THE TRUE COST OF AN OEM VS REMANUFACTURED HYBRID BATTERY PACK
When comparing new versus remanufactured, Injectronics says it is vital you’re comparing apples with apples, not apples and bananas
Just as the engine, gearbox and diff in a traditional vehicle all have a finite service life, so too does the battery pack in a hybrid vehicle – eventually they all require replacement.
When that time comes, there’s essentially two options: new (OEM) or offsite repair – if you can find a service provider near you.
Injectronics says there is now an innovative third option, stating that it is leading the charge on the remanufactured front, launching Australia’s first, large-scale hybrid battery remanufacturing program.
New vs remanufactured
Injectronics says that as with their well-known range of replacement electronic modules, its remanufactured hybrid battery pack is a cost-effective and reliable option.
It explains the program is more than just giving these batteries a second life, it’s a far more environmentally sustainable option than dumping them in landfill. And despite being early to market in Australia, the program is easily scalable, backed by the Federal Government and with strong ties to the Advanced Manufacturing Fund.
Apples and bananas
At a cursory glance, an Injectronics remanufactured battery pack appears to be similarly priced to a new OE unit – around $2000.
In reality, Injectronics says the remanufactured pack typically delivers savings of between 30 percent and 40 percent, as the dealer-supplied unit does not come ‘ready to use’.
Instead, it requires a level of assembly, as well as additional major components such as connectors, relays and logic cards – which requires purchasing separately.
Factoring in the expense of the missing ancillaries and extra assembly (typically without any supplied instructions), reveals the true cost of the OE replacement. A good analogy is a ‘short’ versus a ‘long’ engine. With the ‘short’, you have the additional outlay of refurbishing the cylinder head, timing chain, water pump, etc – plus extra assembly time. Whereas the ‘long’ motor comes ready to drop in, explains Injectronics.
True Plug ‘n’ Play
Injectronics is a firm believer in making this process of replacing a hybrid battery pack as painless as possible. Every pack comes fully tested and as assembled as physically possible to allow for no extra purchases, no extra time, no confusion and no hassle as a 100 percent Plug ‘n’ Play solution.
Injectronics says that if being cheaper and more cost effective in the long run, plus better for the environment, is not enough, it also backs its replacement with a technical support hotline – something you definitely don’t get with the OE option. It also explains that with an OE replacement, there’s no ability to bench test prior to installation – and asks, where does the warranty stand if the missing components are incorrectly assembled?
The remanufacturing process
The ‘battery’ in every hybrid and full electric vehicle (EV) is comprised of hundreds of smaller, individual cells joined together to form the ‘pack.’ The remanufacturing process starts with accurately grading the condition and life expectancy of each individual cell:
• A-Grade Cells: Used to create remanufactured battery packs.
• B-Grade Cells: Suitable for secondary, non-automotive applications.
• C-Grade Cells: For recycling to recover raw materials.
Remanufacturing is much more than just identifying and replacing bad cells. In preparation for grading, Injectronics explains that it uses high-tech equipment to bring each individual cell up to its optimal state. After reassembly, each pack is rigorously and exhaustively tested to ensure it meets stringent performance parameters.
Injectronics is currently offering remanufactured battery packs for Toyota hybrids fitted with Nickel-Metal Hydride (NiMH) batteries. Models include the Gen 2 Prius; Camry 40 Series; and Camry 50 Series; and more models will be introduced in time.
Five signs of a bad battery
Rather than a complete and sudden failure, hybrid batteries typically provide plenty of warning they’re nearing the end of their service life – which is around eight to ten years. In addition to a warning light on the dash, here are five common warning signs:
• The internal combustion engine kicks in often.
• Increased fuel consumption.
• Battery is having difficulty holding a charge.
• Battery charging and discharging cycle more frequently.
• Battery cooling fans (and often pump) run continuously.
With access Australia-wide, Injectronics says its remanufactured battery packs are a convenient option for automotive technicians while also providing a cheaper repair solution to your customers, along with a vastly reduced environmental impact.
For more information, visit hybrid.injectronics.com.au or call 03 8792 6999 (Australia).