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The Great Hybrid Battery Debate



  • I have heard on radio talk and read in the paper when discussing hybrids that when the battery's go, it's expensive and "all" of the batteries must be replaced.

    Is this true ? my opinion is not all batteries would fail at once. What are you experience with battery changes.

  • calidavecalidave Posts: 156
    what does "expensive" mean?

    if someone has an opinion on an issue and tells me "it is gonna be expensive," but they can't quote me an actual dollar amount, that is proof to me that they are simply biased and are blowing smoke. No credibility. (am not saying YOU have no cred, Bob. Just the guys who are spewing without giving facts)
  • Search the Prius 2004+ thread battery life and costs have been dicussed in great excruciating detail.

    Edmunds has very good search engines
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,320
    I read there was a CBS news story last night about the Prius' not getting near the mileage advertised. Does anyone know where this might be linked online here? I looked at the CBS pages...

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 7,770
    The place to discuss hybrid mileage and expectations would be in the Hybrid Gas Mileage: Good? Bad? As Expected? discussion

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  • In Newsweek magazine an article on tax tips about the credit for hybrids also mentioned the batteries cost $10,000 to replace. I went to my local Toyota dealer today to ask. They said the old battery did cost $10,000 to replace. However the new battery could be replaced 1 cell at a time costing $500 per cell. I did not ask how many cells were in the battery. I would also guess that within a matter of months all cells may need to be replaced once one failed. This is a concern for me as my current Previa is 12 1/2 years old and has 233,000 miles and runs like a top. I keep a car for a long time.
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    > They said the old battery did cost $10,000 to replace.

    And the Original model Prius had a production cost of about $37,000. So what the heck does that have to do with the third generation now available?

    A handful of Classic model Prius in North America have already exceeded 200,000 miles with same battery-pack they started with. So the worries steming from experiences with deep-discharge devices are proving to have absolutely no merit when it comes to a hybrid that prevents the deep-discharges.

    In short, the need for replacement is unlikely.

    Also note now the "full" hybrid systems routinely power their electric motors without even using the battery-pack. Electricity is generated for immediate use by the gas engine.

  • Prius JOHN has spoken:

    "In short, the need for replacement is unlikely. "

    This discussion can now finally come to an end, there we be no foreseeable battery replacement required. So the effective cost is ZERO DOLLARS $0.00

    A Shifting Man,

  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,112
    This discussion can now finally come to an end

    I think it is just starting. People are getting high mileage on their hybrids and the complexity is rearing it's ugly head.

    Brentbridge posted:

    139,000 miles- IMA light comes on. Honda says the battery is dying and needs to be replaced.

    brentbridge, "Honda Civic Hybrid Owners: Problems & Solutions" #452, 18 Jan 2006 9:02 am
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    the percentage of replaced batteries is hovering around .0000001% about now.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,025
    Yes, but of course that's true, given that they're supposed to have a minimum 10-year lifespan. That just means that the defect rate is pretty durn low, and isn't an accurate predictor of the percentage that will require replacement in upcoming years.


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  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,112
    For those that have to pay to replace a battery, and there are some, it is 100%. There have been several Insight owners here on Edmund's that have had to replace their expensive battery. We are talking high mileage vehicles. Past the 80k or 150k mile warranty. You will not know about most of them as the automaker is NOT going to tell you. If you think the Toyota will tell how many traction batteries they have replaced you are living in a dream world. In fact I think they are banking on them dying after the warranty. A chance to recoup some of the R&D on their loss leaders. I really think that is why Honda is holding back on mass production. It could bite Toyota in the butt.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    The most I have read about an owner paying was one Insight owner who paid $500 for his replacement, with Honda covering the remainder of the cost.

    Almost all replacements done to date have been under warranty, and they have been miniscule in number considering the number of cars involved.
  • Actually the real figure is unknown that is just your SWAG
  • Actually the real numbers of replacements and the cost is unknown.
    Many owners do not participate in Car Forums. And those that do particpate is probably not an accurate statistical sample!

    We don't know the costs.
    we don't know how many Honda or Toyota covered or did not cover.
    We don't know how many poeple reported or did not report their problems.

    We only know what owners who particpate in car forums have entered. The miniscle number may not be accurate, because I would venture to say that the number of car forum participants is miniscule compared to the number of cars involved.

    And miniscule divided by miniscule is a meaningless measurement, Just as John's declaration of "the need for replacement is unlikely", implying zero problems.

    On a lighter side, where did RailroadJames go? His comments were always upbeat and interesting.

    YMMV but I shift,

  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    I think since Japan probably has the largest number of hybrids per capita, and they are an information socieity over there, I'm pretty sure that batteries dying like flies would come to our attention.

