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PNW Hybrid Battery Builder: "Hidden Gem" Of Portland Area

Every superhero has an origin story. For one hybrid battery rebuilding company, theirs is undoubtedly one for the books. The best part is that legacy is woven into every handbuilt battery they sell.


Hybrid cars have become more than transportation; they are a way of life. Owners of these fuel-sipping saviors fall in love with the vehicles, and for a couple of people I know, it changed everything about their life.

The owners of Bumblebee Batteries, a battery remanufacturer in Gresham, Oregon, went through a complete life change. After meeting them and seeing how much care and effort goes into every battery, I will certainly use them from here on out.

I want to share my experience with everyone and help you understand how this hidden gem in the greater Portland area needs to be your first call and last stop for a hybrid battery replacement.

Who Is Our Hero?
Every superhero has an origin story, and Eli is a superhero battery guru. How he became to be the Bumblebee Battery Crusader he is today is quite the tale.

Eli bought his first Honda Insight in 2007 as a courier driver. In his first year, he put on about 100,000 miles. Sadly, that car got totaled out, and a replacement car was needed.

He scored big and found a low mileage (87K) Insight in Oregon for $8,500. He continued using his Insight as a courier for another six months until moving to New Mexico.

It was here where the original battery began to fail, and being the car guy he is, he joined the InsightCentral group and became an active contributor.

The original battery in his Insight lasted until 2010, and it barely qualified for a warranty replacement from Honda. During this ownership time, Eli connected with the first "mail-order" battery rebuilder, Ron Hansen.

Ron was not very good at rebuilding packs with OEM packs and had a more significant dream of rebuilding them with new cells from China.

Eli helped test the rebuilt packs and even wrote about it on the forum here:

Due to a 12 month backlog and no new materials, Ron had to close the doors. But fate would soon give way to Eli and his battery-building revolution.

Who Is Bumble Bee Batteries?
Working with Ron was a blessing in disguise though, having the industry connections proved helpful when Eli picked up where Ron left off.

Eli acquired a small business loan from a good friend and fellow Insight enthusiast, and Bumblebee Batteries was born. The friend that helped Eli get started founded Hybrid Automotive and the Prolong battery equipment, which is what Eli uses today.

Bumblebee Batteries Are the best new or used batteries for Prius

The Honda market was good, but Eli regretted not getting into the Toyota market earlier. This is a real shame because of how much better Bumblebee Toyota batteries are over other rebuilders I have used.

What Makes Bumble Bee Different?
Bumble Bee is a better experience, and I cannot say it any better than they do right on their website:

"At Bumblebee Batteries, we understand hybrid car battery technology inside and out. We also understand what it's like to be a hybrid car owner because we own them too!

We are on a mission to bring hybrid car owners peace of mind and lasting value by providing premium, high-performance hybrid batteries, and genuine personal care."

Eli has spent a few years meticulously tracking data and personally watching each battery cell; he came up with a sure-fire way to ensure a higher success rate. Each battery that gets rebuilt has modules that go through a rigorous four-month testing gauntlet to provide the highest level of quality.

Each battery has hand-selected and verified modules that make the batteries as close to "new" as you can get. They also source known sound modules that are younger and have better rates of success.

No other rebuilder, and especially these "big box" places, will ever take the time and consideration that Bumblebee does.

Their difference is more than price; it is quality that is painstakingly crafted into each battery. Every detail is obsessed over, and when you put one in your hybrid, you will literally feel the difference.

But what else is cool about Bumblebee is they are doing more to be "Green," which starts with how they use energy.

Bumblebee, The "Green" Battery Remanufacturer
Battery rebuilding is energy-dense activity, and battery rebuilders know it. Bumblebee is very aware of this and decided to do something about it.

All of the testing equipment used is "regenerative." I thought this was a fascinating topic and asked for more information; here is what I was told.

"Rather than burning all the energy off as heat when the battery module is discharged, the energy is instead used to recharge a large 103KWh battery bank. That recaptured energy is used during the next charging cycle. This allows for testing the batteries at a higher current than other commercial systems. The downside is that it is more complicated and has taken quite a bit of time to build the system."

Bumblebee Batteries is here to make life easier for hybrid car owners. They provide a friendly and reliable hybrid battery replacement service for customers seeking expert helping at a troublesome time.

Each battery built from the ground up is handcrafted with the highest level of quality and reliability. Modules are tested and verified to ensure that the pack going into your hybrid is as close to new without paying the new price tag.

Not all battery rebuilders take the time to check and load test every module or cell stick that goes into a pack. That is also why other companies have higher return and warranty rates over Bumblebee.

What makes Bumblebee different is care, quality, service, and knowledge. They handle each battery as if it were going into their car. They, in turn, will take care of you as if you were part of their family.

When I stopped in to pick up my battery and visit with them, I was impressed at how serious they take battery building.

Yes, there are other companies out there, but I can tell you first hand they will not take the time to obsess over the details as Bumblebee does.

The team knows how to find the highest quality modules to give each pack the best power source possible. (Rumor has it, they are going to offer lithium upgrades soon too.)

Lithium Upgrades ready for Honda packs

If your hybrid is needing a battery replaced, they do ship and can do on-site installs. They have excellent warranty coverage and will work with you to get your hybrid running like new again.

Give them a call, visit their website, or if you are in the area, head on over and see for yourself the Bumble Bee difference; your hybrid will thank you.

Bubba The Bumble Cat

Thank you for reading, and remember, Today's Adventure is Tomorrow's Story. I look forward to seeing you in the following article. (take a look at the Night Shade Prius!)

Check out this wild new battery tech that Tesla has and why it will forever change the auto industry.

Peter Neilson is an automotive consultant specializing in electric cars and hybrid battery technologies. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Automotive Service Technology from Weber State University. Peter can be reached on Linkedin and you can tweet him at The_hybrid_guy on Twitter. Find his page on Facebook at Certified Auto Consulting. Read more of Peter's stories at Toyota news coverage on Torque News. Search Toyota Prius Torque News for more in depth Prius coverage from our reporter.