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The Great Hybrid Battery Debate



  • rfruthrfruth Posts: 630
    Yep the hybrid battery. (Honda or Toyota) Glad to hear they're so hard to get at but even here in Houston Tx where recycling isn't exactly common there are several places that would love to get their hands on one.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Found the page where Toyota says they have never replaced a Hybrid battery due to "wear and tear"

  • falcononefalconone Posts: 1,726
    Thanks for that link. Even though this information is from Toyota, I think it has a great deal of merit.
  • I too am glad to be directed to this site. Thanks alot! Larsh, this is better than good.

    Culliganman (appreciation to you)
  • Any thief trying to steal a Hybrid Battery would probably end up dead, because of the ~200 Volt theft deterrant shocking system.


  • yerth10yerth10 Posts: 431 1


    New technology offers charging time in minutes instead of hours and 3 times the power.

  • yerth10yerth10 Posts: 431
    According to ml

    "second-generation model battery is 15% smaller, 25% lighter, and has 35% more specific power than the first. "

    "Between the 2003 and 2004 models, service battery costs came down 36%"

    So far we thought that gas prices going up will make the hybrids get the Return on Investment, now the decline in battery prices will achieve it.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 12,731
    this is an interesting thought. cars are stolen for a whole lot less.
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2017 Ford F-150 Limited
  • As I said before, a thief trying to steal a battery would likely end-up fried by the 200+ Volts.

  • hi troy,

    I live in windsor, canada and i'm looking at buying a used 2001 prius that has 90000K on it and has just come back from lease to a single is priced at 16000 CAD negotiable. What is your opinion on its reliability and its price worth? What costs am I looking at in terms of maintenance and repairs and engine, transmission failures and importantly battery failures? Wat is the max life of that battery? u had said it will never fail...warranty is only for 8yrs and 5yrs is already up. pls reply at ur earliest.

  • You said that you have 3 yrs left on warrantee...check again... With 90K miles you've got just 10K left on the miles which will obviously come 1st. ANY car out of warrantee is subject to a considerable drop in book value.
    As to the 1st Gen Prius, well, its still up for grabs as to the longevity of the hybrid system. I own a 2nd Gen Prius and think that Toyota makes & stands behind a quality product. As to the price of the 01 I'd say....check blue book, find anything in ads that show what they're selling for. Lastly walk away if you think they won't drop the price. You can always come back to RENEGOTIATE.
    Personally I think it's too high a price unless they include a warrantee after the existing one runs out (2yr is reasonable).
    PS read up on some these sites to get to know the car.
  • stevewastevewa Posts: 203
    We have a 2002 with 56000 miles on it, no problems thus far.

    Make sure it's been serviced for the various recall/TSB issues (Steering Rack, HV battery re-seal) and that it has had all its scheduled maintenance. Frankly apart from the battery there just isn't much to go wrong on these cars.
  • hi, thank you for your replies. What are the regular maintenance costs I'm looking at if I do buy the car? you say battery is the only problem....what problem do i anticiate? Have you had any battery problems? does the battery need changing or ?... Also every time we need servicing, oil change etc...does is have to be taken to toyota dealers or can it be done elsewhere as well? Do u know anyone in auto services in windsor, ON, canada, who are well versed in prius? How much price do u think I can bargain for this car? your information is very valuable. thank you so much.
  • stevewastevewa Posts: 203
    Well, I'm in Portland, OR and I see a 2001 on a Toyota dealer's lot here with a $14K price in the window. I don't know how different things are in Canada, but usually used car prices here are extremely negotiable.

    As far as servicing, there is only one extra item in the routine services compared to a "regular" car. The motor/electronics coolant system needs to be serviced at the same interval as the engine coolant. There is no service interval specified for the transaxle fluid (it suffers none of the loads found in a regular transmission so it should last a very long time). There is also no scheduled maintenance on the steering since it is not hydraulic.

    Having said that some independent mechanics might hesitate to offer service on the Prius because it's an unknown quantity to them. I've found in general the service at my Toyota dealer to be reasonably priced so I have not been inclined to look elsewhere. They've also done a good job of going to bat for me on getting items taken care of under warranty.

    I have had no battery trouble, however some people have had issues with the small, 12v auxiliary battery running down on them. The key to this appears to be getting the car out on the road for an extended drive (over 30 minutes) on a regular basis (weekly?) so the auxiliary battery has a chance to fully charge. An upgraded battery is available but if not under warranty the price is over $200 US by the time you buy the battery and the mounting kit. There was a Service Campaign on the HV battery because there were issues with the sealing of the terminals, but Toyota has yet to replace a HV battery pack due to it wearing out.