    If the Japanese thought it was a problem, they would be discussing it on a national scale and WE would certainly hear about it.

    That's not speculation on my part, it's absolutely a fact. Hybrid batteries, it they do ever become a problem, will not fly under the USA radar.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    See toyota's website. They have been testing this system along with the batteries for what 15 yrs now? They should have some internal idea about it expected life.

    In fact they do. On the Toyota website Hybrid>>>FAQ they state that the batteries are expected to last for the life of the vehicle. As the questioning poster noted Toyotas often go well into the 200K mi range. I've had 4 that have done so.

    I will Keep you updated on the Prius. At 45K mi/y I will reach 225K mi in 5 yrs.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,112
    That's not speculation on my part, it's absolutely a fact.

    It is TOTAL speculation, based on little or NO facts. The Japanese are not an open society like we are. We spill our guts on everything. Anything that looks negative is squelched in Japan. Can you link an automotive forum similar to Edmund's coming out of Japan?
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    It's not speculation at all. I stated facts:

    1. Japan is an information society.
    2. Japan has the largest per capita hybrids owned.
    3. Japan has blogs and websites where people discuss their lives just as every country does.
    4. Japan has newspapers.

    I could find you blogs and forums in Japan if I spoke the language and had the Japanese fonts installed in my browser, which I don't. But you know they exist, don't play dumb....
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,112
    But you know they exist, don't play dumb

    So if you cannot read Japanese how do know if they are even discussing the ownership of hybrids? You are speculating pure and simple.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    I think the fact that they sell more hybrids per capita there certainly indicates that the owners are discussing the technology, just as we are here, and I'm sure the Brits and Aussies and Germans are too.

    This is 2006, not 1980, Gary. People outside the USA discuss technology which is interesting to them.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,112
    I'm sure the Brits and Aussies and Germans are too

    See Diesel and hybrids.

    We are straying from the battery debate, which is far from over. Give it a couple more years and the complaints will overwhelm you.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    So you are saying that Toyota is risking it's reputation in the world by pulling a quick one over on us in telling us that batteries will last the life of the vehicle when you are certain, with supporting facts, that they will not.

    Interesting point of view.

    Let's see.. gagrice or Toyota? gagrice or Toyota? gagrice or Toyota? Ill have to give Toyota the benefit of the doubt until shown otherwise.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,112
    So you are saying that Toyota is risking it's reputation

    You don't think that Toyota is risking a lot with Hybrids? They are betting the batteries will last 10 years or 150k miles. Someone that puts a lot of miles in a short period of time will probably not have a problem. The guy that keeps his cars 15 years and drives 8-12k per year may be in for a big surprise. If the batteries go out after 10 years which is more than likely, the owner will be faced with a big repair bill or a worthless trade-in. Maybe it is a moot point as a lot of other stuff could go bad before the batteries.
  • I'm with Gagrice on this one. Batteries will always fail it is just a matter of WHEN not IF

    Batteries going , Charge is running down, ............ . . . .

  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,112
    Batteries will always fail it is just a matter of WHEN not IF

    Those that think the price will go down are dreaming. I just bought a new battery for my 2 year old Dell laptop. They were $99 two years ago now they are $143.

    Someone posted that the Toyota dealer gave him a price of $195 per cell. If all 204 cells go out that is $39,780.
  • jonpnjjonpnj Posts: 52
    Batteries go, turbos go, pistons go, engines go. Nothing lasts forever. I would rather have a car with a 150,000 mile 10 yr warranty than a car with just a 36k/3yr warranty. Wouldn't scare me in the least. Now if they started crapping out at 30,000 miles, then I'd worry. Haven't hear of that.
  • kernickkernick Posts: 4,072
    you: I think since Japan probably has the largest number of hybrids per capita, and they are an information socieity over there,

    me: Pretty bad timing with that comment :D ; you didn't hear that yesterday their stock market was shutdown because it is antiquated and couldn't handle a slight increase in trading volume?
  • kernickkernick Posts: 4,072
    you: Batteries go, turbos go, pistons go, engines go.

    me: you're kind of insulting everybody by stating the obvious,; when the point was that people rather have 4 systems instead of 5 systems that fail; especially when system 5 is very expensive.

    Also I have seen some posters concerned that the manufacturers are not covering a battery that is weakening slowly. Is it true the warranties don't kick in until the battery is completely dead? I would like to see a manufacturer's statement on the specification(s) on what the condition of the battery is when they will replace the battery under warranty.
  • jonpnjjonpnj Posts: 52
    Kernick: I have a name. You're insulting by calling me YOU. You absolutely have no idea what you even said.
This discussion has been closed.