cwerdna
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Re: Worldwide LEAF sales compared with worldwide Prius sales

Sat Jun 21, 2014 12:34 am

GetOffYourGas wrote:
RegGuheert wrote:Honda never addressed the wearout of their hybrid batteries and today commands almost ZERO market share in electric drive.


Is this true? They never addressed the wearout of the batteries? Anecdotally, I have a coworker whose Civic hybrid has had no real degradation in MPG in over 200,000 miles. He did get a warning from Honda that some cells have failed, but again - no noticeable hit to MPGs.

Anyway, I'm not convinced this is the reason that Honda has little market share. I think that has much to do with the fact that their "prius killer" gen II Insight was launched with the same drivetrain as the first gen. At the same time, Toyota was launching their Gen III prius, which was a much more refined machine. Shortly thereafter, they introduced the Prius C which pretty much killed the Insight's price advantage, while having even better MPG than a prius. Honda just don't have a competitive product today.

Re: Honda, even well before http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news ... /index.htm came out, showing horrific replacements rates on Honda Civic Hybrid batteries, it seemed pretty well known that Honda hybrids had HV battery issues. See http://priuschat.com/threads/salvage-tr ... st-1252078 and http://articles.latimes.com/2010/aug/14 ... a-20100815. I've heard of complaints lots of HCH folks having lots of "recals" (recalibrations) and I believe the IMA warning light coming on.

But yeah, I doubt that's the primary reason why Honda has virtually no hybrid market share. I agree w/the above. Even many Honda fanboys or former fanboys admit that IMA was just inferior to HSD.

It really is too bad. When the CR-Z was about to come out, many of us hybrid enthusiasts were hoping for mileage similar to the gas mileage king, the Insight I. We were really let down by 34 or 37 mpg combined (http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/Find.do? ... 9&id=32092) for a wimpy 122 hp small car. Compare that combined mileage to the MUCH bigger and more powerful HyCams. And the much bigger and more powerful 50 mpg Gen 3 Prius.

Then the Insight II came out... Us Toyota folks were wondering "what happened to Honda? Have they just stopped trying?" Now Insight II is dead.

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RegGuheert
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Re: Worldwide LEAF sales compared with worldwide Prius sales

Sat Jun 21, 2014 3:57 am

GetOffYourGas wrote:Is this true? They never addressed the wearout of the batteries? Anecdotally, I have a coworker whose Civic hybrid has had no real degradation in MPG in over 200,000 miles. He did get a warning from Honda that some cells have failed, but again - no noticeable hit to MPGs.
We have a Honda Civic Hybrid which we bought in April 2002 and we still love it. Lifetime mileage is about 48 MPG and steady. It remains my wife's favorite car. We like it so much my mother and my son each recently bought MY2004 HCHs based on my recommendations.

None of that changes the fact that the D-cell battery packs only last about 100,000 miles or so before they start to fail, just like the D-cell battery packs in the early-model Prii were failing. These cells develop a very high self-discharge rate as they age and it becomes impossible to keep the pack balanced. If you let the car sit for too long, the worst cells will fully discharge and short out. Eventually, the shorts become permanent. Now that we have our LEAF, our HCH sometimes sits for weeks at a time. The IMA light usually comes on after those times, but it will recover. My mom's HCH has some shorted cells at 110,000 miles and will need a new pack soon. The good news is that these packs only cost ~$2000 and then you practically have a new car.
GetOffYourGas wrote:Anyway, I'm not convinced this is the reason that Honda has little market share. I think that has much to do with the fact that their "prius killer" gen II Insight was launched with the same drivetrain as the first gen. At the same time, Toyota was launching their Gen III prius, which was a much more refined machine. Shortly thereafter, they introduced the Prius C which pretty much killed the Insight's price advantage, while having even better MPG than a prius. Honda just don't have a competitive product today.
I don't disagree with your history, but the battle was over long before the Insight II ever came out. The fact that Honda continued to deliver batteries which would not hold up in their HCH and Accord Hybrids had already doomed them.

That is why this topic is relevant to this thread. BOTH Honda and Toyota had problems with their hybrid batteries early on. Toyota fixed it fairly quickly and Honda basically tried to tell customers that "it is good enough", reprogrammed the battery controllers and gave out a lme settlement in court. Sound familiar?. So I suspect the question is whether Nissan's battery will be able to shed its reputation of having poor durability or whether the market will learn to stay away like it did with the Honda hybrids.
GetOffYourGas wrote:I drive one of those Gen II Insights, BTW, and love it. It handles like a Honda (responsive steering, tight suspension, hugs the road, focused on a "sporty" feel) and the Prius handles like a Toyota (sloppy steering, soft suspension, focused on a comfortable ride).
That's great! As mentioned, we still love our HCH after 12.5 years of ownership. Great car!

