Battery Usage and Thermal Performance of the Toyota Prius and Honda Insight during Chassis Dynamometer Testing

K. J. Kelly, M. Mihalic, M. Zolot

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

95 Scopus Citations


This study describes the results from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory's (NREL) chassis dynamometer testing of a 2000 model year Honda Insight and 2001 model year Toyota Prius. The tests were conducted for the purpose of evaluating the battery thermal performance, assessing the impact of air conditioning on fuel economy and emissions, and providing information for NREL's Advanced Vehicle Simulator (ADVISOR). A comparative study of the battery usage and thermal performance of the battery packs used in these two vehicles during chassis dynamometer testing is presented. Specially designed charge and discharge chassis dynamometer test cycles revealed that the Insight limited battery usage to 60% of rated capacity, while the Prius limited battery usage to 40% of the rated capacity. The Prius uses substantially more pack energy over a given driving cycle but at the same time maintains the pack within a tight target state of charge (SOC) of 54% to 56%. The Insight does not appear to force the battery to a specific target SOC. The Prius battery contributes a higher percentage of the power needed for propulsion. The study also found that while both vehicles have adequate battery thermal management system for mild driving conditions, the Prius thermal management is more robust, and the Insight thermal management limits pack performance in certain conditions.

Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages6
StatePublished - 2002
Event17th Annual Battery Conference on Applications and Advances - Long Beach, United States
Duration: 15 Jan 200218 Jan 2002


Conference17th Annual Battery Conference on Applications and Advances
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityLong Beach

Bibliographical note

For preprint version including full-text online document see NREL/CP-540-31306

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-540-32665


  • Air conditioning
  • Battery management systems
  • Battery powered vehicles
  • Fuel economy
  • Laboratories
  • Power system management
  • Renewable energy resources
  • Testing
  • Thermal conductivity
  • Thermal management


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