What does it cost to replace a Prius Battery and how long do they last?

Common client question: My only concern with the Prius is longevity. Do they hold up once they get over 100K, or are the batteries going to die before then. I don’t know what it costs to replace that type of battery. Do you? What kind of price range would I be looking at?

Answer:  I have bad news, all cars eventually fail.  If you are concerned about not having anything breaking on a car, you might be better of with a bicycle or a pogo stick . . . then you won’t have to replace any costly parts that might eventually break.

No wait, they will break also. . . . well, there is always walking . . . no . . . wait, you are eventually going to die . . .

I have a philosophy that we do not make good decisions out of fear and fear is best fought by education and accurate information, so that being so . . .

Yes, there is no safety, there is no sure bet, there is only making the best educated decisions with cars and let’s go from there.

I have a philosophy that we do not make good decisions out of fear and fear is best fought by education and accurate information, so that being so . . .let’s move on.

If you are looking for an economical car, that can seat five, get’s great fuel economy, is incredibly reliable, has a nice ride, is roomy, has good storage room, safe, and has a low cost of operation and you are not considering a Prius because your concern is with the battery life and the hybrid system’s reliability, let me share some information with you.

Fact is a gasoline engine’s life is between 180,000 and 220,000 miles . . . and there is not enough evidence to support that the hybrid batteries in the second and third generation Prius do not last at least this long, if not longer.

The Prius has been phenomenally reliable and the chances of your battery going bad are the same, if not less, than the chances of a Camry’s engine going bad on it’s own . . . since the 2005 (Gen 2) model and up, the Prius is one of Toyota’s top cars for reliability — see the Consumer Report’s attachment.

Prius vs Camry in Reliablity

Toyota Prius (Generation 2 and up) vs the Toyota Camry (4-cyl) in reliability

I’m speaking from experience for the most part on this matter and from keeping up with my clients . . . In the past 10 years, I have seen several traditional Toyota motors go bad . . . but not one of their hybrids or their hybrid batteries.

Along with this, in a 2008 press release, Toyota stated the following:

“The Prius battery (and the battery-power management system) has been designed to maximize battery life. In part this is done by keeping the battery at an optimum charge level – never fully draining it and never fully recharging it. As a result, the Prius battery leads a pretty easy life. We have lab data showing the equivalent of 180,000 miles with no deterioration and expect it to last the life of the vehicle. We also expect battery technology to continue to improve: the second-generation model battery is 15% smaller, 25% lighter, and has 35% more specific power than the first. This is true of price as well. Between the 2003 and 2004 models, service battery costs came down 36% and we expect them to continue to drop so that by the time replacements may be needed it won’t be a much of an issue. Since the car went on sale in 2000, Toyota has not replaced a single battery for wear and tear.”

(I’d cite the link, but it seems it’s broken . . . BUT if you do some more research, you’ll find this is consistant with what actual owners are reporting.)

Yes, The batteries are not cheap, but the odds you you actually finding out what they cost from you having to actually buy one is just as likely as if you had to replace replacement cost of a traditional motor on a Camry.

Also, in line with motors, there is an engineering advantage to the hybrid design because the gas motor is actually supposed to last longer because it is under far less of an actual work load and parts like the air conditioner system do not run off of traditional pulleys and they also tend last longer . . . ACTUALLY there is more evidence to support that hybrids last longer and are cheaper to run over all.

So after knowing this information, do you feel the Prius is a fit for you? :)

If so, I can pick you up a 2008 to 2009 Prius for 14500 to 16000 right now.

Feel free to contact me at aaron@motorphilia.com if you would like to know more about these cars or anything else that is automotive related.

(And to answer what it cost for a replacement Prius battery . . . check out eBay . . . they’re under 500 bucks all day long.)

7 Comments

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