There is one other big difference between the Honda hybrids and the Toyota hybrids which goes toward what Donald has been discussing, but against the Hondas rather than the Prii: the vehicle and driving experience of the Prii makes a statement that the Honda never has. Specifically, I am discussing the styling and the electric-only driving modes of the Prius. Those two things allow Prius owners tell others "I am making a difference". If you drive in a Honda Hybrid, the only thing of note is auto-stop (turning off the engine when the vehicle stops). Most people seeing or even riding it a Honda Hybrid would not even notice that fact. But nearly everyone knows what a Prius looks like and definitely notices how different it is to ride in, and even more so to drive!

In this regard, the LEAF is much more like a Prius. The styling sets it apart from other vehicles on the road and the driver and passenger experiences are markedly different than other cars. Additionally, the elimination of trips to the gas station is a big plus.

To wit: my youngest children can only identify two vehicles on the road: Toyota Prii and Nissan LEAFs (but they occasionally misidentify other vehicles as LEAFs). They couldn't spot a Honda Civic Hybrid if their life depended on it, even though they have ridden in one since birth!

Anyway, I believe the Nissan has everything in place to grow LEAF sales even faster than Toyota did with the Prius. But they must take the battery issue completely off the table in the way that Toyota did. Unfortunately, there are definitely some shades of Honda in there right now. But none of us know what battery technologies are in store for the future. I see some extremely exciting prospects out there right now! Time will tell.

And the relative prices of electricity versus gasoline will continue to play a key role in every market where the LEAF is sold.
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JeremyW
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Re: Worldwide LEAF sales compared with worldwide Prius sales

Sat Jun 21, 2014 6:32 am

RegGuheert wrote:Now that we have our LEAF, our HCH sometimes sits for weeks at a time. The IMA light usually comes on after those times, but it will recover.

Consider a grid charger. Unlike Lithium, NiMH can be slightly overcharged to balance. The IMA system does no balancing, and only charges to 80% at best. A grid charger will allow you to charge every cell to 100% at a pretty slow rate (350 mA). Otherwise like you said you are killing your pack by letting it sit and discharge like that. Many have had good success reviving their packs with a few grid charge sessions (and sometimes discharge sessions as well). I'm going to be buying one from Hybrid Automotive for my Insight since it too will sit a good chunk of the time.

If you truly had a shorted cell your IMA system would be inoperable. I doubt that's the case. Probably a few cells under-performing though. The criteria for low capacity is something like 10% left! :shock:

There's also aftermarket batteries with 8Ah cells (original was 6.5Ah) and overall better construction that seem to be doing well: Bumblebee Batteries

Most (all?) of Honda's hybrid line is lithium now. I think the HCH switched in 2012?

I also think the CR-Z is a pretty big disappointment. Honda could have done a lot more. Especially by promoting/improving stick shift versions. But the CVT uses less of the battery so they stuck with that. :?
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RegGuheert
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Re: Worldwide LEAF sales compared with worldwide Prius sales

Sat Jun 21, 2014 7:18 am

JeremyW wrote:Consider a grid charger...

There's also aftermarket batteries with 8Ah cells (original was 6.5Ah) and overall better construction that seem to be doing well: Bumblebee Batteries...
Wow! Great stuff! I will consider both of these options!
JeremyW wrote:Most (all?) of Honda's hybrid line is lithium now. I think the HCH switched in 2012?
I think they waited about a decade too long... Honda Hybrids have a pretty bad name at this point.
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Re: Worldwide LEAF sales compared with worldwide Prius sales

Sat Jun 21, 2014 2:06 pm

Thanks for the links, Jeremy! I haven't had problems with my Insight yet, but it is 5 years old and 63k+ miles. I hope to keep it for at least 10 years / 120k miles.
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RegGuheert
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Re: Worldwide LEAF sales compared with worldwide Prius sales

Sun Jun 22, 2014 6:46 am

For reference, here is a plot of historical gasoline prices in the U.S. (adjusted for inflation):

Image

As you can see, the Prius was released at the very beginning of a steep rise in gasoline prices from historical lows (with a dip around the time of the U.S. release) while the LEAF was released during a period of high, but flat, gasoline prices (the drop seen is the inflation adjustment).

