Posted by email@example.com on February 19, 2005, 5:14 pm
I would suggest that you read the Emergency Response Guides (freely
available from Toyota) at:
http://techinfo.toyota.com/public/main/1stprius.pdf (2001-2003 Prius)
http://techinfo.toyota.com/public/main/2ndprius.pdf (2004-? Prius)
quoting from page 20 of 2ndprius.pdf:
The Prius contains the same common automotive fluids used in other
Toyota vehicles, with the exception of NiMH electrolyte used in the HV
battery pack. The NiMH battery electrolyte is a caustic alkaline (pH
13.5) that is damaging to human tissue. The electrolyte, however, is
absorbed in the cell plates and will not normally spill or leak out
even if a battery module is cracked. A catastrophic crash that would
breach both the metal battery pack case and the plastic battery module
would be a rare occurance.
The vast majority of the Emergency Response Guides teaches how to
recognize a Toyota Prius, and how to make sure it is off.
Posted by Michael Pardee on February 5, 2005, 3:17 am
It doesn't ring true. The hydroxide electrolyte is fairly innocuous on steel
and concrete. Acids from lead-acid batteries is much worse on both.
Posted by Ike on February 19, 2005, 6:26 am
Michael Pardee wrote:
It's a total CLANG!
These are just nickel metal hydride cells - NiMH - identical physics as
to what you buy in every drug store, hardware store, etc. etc. The
warning label should say "Don't eat more than two of them at a time, or
crush them into powder and breath it for more than an hour." It's really
very safe compared to other battery physics. Eat through a truck bed,
then a concrete roadway? Another urban legend...
Posted by Ben on November 15, 2004, 3:40 pm
My question about the battery (hybrid concept) is has anyone factored in the
cost of a new battery after the first goes bad (say in 8-10 years), it would
seem to add more than $00 a year to the cost of running the car! So
shouldn't the mpg reflect that replacement cost and won't that equalize the
"real" cost per mile with old technology?
Posted by Michael Pardee on November 15, 2004, 7:01 pm
The battery is about as expensive as an automatic transmission, and is more
reliable than many auto trannies. It certainly has a longer warranty than
most auto transmissions. Since the Prius has no actual transmission, I
figure it is at worst a wash. No starter, no alternator or power steering
pump... we're starting to come out ahead already. No cruise control system
to go bad (well, okay, there are some switches). Not even a timing belt to
Since there is a Honda, an Acura and a Volvo in the family, I frequent those
groups. Absolutely amazing how many automatic transmission horror stories
there, including a '99 Acura TL on its 4th transmission (they have a very
bad record.) Honda transmissions can be destroyed by using non-Honda fluid
or by routinely shifting into drive without coming to a complete stop while
backing up. The '93 and '94 Volvo 850 had nearly 100% transmission failure
in the first five years of service. How many "bad traction battery" posts
have you seen here? Granted the Prius is a relatively new model, but it is
doing remarkably well.
The battery will probably fail at some point. But count the number of
systems in any modern car that can cost more to repair or replace than the
car is worth after 10 years. ABS controllers, SRS bag sets, engine,
transmission. A co-worker had a Ford Escort until the water pump shaft
failed just after the warranty period ran out. The timing belt let go (it
drove the water pump) and crashed the engine. The car was uneconomical to
repair, although he owed nearly two more years payments on it. I think the
Prius is a good gamble by comparison.