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Discussion Starter #1
Greetings...this is my first post.

I am considering the Prius as my next/commuter car. I have to replace the Ford Ranger soon as the hour commute each way is killing it.

My problem is my mileage/year...I did some figuring and it looks like I will be getting about 30K miles/year...and at that rate, I will be outside the battery warranty in about 3.5 years.

I want the car to last a lot longer than that...will the batteries last longer than the warranty? How much more?

How much will replacement batteries cost (today's costs)?

I would hate to spend a ton of money to "fix" the car even before the car is consdidered "old."

Mikey
 

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If this is truely a concern to you, you should do some research. There are around 10,000 3-year old Prius in the US now. Try to find one that's had a battery failure (not caused by floods or accidents). My 3-yr old battery is fine. I've not heard of ANY failures.
 

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It's not so much the age that I am worried about, it's the mileage.

As with most if not all rechargable batteries, the more you recharge them, the less they recharge until eventually they are not longer useful units.

Since it's likely that I will do over 100K in 3 years or so, I want to know if the batteries are going to last after 100K miles of recharge/discharge cycles.
 

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There is a semi official comment on Japanese web site.
http://gazoo.com/nvis2/prius/qa/qa00.asp?NO=6

Unfortunately it's written in Japanese.
Following is a summary.

Comments by Masao Inoue, Chief engineer of Prius development

In battery development, the life grade is in general same as vehicle
life. Therefore, the term of a warranty of the battery for hybrids is
same as the parts used as the core of cars, such as engine and transmission.
They are "five years and 100,000km." (in Japan)

A user who owns 2000 Prius reported that his Prius ran 330,000km without any
problems in more than two years, and the battery was never to be replaced.

The cost of the battery is 128,000yen plus labor (in Japan) if you need
new battery caused by such as an accident.

Hope this helps,
 

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Toyota provides the 100,000 mile warranty for the battery and the hybrid system components, but with Toyota, warranties don't really reflect the life of the parts. We've owned Toyotas for the past 25 years and for most of the cars, we have driven them past 200,000 miles without a single mechanical issue with the car. Even the same taillights were in the cars after 15 years, and they were only covered by an initial bumper to bumper warranty for 36000 miles or 3 years. As long as you take car of a Toyota, you can expect a trouble-free car for the most part. Unfortunately, few people have exceeded the battery warranty for mileage on their Prius yet. However, some people have exceeded the battery warranty in mileage, and the outcomes have been very very positive. A cab driver in Vancouver had a Prius and far exceeded his mileage on the battery warranty (~186,000 miles) and didn't experience a single mechanical issue with the car. Toyota was interested enough to buy his car to check for mechanical wear and battery health, and the results were very impressive. Maybe you are used to Ford products, but with Toyota, a warranty age doesn't really mean much. Toyota has not had to replace a Prius battery yet in North America due to a manufacture's defect that I know of. I am comfortable with saying that I expect a good 20 years out of my 2004 Prius. Overall, if you break in the car correctly, you can expect a long healthy life for your Prius even after far exceeding the battery warranty. :wink:
 

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I wish Toyota would come out and state that "time" means less than miles in warranty consideration. We drive less than 7,000 miles a year on each of our two vehicles, one of which is a '94 Tercel. We bought this one as a year old rental with 28,000 miles on it. It now has about 93,000 miles. I almost wish it would blow up so I could justify a new Prius... love the technology. The Tercel still gets 30mpg with no maintenance beyond two trips a year to Wal-Mart for oil changes. It would be stupid to trade this little jewel, as much as I would like to have a new Prius.
 

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Mikeyworks said:
It's not so much the age that I am worried about, it's the mileage.

As with most if not all rechargable batteries, the more you recharge them, the less they recharge until eventually they are not longer useful units.

Since it's likely that I will do over 100K in 3 years or so, I want to know if the batteries are going to last after 100K miles of recharge/discharge cycles.
I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that if you do that many miles in that few years, it's mostly freeway driving, which doesn't use the battery very much at all. So you're not likely to run into a charge cycle limit. It's also not at all clear that there even is a charge cycle limit since the state of charge is maintained in such a tight range (no deep charges or deep discharges ever).

Then again, maybe you're a taxi driver and will be in the car enough hours per day to do the 100K miles in stop and go city driving. Sounds just like the Vancouver taxi driver that did over 100K miles (over 200Km)
in under 3 years with no battery problems.

Overall, I think battery life has been a real success story for Toyota.
 

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Battery life

Yes, the taxi driver has just aquired the first 04 Prius to arrive in Vancouver. We will keep our eye on him to see if this wonderful machine is the same as the Classic.
 

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Prius taxi and battery

RSnyder said:
Mikeyworks said:
It's not so much the age that I am worried about, it's the mileage.

As with most if not all rechargable batteries, the more you recharge them, the less they recharge until eventually they are not longer useful units.