For the LEAF, it might be interesting to also see a plot of electricity prices, as well, since that is a factor which did not affect the Prius. However, electricity prices are very regional and can be affected by individual use of PV solar.

(Sorry, but I don't know where to find global prices, as those are both regional and in different currencies. Assumedly the shape of the U.S. gasoline price history should mirror prices in most other countries.)
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cwerdna
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Re: Worldwide LEAF sales compared with worldwide Prius sales

Sun Jun 22, 2014 5:29 pm

JeremyW wrote:Most (all?) of Honda's hybrid line is lithium now. I think the HCH switched in 2012?

Yeah, HCH switched over to li-ion w/model year 2012.

Insight II is still Ni-MH. I hadn't realized that CR-Z has moved over to li-ion until I stumbled across http://www.greencarcongress.com/2012/11 ... 21119.html. I mistakenly thought it was still Ni-MH.

The worrisome part is that Honda had been doing Ni-MH for well over a decade and couldn't even get that right. To have them go over to a new chemistry not long ago...

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cwerdna
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Re: Worldwide LEAF sales compared with worldwide Prius sales

Sun Jun 22, 2014 5:37 pm

RegGuheert wrote:That is why this topic is relevant to this thread. BOTH Honda and Toyota had problems with their hybrid batteries early on. Toyota fixed it fairly quickly and Honda basically tried to tell customers that "it is good enough", reprogrammed the battery controllers and gave out a lme settlement in court. Sound familiar?.

I don't know the details of the Toyota hybrid batteries early on as I started w/NHW20 (06 Prius in 06) so I'm not that familiar w/the NHW11, other than random stuff I come across on Priuschat.

I do recall hearing of corrosion, bus bar problems and sealing on NHW11 packs. Example threads/posts I quickly dug up:
http://priuschat.com/threads/01-03-batt ... -it.44600/
http://priuschat.com/threads/rebuilt-hv ... se.135198/
http://priuschat.com/threads/hv-battery ... ost-720712 (Classic == NHW11)
http://lusciousgarage.com/blog/gen_1_pr ... y_failure/
http://lusciousgarage.com/blog/comments ... e_snapped/

As I mentioned, I wouldn't recommend anyone buy a used NHW11 at this point. Some of the NHW11s have reached end of life on their HV battery packs or are getting close to it, besides possibly having a higher likelihood of expensive issues cropping up.

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Re: Worldwide LEAF sales compared with worldwide Prius sales

Wed Nov 26, 2014 1:50 pm

I've updated the chart in the OP using the ~150,000 units number edatoakrun posted in the other thread. That puts the Nissan LEAF outselling the Toyota Prius by about 84% worldwide after four full years of sales.

I will say this is turning out to be an interesting comparison, as the Prius faced low gas prices at about this time in its life and sales were quite stagnant. The same is happening with gas prices for the LEAF right now. The LEAF has attracted a few competitors, with the Kia Soul EV providing a compelling alternative. Prius was starting to get some pressure from the Honda Civic Hybrid about this time, but it ultimately held it off. It will be interesting to see if Kia has more real interest in this market than Honda did for HEVs back in 2002.

Edit: Hyundai -> Kia
Last edited by RegGuheert on Wed Nov 26, 2014 3:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
RegGuheert
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Re: Worldwide LEAF sales compared with worldwide Prius sales

Wed Nov 26, 2014 3:05 pm

RegGuheert wrote:I've updated the chart in the OP using the ~150,000 units number edatoakrun posted in the other thread. That puts the Nissan LEAF outselling the Toyota Prius by about 84% worldwide after four full years of sales.

I will say this is turning out to be an interesting comparison, as the Prius faced low gas prices at about this time in its life and sales were quite stagnant. The same is happening with gas prices for the LEAF right now. The LEAF has attracted a few competitors, with the Hyundai Soul EV providing a compelling alternative. Prius was starting to get some pressure from the Honda Civic Hybrid about this time, but it ultimately held it off. It will be interesting to see if Hyundai has more real interest in this market than Honda did for HEVs back in 2002.


news out today that Nissan just sold their 200,000th EV but then again this is the joint effort with Renault. still smoking the Prius big time but then again, the Prius started slowly as well but I see the LEAF out sprinting the Prius if the competition continues to ignore EVs.

The Soul "could" take a big bite of LEAF sales but if their initial effort is indicative it will be "same ole, same ole"
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