Toyota Prius 2016, why two types of batteries?

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Batteries of the Toyota Prius 2g (2004-2009)

The three generations predecentes of the Toyota Prius have used NiMh batteries, with the exception of the version mpv (Prius+) to have less space available, and in the plug-in (Plug-in) for obvious reasons. NiMh batteries have a good balance between performance, cost, and energy density. For its part, the lithium batteries have better energy density, although they tend to be more expensive.

In the new generation, the least equipped models will use batteries NiMh, but improved over the previous model. The weight has been reduced by 2,4%, the size 10%, and recharge energy 28% faster. It has 168 cells with a voltage of 201,6 volts.

In regards to the lithium batteries, weigh 16 kg NiMh, although in terms of volume are only 6% smaller. 56 cells -less than half – operate with a voltage of 207,2 volts. The luggage capacity and habitability is the same. Hopefully, they will be more difficult to steal.

Up to here the theory, but why?

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Batteries of the Toyota Prius 3g (2009-2015)

The versions equipped Prius have an apparent difference of weight with respect to the least-equipped, as in any car on the market. One of the requirements of the new generation is that the versions equipped consume no more.

therefore, compensates for the increased weight of the equipment with a lower weight of the lithium batteries. Thus, models more equipped to offer a similar performance, as the lithium batteries do not pose an advantage in performance or electrical autonomy for themselves.

Toyota has made the manufacturing cost is almost similar to the NiMh, and believes that at the global level will be sold in numbers very similar to each other. In other words, the lithium are slightly more expensive.

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Batteries of the Toyota Prius 4g (2016)

┬┐You could equip all of the Prius with lithium batteries?

Yes, and in that case the least equipped models offer a consumption slightly lower. But of course, if we think that this model is going to sell millions of units, multiplying the difference by each car, the amount of money is not negligible.

Imagine that they are only 500 dollars of difference, and 3 million cars, we’re going to 1,500 million dollars. For example, when he left the SEAT Toledo to the market, the basic models had the rear disc brakes optional for only 50 euros of difference, and it was for cost savings. So fine is spun in large companies.

sometimes the Prius owners would have desired greater autonomy, power, or more power using lithium, and in this generation do not see satisfied this demand. The nickel still has plenty of life, at least in Toyota and Lexus. Not always the latest technology is the most optimal.