Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) Hybrid Battery Systems

This course from SAE International training partner, FutureTech*, is a MUST for everyone servicing hybrid vehicles.  NiMH battery systems continue primary battery technology in hybrid vehicles and have been since the 2000 model year.  If a technical professional doesn't know the fundamentals of NiMH operation it is impossible for them to perform a solid diagnosis or repair.  This course will concentrate on the NiMH technology, how it performs as it ages, how it can effect vehicle performance and fuel economy, and how to test it by using a scan tool. NiMH battery systems continue to be used in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV) applications and provide an excellent foundation in high voltage battery pack systems.  This course will include NiMH battery cell operation, cell/module failure modes, diagnostic testing methods, battery hardware components, battery stress testing techniques, and how some of these areas differ from Lithium systems.  

At the conclusion of this five-part series, you will be able to identify the condition of a battery pack, servicing instead of replacing it, and using specific testing methods outlined in this course. Ford, GM, Honda, Lexus, Toyota hybrid electric vehicle products are featured in this course.

What Will You Learn

By participating in this on-demand course, you'll be able to:

  • List the different formats of a NiMH cell or module and explain the advantages and limitations of NiMH technology
  • Explain the functions of Battery Power and Battery Energy
  • Explain what major sensing and component control systems operate in conjunction with the battery controller system
  • Using the NiMH Module Voltage Sensing Circuit, describe how this circuit functions to communicate battery module/cell voltages to the battery controller
  • Describe the operation of a battery module/cell temperature sensing circuit
  • Describe the purpose and operation of battery pack contactors, the battery pack Pre-Charge circuit and the battery pack Current Sensor
  • Describe NiMH cell aging and the Apparent Capacity Loss function
  • Elaborate on how geographical area, terrain, and drive cycle can affect the operation of a NiMH battery pack (cell)
  • Visually identify battery module or cell electrolyte leaks and bus bar corrosion
  • Explain how a battery pack controller aging can affect how voltages can be skewed
  • Describe how a battery pack cooling system can effect battery module/cell longevity, premature module/cell failure, and overall performance
  • Explain the battery pack Stress Test process and how the results can help determine what actions need to be taken

Course Information

11.00 Hours
90 Days

Is This Course For You

This course provides engineers with limited or some experiences in high voltage battery pack systems an excellent foundation to learn these battery pack systems and use this information as platform to learn high voltage Lithium battery pack systems. There are also areas within the course that could benefit more seasoned battery pack professionals.

*FutureTech develops and delivers comprehensive Vehicle Electrification solutions that include technical training, specialty diagnostic equipment and, professional support services to automotive service professionals. Its highly qualified network of suppliers, affiliations and, partners encompasses over 32 years of commercial experience focused in Vehicle Electrification education and technology development.

Materials Provided

  • 90 days of online single-user access (from date of purchase) to the ten hour presentation
  • Online learning assessment
  • Course handbook (downloadable, .pdf's)
  • Instructor follow up to your content questions
  • 1.1 CEUs*/Certificate of Achievement (upon completion of all course content and a score of 70% or higher on the learning assessment)

*SAE International is authorized by IACET to offer CEUs for this course.

Course Requirements

  • Windows or macOS
  • Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari (Other OSs and browsers including mobile devices are not supported by may work)
  • Broadband-1Mbps minimum


Part 1:  Lithium Ion Battery Families: Cell Construction and Operation

  • All Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV)
  • All Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV)
  • Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEV) - Examples
    • Buick LaCrosse
    • Chevrolet Malibu (e-Assist)
    • Ford Fusion (2013) & C-Max
    • Honda Civic (2013)
    • Hyundai Sonata/Kia Optima
    • Mercedes-Benz S400
    • VW Jetta

Part 2:  Lithium Product Systems

  • Battery Pack Hardware
    • Temp Sensors
    • HV Contactors and Pre-Charge System
    • Current Sensor
  • Battery Pack Cooling Systems
  • Battery Heating Systems
  • Hardware Diagnostics

Part 3:  Vehicle Performance Changes Due to Lithium Aging and Cell Balancing

  • Ensure/limits Cell Overcharging
  • Differences in Cell Aging/Degradation
  • Differences in Balancing Load Currents
  • Differences in Cell Temperatures
  • Ensure Cells are not Undercharged
  • Permits Battery Cells to be “Top Balanced”
  • Provides Superior Battery Pack Performance
  • Lengthens Life of Battery Pack

Part 4:  Failure Modes and What Causes Cell Aging or Loss of Capacity

  • SEI Layer Growth - Capacity & Power Reduction
  • Effects of Lithium Aging on Vehicle Performance
  • DTC Criteria
  • Effects of Lithium Cells on Vehicle Performance
  • Battery Cell Cycling:  Performance & SOH Testing

Part 5:  How to Test/Diagnose Plug-In and EV Battery Packs Using the Scan Tool

  • Stress Test Data PIDs
  • Battery Cell Voltages and Stress Testing
  • Stress Test Voltages During Stress Test
  • Stress Test Process

Recommended Content

Professional Development Lithium Ion Family Battery Systems
Professional Development Introduction to Hybrid Electric Vehicle Systems
Professional Development High Voltage Vehicle Safety Systems