Since it's likely that I will do over 100K in 3 years or so, I want to know if the batteries are going to last after 100K miles of recharge/discharge cycles.
I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that if you do that many miles in that few years, it's mostly freeway driving, which doesn't use the battery very much at all. So you're not likely to run into a charge cycle limit. It's also not at all clear that there even is a charge cycle limit since the state of charge is maintained in such a tight range (no deep charges or deep discharges ever).

Then again, maybe you're a taxi driver and will be in the car enough hours per day to do the 100K miles in stop and go city driving. Sounds just like the Vancouver taxi driver that did over 100K miles (over 200Km)
in under 3 years with no battery problems.

Overall, I think battery life has been a real success story for Toyota.

I will note that the classic Prius/Panasonic
battery pack is being used for the
electric/fuel-cell ePlane that's in
development: http://www.aviationtomorrow.com/

You mixed up units for the Vancouver Prius taxi.

The original 2001 taxi went for over
322,000km (a little over 200,000 miles),
before being bought by Toyota for
research. The owner, Andrew Grant,
was given a new 2003 Prius, which as
of Oct. 11, 2003 had 124,000km (about 77,000 miles),
and he's been waiting for a 2004 Prius
for a replacement.

Andrew's post:
http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/toy ... sage/64846

Other articles:
http://www.canadiandriver.com/articles/tw/thrifty.htm
http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/toy ... sage/63586
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Reviving old thread:

I have not discounted the Prius yet. I am trying to suck the last little bit of life from my Ranger. Although, it's about to give up the ghost I think.

It's apparent to me that the battery life has not had a chance to reach it's full test potential yet. I would be interesting to see if Toyota or the battery manufacturer put the batteries through a test cycle to determine their lifespan. If so, is such documentation available to the general public?

Additionally, what are we looking at for replacement costs (in today's dollars) if I happen to have a Prius and the batteries wear out outside of the warranty period?

Thx,
Mikey
 

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Toyota probably did accelerated lifecycle testing of the batteries. I don't think they would put 8 yr 100,000 mile warranties on them if they expected massive numbers of warranty claims.

:D Pat :D
 

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Mikeyworks said:
It's apparent to me that the battery life has not had a chance to reach it's full test potential yet. I would be interesting to see if Toyota or the battery manufacturer put the batteries through a test cycle to determine their lifespan. If so, is such documentation available to the general public?
Try following link...
http://john1701a.com/prius/presentation ... ion_16.htm
Additionally, what are we looking at for replacement costs (in today's dollars) if I happen to have a Prius and the batteries wear out outside of the warranty period?
Why don't you ask it Toyota Dealer to get the official price?

I'm wondering why you are so sensitive about ONLY batteries.
If I were you, I would ask engine reliability and it's replacement cost because the engine warranty is only 5 years/60,000miles compare to the battery, 8 years/100,000miles.

Ken
 

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Before I bought mine (3 wks ago) I was asking the same questions. I was told by my dealer's service shop BEFORE the sale that this NiMH battery lasts roughly 3 times longer than a typical lead-acid battery, that none have yet been replaced in N America for being worn out, and that the 8 yr/80,000mi warrantee is NOT prorated.

Toyota.com told me they've tested the battery up to 150,000 miles and were still working, and that MSRP for the hybrid battery is presently $5,000.

For my hard earned money, I will assume that: 1:Even if I have to replace the battery sometime during the life of the car, I won't pay for it for the first 8 yrs. 2: If Toyota didn't think they'd last, they would not give it such a long warrantee. They know about money and they don't want to give away free batteries. 3: By the time I need to pay for a new battery (8 or more yrs from now), there'll be more hybrids on the road and they'll cost less. 4: Toyota has an excellent track record. I have yet to see any Toyota on Consumer Reports list of cars to avoid.

But good luck ordering a Prius...depending on who you talk to, the wait is 5-9 months long!
 

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$5000 for a battery?

Does anyone have the actual cost? The parts for my 16 year old car have not gone down at all. So lets say I buy a Prius and have a quick 81,000 miles put on after 4 years of driving I assume I would have to pay around 5k for a battery? Not very satifying. I my experience the battery will fail. I don't care if it's a Toyota, batteries have different failure rates.
 

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patrickg said:
Toyota probably did accelerated lifecycle testing of the batteries. I don't think they would put 8 yr 100,000 mile warranties on them if they expected massive numbers of warranty claims.

:D Pat :D
Depends on where you are.

In the majority of the US, the hybrid traction
battery is covered by the hybrid
vehicle system warranty, which is
8 years/100,000 miles. (This is not the wimpy 12v accessory battery.)

For the 2004 Prius, the hybrid
traction battery, on vehicles
primarily operated in CA, ME, MA,
NY, and VT, the battery is considered
part of the emissions control
warranty and is covered for
10 years/150,000 miles.

Other countries tend to have
shorter warranties on the hybrid
components, as compared to the US
base warranty.
 

