The abbreviation IMA stands for Integrated Motor Assist, the name of the hybrid car technology introduced by Honda in 1999 with their Insight, a model that enjoys great popularity ever since it was launched.
The IMA is a parallel hybrid system that uses an electrical motor installed between the car’s transmission and its internal combustion engine to provide a back-up to the conventional engine and to move the car at low speeds. The IMA battery is a special battery that is separate from the car’s standard battery and its role is to power the electrical motor that propels the car before the internal combustion engine takes over. IMA batteries are nickel-metal hybrid batteries (NiMH units) that replenish their energy deposits when the car is decelerating, during a process called regenerative braking.
The average lifespan of Honda ima battery packs is around 7-10 years, but in many cases (if the car is driven correctly and the manufacturer’s recommendations and instructions regarding charging and maintenance are followed), the pack will work flawlessly for much longer that it is warranted for, the principle reason why the Honda models are replaced by the owner being not the fault of the battery, but the owner’s intention to have a new car.