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I've read a lot of posts from Prius owners concerning reduced mileage during winter driving. I suspect a lot of this is probably due to winter fuel addatives and the inability of the car to remain warm. I haven't seen anything about the reduced efficiency of the traction battery. I know the Lithium Oion battery in my camera suffers degraded performance in cold weather. Even if charged in the nice warm house, it can't provide the current as well as it does in warm weather. Canon suggests keeping the battery in a pocket during cool weather. Might it be the same in the Prius during cold weather?
 

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Hmm, is this what the term "deep pockets" means? Don't think I could motivate too well with the Prius hybrid battery in my trouser pocket!

Seriously, there was a post by Bill Powell on the Yahoo!toyota-prius site the other day, to the effect that if you turn your temp. control c/w all the way to max, with fan on high and with the air flow in floor position, you will warm the cabin rapidly, and thus also the hybrid battery (its air intake is on the shelf behind the rear seat, and will draw heated air from the cabin).

There have been few, if any, reported problems relating to cold-weather operation with the '01-'02-'03 Classic. Reduced mileage, yes (as with any car in winter). Reliability, no. Keeping the car warm in winter is absolutely *not* a problem!
 

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Henry said:
Hmm, is this what the term "deep pockets" means? Don't think I could motivate too well with the Prius hybrid battery in my trouser pocket!
Hmmm, we have Smart Entry & Smart Start where we keep the FOB in our pocket, why not Smart Battery too?
--evan
 

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cabin heat

NiMH batteries perform better at
what humans would consider room temperature.

Near the rear seat (shelf on classic,
by seat/doors on 2004) there are
some vents that the owner's manual
warns you not to cover up. These
are the vents that suck air in from
the passenger cabin, and pass the
air over the hybrid battery.

Chances are, if it's really cold/hot,
that the driver is going to have
the climate control on to a reasonable
temperature, to keep themselves happy.
At the same time, it's keeping the
battery happy.
 

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I suspect that the battery is a pretty thermally dense chunk of stuff and that if the car is parked out in subzero temps (cold soaked) that it would take quite a while to get it up to room temp. This might have a noticed effect on performance for a while. I'm not up on my nickle metal hydride battery engineering but I don't recall hearring anything about shortening the long term life by cold use although it reduces charge/discharge performance while the batt is cold.

No matter, it is likely that the brake control program will account for any changes in regenerative braking if they are significant.

:D pat :D
 

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cold temp battery questions

NiMH batteries have generally turned out to be a lot more durable than anyone gave them credit for initially...I really don't think typical winter temps would have too much effect on them. I'd also think that the initial charging cycle that always occurs on start-up would help warm them a bit.

Steve
Portland, OR
2002 Brilliant Blue
34999 miles
 
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