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· Premium Member
387 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For Mike D, or one of several others who have been inside our battery packs: So what is the answer; are the batteries user-replaceable or not? It appears the Panasonic HHR650D is the right one, and is available for purchase (x120). I have read the previous threads and photos of you guys taking apart the pack. But I have never heard a difinitive answer? Can we remove the old sticks of batteries, then solder or weld new ones together to make new sticks, install them and leave all other components as is, and drive away??

· Premium Member
4,369 Posts
The short answer is NO.
The batteries in the Insight have high current welded connections that we have not been able to duplicate or find.
The need for matched cells to avoid the dreaded recal issue where one cell in the string reaches empty before the others is the other issue. They have thousands of cells to choose from and match up when they make the pack, even if we figured out how to weld them together properly, you would have to get the cells, cycle them with a capacity measuring system and match them by capacity. Then we really have no idea how closely they must be matched.
We do not even know if Honda or Panasonic actually matches them?
Based on the number of people having recal issues they may not?
I have been beating on the pack since 65K and still do not have recals and I am at nearly 100K. others see frequent recals in 30-50K? Go figure?

Based on my boost battery work, I feel that if my pack went south, that I would probably build up a LI-PO pack with maybe 20-30AH @ 144V with an independant BCM type controller with grid/solar charging capabilities.(Not a small task)
Then figure out how to get the SOC system to correctly measure capacity, and finally tie the LI-PO BCM to the Insight BCM so that temp and cell reversals would tie into the Insight control system. To protect the pack.
The higher capacity would allow most 50-60 mile MIMA equipped commuters to see 90-110MPG commutes. MIMA is necessary to set the assist activation point to a high enough MPG to achieve those numbers. It is questionable if extra battery capacity would help MPG much on a stock Insight. Today I got 127MPG over a 22 mile run, again without the boost system turned on, and I am still 400 lbs heavy with the boost batteries.
electric priority really works. If only Honda had only used twice the stock capacity, we would probably be able to squeeze maybe 30-40 miles at those numbers.
The lower cost solution would be to fabricate a Prius based pack that would fit into the existing battery pack space, and tie into the stock BCM for proper temp and cell reversal protection.
This could be cheaper than getting a new Insight pack if we had to buy one, but the latest word from Honda is that they are paying for most of the pack replacements, so this would seem to presently be a non issue.

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