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Re: $5000 for a battery?

roadfly said:
Does anyone have the actual cost? The parts for my 16 year old car have not gone down at all. So lets say I buy a Prius and have a quick 81,000 miles put on after 4 years of driving I assume I would have to pay around 5k for a battery? Not very satifying. I my experience the battery will fail. I don't care if it's a Toyota, batteries have different failure rates.
I can't really answer your question about the battery, but I can say that you will have a difficult time taking delivery of a new 2004 Prius in the next few months unless your name is already on a list. Perhaps this is not the car for you at this time and you would feel more comfortable waiting a few more years to see what the "real world" results on battery life end up being. Just a thought... I love my Prius, but it is a littel bit of on unknown, even though we are now on the second generation.
 

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The batteries in the '04 are not identical in size, shape, or electrical specification to the "classic" but are nevertheless of the same genre from a technical viewpoint. It is entirely consistent to expect a somewhat similar performance from the '04 as was had from the classic as regards battery life. Had there been excessive numbers of failures to date, it would have been reported in numerous venues. It didn't happen with the classic and it is reasonable to expect it isn't going to happen with the '04.

As experimental/untried/unproven/etc. as you may think the '04 Prius is, it really isn't. It is somewhat leading edge by virtue of being first of its kind in relevant production numbers to employ its eclectic mix of technologies (Including classic in this). It is the only production vehicle to incorporate all of the technology it employs in the way it employs it but no single piece of the puzzle is untried or high risk (batteries included!). Credit is due to Toyota for bringing all these bits together in a well integrated package.

Toyota remains a relatively conservative company. Additional evidence of this is in the underproduction of the Prius. Their estimates were not inflated with a lot of blue sky and hype. This conservative attitude helps protect the consumer (while frustrating the wannabe consumer). Toyota's risk aversion, while frustrating folks waiting in line for a Prius, helps ensure when/if you get one, it will work satisfactorily.

I venture to guess that a majority of the folks in line to buy a Prius were blissfully unaware of the existance of the Prius prior to the '04 model. In their minds, the Prius is a new untried hi-tech "experiment" that seems too good to be true, so there must be a catch, and for many the likely suspect is the battery.

I suggest that the battery will in most cases outlast the warranty, even the extended warranty of applicable states. You can be assured Toyota expects that to be the case in the vast majority of cases or they wouldn't have set the warranty where they did. The battery warranty is not arbitrary hype, something that they can set artificially high to instill customer confidence as that turkey would come home to roost and being the conservative types they are, that isn't an option.

There remains considerable uncertainty in the minds of the public as to what battery replacement out of warranty will cost. This is a legitimate concern and is somewhat of a catch, a potential gotcha, not an intentional gouge from Toyota, just an unpleasant dose of reality. Guess what, the Prius isn't a super economy car. It may be a super ecology car.

If you unemotionally run the lifecycle costing on a Prius (ignoring ecological impact) you find that it isn't a spectacular bargain. If you consider all direct monetary costs to include: purchase price, tagging, insurance, maint (including factory recommended tires when needed) as well as all consumables (gas etc.) you find it isn't the least expensive car to own by a fair margin. If you compare it to cars of comparable safety (making some shrewd guesses where required) the picture is a bit better. Elliminate any competition with inferior luxury and the picture improves again.

The Prius is NICE but not elegant and gives owners lots of bragging rights as regards perceived ecological impact AND the all important MPG thing which seems illusory (Who gets mileage close to the EPA estimates???) If perceived ecological impact is not important to you, I suggest worrying about the battery replacement issues that haven't been a problem with the classic is misplaced concern and you probably really shouldn't be seriously considering a Prius. Harsh words? Not really. I think there is a BIG disconnect in what many prospective Prius owners FEEL about the car and the reality of the car. I know it isn't all $ but if $ is a big concern as evidenced by unwarranted battery phobia perhaps Prius isn't for you. There are cars that are as safe, comfortable, reliable, and have a lower lifecycle cost.

The battery will eventually fail as will the tires, wheel bearings, spark plugs, and every moving part on the car. Usually and in the vast majority of cases after warranty has expired. To expect otherwise is self delusion and denial. If the cost of maintaining the car out of warranty is too great, perhaps another car would be a better personal choice. An alternative would be to sell or trade well before the warranty expires. Another alternative is the extended warranty to delay the time when you sell or trade. Eventually the reality of OLD batteries will come home to roost and a little of the "sparkle" will be lost but only if you had unrealistic expectations.

:) Pat :)
 
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Hi PatrickG:

___That was one of the most balanced and informative posts I have ever read in regards to the Prius in a Prius forum. Well done!

___Good Luck

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email:2cfm47tk][email protected][/email:2cfm47tk]
 

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Wayne, Thank you so very much for the kind words. Among other things, something I left unsaid is that it is OK to just want what you want whether or not it is defensible or your reasons are lockstep with current groupthink. I think the Prius is a good idea for several reasons even if below the unsophisticated surface thoughts of MPG, logical analysis contraindicates it as a "smart" investment.

:) Pat :)
 
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