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2013-15 Honda CR-Z Lithium Ion Battery

Not the easiest information to find online, the specifications and details of the CR-Z battery are not something that Google will easily navigate too. I did the tenacious internet scouring using lots of search terms and dug up what I believe to be the truth about the Lithium Ion battery in the 13,14,15MY Honda CR-Z hybrid coupe :)

48lbs : 144v : 4.7AH : 700WH : 15KW (20HP) pulse performance : 40cells of 3.6v :
Manufactured by a JV between Honda & GS Yuasa known as BlueEnergy of Japan

The Lithium Ion battery of the CR-Z is assembled inside of an Energy Storage System (ESS) module, an aluminum intensive assembly mounted in the center of the rear of the CR-Z beneath the storage area behind the driver and passenger seat.

The ESS contains the charge controller, battery management system, thermal management system, safety control system, and battery cells. Each cells is 3.6v & 4.7AH wired in a string series of 40cells to comprise a battery of 144v and 4.7AH, or about 0.7kWH. I believe the cells are EH4, a 279gram unit, which in this back produce a total cell mass of 11.160 kg, or roughly half the mass of the ESS. I found this information at the official website

I have more to learn yet, specifically what kind of Chemistry are they using. There are more than 10 different kinds of Lithium Ion batteries, ranging from the well establish cell phone battery LiCO:C lithium cobalt oxide carbon, to hybrid chemistries like Lithium NMC used in the Tesla Model S. Knowing that it is a 3.6v cell of 4.7AH and 279g tells us enough to derive which chemistry was used, if we are willing to assume a few things about the construction of the cell. I will be reaching out to Honda and BlueEnergy to find out more and my findings will be found below in the near future.

Thinking about the cost of this battery, I was struck by the idea that a SLA battery could be assembled out of 12x12v 9AH batteries that would perform similarly, but would wear out every year or so. If the LIB that Honda uses in the CR-Z lasts more than 10years as BlueEnergy claims their cells should, the long term cost performance of the LIB would be better then that of the SLA solution. I guess the geek in me wished deep down that it was easier to hot swap out the cells in the ESS of my Prius and CR-Z. Having begun a foray into repairing smartphones recently, I now have the courage to embrace the idea of rebuilding my hybrid batteries with new cells with they some day in the future become too weak to continue being useful.

I really wish that Honda had used a Lithium Iron Phosphate battery, or even better a Lithium Titanate battery. Those chemistries are super ultra durable, and would probably offer a solution that is more enduring than the carefully computer controlled NiMH batteries that Toyota has installed in millions of hybrid vehicles.

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