it's last meet here in Phoenix a few years ago.

Don't quote me on this, but I heard that the person with the electric insight linked to above has the Lithium batteries in the car for a while now, and has something like a 300 mile range.
 
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Hi Rick:

___300 miles on a charge? That is getting darn close to real world gasoline only automobile range. What does a stack of these cost for that kind of range anyway?

___Good Luck

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email:3u2wjhvh][email protected][/email:3u2wjhvh]

 

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I think I read somewhere that he was using Thundersky LiIon. If that's the case, and he's got about 50kWh of batteries in (guessing 6 miles per kWh) and cost is about $400/kWh (price has gone up recently - it was $250 - supply and demand kicking in?), then that's a whopping $20,000 for the batteries. The same range using 18650s would cost about $12,500 at today's rates.
 
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Hi Clett:

___Thanks for the info … We are not there yet :(

___Good Luck

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email:11fg0j1b][email protected][/email:11fg0j1b]

 

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It's very cool, but I never said it was cheap. I'm pretty sure 20K sounds about right.
 

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clett said:
then that's a whopping $20,000 for the batteries. The same range using 18650s would cost about $12,500 at today's rates.
Lithium used to cost ~$80,000 per car so things have definitely improved.

What are 18650s?
 

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ElectricTroy said:
What are 18650s?
18650s are the small batteries (~AA sized) they use to make up the packs used in cameras, phones and laptops (see below).



Model airplane users have increased interest in the lithium-polymer versions, as the high energy density of 180-200Wh/kg provides long flight times (the NiMH in the Insight is ~45Wh/kg).

A typical single cell weighs 45g, so each cell stores about 8.1Wh. This means that to store 1 kilowatt-hour in an EV would require 123 individual cells joined up into a larger pack.

AC-propulsion are the company that have pioneered this approach, by taking 6,800 cells and putting them together to make the pack for the 300 mile range T-zero (it can also do 0-60 in 3.6seconds). You can read about this approach here.

If you can buy individual cells for $2 each, that's roughly equivalent to $250 per kWh. 18650 prices are continually plummeting, however, and if they come down to match other mature battery technologies (such as alkaline AA etc) they should eventually hit $0.50 per cell, at which point ($60/kWh) a 200 mile range pack would only cost $2,400. This projection does not take into account the fact that energy density is constantly improving too. If this is taken into account too, the price for an EV LiPoly pack could sink to under $1,000.
 
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Hi Clett:

___Why isn’t Honda using these right now? At $2.00 per, the Insight would only need ~ $250.00 worth of cells to match its .936 kWh Ni-MH pack as is? There has to be quite a few more issues to these cells or the AH would be using these given the cost. Remember the discussion of std. Ni-MH cell replacements for the Insight? The terminal’s couldn’t handle the current was one of the major problems although there were probably a hundred others I haven’t a clue about?

___Good Luck

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email:3678tnbl][email protected][/email:3678tnbl]

 

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Not standard connectors? I thought the Insight used standard D-sized cells.
 
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Hi ElectricTroy:

___The cells used in the Insight’s are not only all voltage matched, they are capable of far more current then a std. Ni-MH D-Cell because of the unique connections they were designed with.

___Good Luck

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email:1e00849k][email protected][/email:1e00849k]

 

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Discussion Starter #17
So is the connection we see in the picure above, able to resist an about 100 amp current draw (or 50 amps if they need to be doubled in parallel).

Does the connection really need to be special.

I always thought that when the time comes to buy a new pack, i would simply replace the batteries. But I thought that I would simply use soldering like for an electric circuit
 

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I have no plans to replace my battery, but if at 500,000 miles I need to, I see two possibilities:

- Drive the "full" line high to trick the computer into thinking the empty space is a fully-charged battery.

- Just throw in some cheap alkalines.
 

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xcel said:
Why isn’t Honda using these right now?
You have to think back to when the Insight and Prius were being developed to understand why NiMH was chosen. Both cars were being designed around 1994-1996, and at the time Lithium polymer was no-where, and lithium-ion was still grossly too expensive. NiMH also had a longer track record, so it fitted the bill nicely when these cars were designed about ten years ago.

A lot can happen in ten years, but to change the cars to using LiIon now would mean abandoning established trading agreements with NiMH companies, and substantially redesigning the car, its battery management etc and everything else and then spending a LOT of money and time testing it exhaustively to see if it meets performance / longevity requirements.

Nevertheless, as time goes by and LiIon falls in price, it becomes more and more of a no-brainer, and will likely find its way into cars soon. The Toyota Vitz hybrid uses a small LiIon battery (Japan only) for stop-start, and Hitachi have just set up a big venture with agreements for making LiIon batteries for (as yet un-named) manufacturers of hybrid cars. Using lithium should be the first step towards commercially viable plug-in hybrid cars.
 
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