I’ve posted about the problems I’m having with my Honda Civic Hybrid (2003) elsewhere, but I just wanted to start a separate discussion of grid chargers (i.e., chargers that use the regular electric ‘grid,’ rather than regenerative braking, to recharge the big hybrid battery) for hybrid vehicles here. I’m not a technician, but it seems the science behind the product is solid: it charges and rebalances the separate cells in an IMA battery so that it functions properly, and supposedly can resurrect ‘dead’ batteries–i.e., ones that get a code saying they are no longer operative (P1600, for example, in a Civic hybrid). It’s not clear if the grid charger can fix cells that are defective, and if that’s the case the entire battery may be useless. However, there seems to be little information out there, except from the various manufacturers (mostly, it seems, small start-up and speciality companies). If the technology is as effective as the grid charger manufacturers maintain, why not (for an extra $400, for example) include this in the initial price of the car, if it saves thousands on replaced hybrid IMA batteries? I should mention that for Honda Civics all replacement batteries are actually “reconditioned” and not new, since they are no longer manufactured for the 2003-10 Civics.
Has anyone used one of these grid chargers? (Not someone from one of the companies who manufacture them, though I’d be interested to hear answers from them as well.)