    FWIW Consumer Reports has thus far rated Prius as above average in reliability. My experience concurs with this rating...
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    New research makes a rechargable hybrid car battery which lasts 10 years:
  • whatfwhatf Posts: 1
    I'm still a little skeptical about the life expectancy of the batteries, if I'm going to pay that much for a car it better hold out as long or longer than a conventional car. I'm wondering why a vacuum inclosed flywheel couldn't be used as an alternate energy storage device where it could be magnetically accelerated by the engine driven generator and likewise magnetic energy from the flywheel induced in stator coils that feed the electric drive motors. Although a large flywheel would also act as a gyro which could be somewhat beneficial but could cause damage to the flywheel at high speed sudden turns. This could be compensated with computer controlled orifice on shock absorbers attached to the flywheel axes.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,432
    I'm still a little skeptical about the life expectancy of the batteries,

    Welcome to the forum. I can understand your skepticism. That is one thing that has a good warranty. The $300 startup battery does not have a good warranty and have had to be replaced at the owners expense. The rest of your post I think you lost me, or I am getting blurry eyed from all the debating here on the forum...
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,432
    New research makes a rechargable hybrid car battery which lasts 10 years:

    I thought the current hybrid batteries were supposed to last 10 years. At least they better if the car is registered in CA. They have a mandatory 10 yr 150k mile warranty on any car they give the AT-PZEV rating to. That is supposed to cover any part that can keep the car from getting that rating. I would assume the entire hybrid drive train, cat convertor, electronics etc...
  • (WHATF) You sure have a way with (techno) words don't you? I think all that having been said ...Maybe the doofloppy would work better with a whatchmacallit than the thigamajig bell housing next to the sofisticated [non-permissible content removed]. Or maybe......
    P.S. In the great words of Paul Newman...(guess what movie) "What we have here is failure to communicate!"
    Culliganman (sometimes ya just have to say #@%#*
    (quoted TOM CRUISE)
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,079
    Wow, I don't understand any of whatf's post, but if it's going to get seriously technical, maybe the Advanced Course in Hybrid Engineering is a better topic.

    (Cool Hand Luke)
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  • yerth10yerth10 Posts: 431
    According to 1 person in, a Nickel battery discharges at the rate of 10% / day whereas a Lithium-Ion battery discharges at 5% / month.

    So its time for automakers to consider Li-Ion before moving to plugins.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,432
    So its time for automakers to consider Li-Ion before moving to plugins.

    I agree, and at that time I may be convinced of the worth of a hybrid. I want my 3 mile round trip to the store on Electric only. Until then an ICE only vehicle is a more reliable, practical solution.
  • yerth10yerth10 Posts: 431
    Until then an ICE only vehicle is a more reliable, practical solution.

    No, until then automakers should be improving the hybrid system and battery.
    Already the battery output have increased by 60 % with significant improvement in hybrid system. At 1 point, a battery that could move a vehicle for 20 miles will cost only 5K.

    That extra money will be recovered by cheaper electricity rates.
    Its alway one step at a time.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,432
    At 1 point, a battery that could move a vehicle for 20 miles will cost only 5K

    According to Toyota Parts list for the Prius the battery is $4900, so what is the difference. If it will carry me 20 miles before the ICE kicks in that would be good enough for 99% of my driving.
  • stevewastevewa Posts: 203
    If you are using the car every day or two what is the difference?

    LiIon has some problems, like LIthium is a nasty material to deal with. NiMH batteries are non-toxic.
  • stevewastevewa Posts: 203
    At another point, it'll cost a penny.

    What does it cost today? And how much does it weigh? What good is a battery that will take you 20 miles if it makes the car to heavy to carry anything?

    Car design is the art of compromises. You have to choose the point on the curve where the advantages balance out (or outstrip) the disadvantages. Carmakers have staffs that worry about this balance every day.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,432
    What good is a battery that will take you 20 miles if it makes the car to heavy to carry anything?

    Not too good. That is part of my complaint with the current and proposed hybrids. They are not competitive with plain old ICE vehicles in any area except better gas mileage, maybe. They cannot haul or tow as much as their non-hybrid counterparts. Until the problems with energy storage are resolved they are just experimental and the owners are guinea pigs.
  • yerth10yerth10 Posts: 431
    Certainly everyone who has an auto is a Guinea Pig.

    And those who have a big suv filling 30 gallons of fuel @ $2.1 is Guinea Pig Squared.
    And that automaker who gambled on SUV / SUT (especially Hummer) is Guinea Pig Cubed.

    We got to see how many battery modules are employed in RX400h. That will give us an idea of the level of improvement.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,432
    We got to see how many battery modules are employed in RX400h.

    How is that important. If the car can only go a very short distance (under a mile) how does the cost justify the added cost, weight, lack of ability?
  • yerth10yerth10 Posts: 431
    If there is an improvement, either they will reduce modules for reduced cost or retain the same # of modules and capture more regenrative energy which may increase MPG.
This discussion has been closed.