Expensive Hybrid Car Battery Replacements Are Unnecessary

| 4/13/2012 10:10:11 AM

Tags: hybrid car battery replacement, hybrid cars battery problems, Jim Motavalli,

Honda Civic HybridI’ve heard that hybrid car batteries must be replaced every few years, costing thousands of dollars. Is this true? If so, why would anybody buy a hybrid? 

Urban legend holds that buying a hybrid car will eventually subject the owner to the expensive nightmare of replacing the hybrid car battery pack, but urban legend in this case is wrong.

While there are exceptions, hybrid car batteries rarely need replacing. Hybrids now have a 12-year history in the United States, and most of the cars on the road are still on their original packs — even many of the 300,000-mile Ford Escape Hybrids used as taxis in New York and San Francisco. The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Authority says only two of its 182 hybrid taxis have needed new batteries.

Toyota officials report that of the 1.1 million Prii sold in the United States over the past 10 years, only about 500 batteries have been replaced (0.05 percent). The batteries were originally built to last 150,000 miles, but they have exceeded expectations, with many Prii logging more than 250,000 miles on the original battery packs.

Further, the cost of buying replacement packs has fallen, and inexpensive “remanufactured” used batteries are widely available.

Felix Kramer, founder of the plug-in car advocacy group CalCars, owns a Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid but he says he doesn’t spend any time worrying about battery replacement. By the time his Volt’s warranty expires, he says, replacement batteries will cost a fraction of the original price.

7/9/2013 11:51:39 AM

Dalton Barty:  Can you suggest some good suppliers of batteries in bunbury?  And what is bunbury anyway?

Rob Petrocci
4/9/2013 9:21:14 PM

I had to get a new 12v battery for my 2006 Prius this morning. This battery is only available from the dealer and it cost $406. installed. They said the main big battery runs about $4000. I pray that day does not come for a long time. This is the second time I needed the 12v battery and I paid $185 the last time in Dec 2009. Pitiful!!!!!!!!!!!!! They(Toyota) has us by the b__ls on this.....

Dalton Barty
4/6/2013 6:49:29 AM

Frequently malfunctioning half breed batteries are swapped when a less unreasonable repair might have been suggested by a trained technician and there are the good suppliers of batteries in bunbury. Half and half autos are mechanically distinctive enough that dealers send their mechanics to class for certificate in working on particular half breeds.

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