The first generation Prius was introduced in 1997. When production ceased in 2000, 70,000 units were built. All were for the Japanese market but used exports have found their way to New Zealand, Australia, Russia and Europe. The tubular steel type NIMH battery pack used are no longer available and many of these vehicles are being scrapped. This need not happen as by installing a Power Jockey and having the battery pack reconditioned the vehicle can perform remarkable well.
BODY STYLE : The front and rear bumpers have a distinctive black strip running through it. It’s shape was distinctive which was designed to reduce drag.
POWER TRAIN : The Prius is a series parallel hybrid with a Atkinson cycle petrol engine delivering 58kW at 4000rpm and a 33kW EV drive with 225 Nm of torque.
BATTERY PACK : The NIMH battery pack design is based 40 modules of 6 D cells each welded into a 7.2 volt tube. This effectively puts 240 D cells in series to deliver 288 volts. In EV mode this battery pack can only move the vehicle about 1.5 kilometers.
BATTERY ISSUES : Reconditioning and rebuilding of this battery pack is an issue as the NIMH tube are no longer available. However The Battery Clinic has been able to push the envelope on extending the ‘end life’ of these battery pack with their repair and reconditioning techniques. Their latest invention the Power Jockey enables a battery pack close to it’s ‘end life’ to be used effectively.
POWER JOCKEY : Installing the power jockey improves the power and economy of an ageing NIMH battery pack.
Electric Drive :