REVENGE OF THE NERDS - How the $10,000 Prius hybrid battery came down to the cost of a major tune-up

Discussion in 'Prius, Hybrid, EV and Alt-Fuel News' started by Arroyo, Mar 4, 2014.

  1. Arroyo

    Arroyo Member

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    $10,000. That’s the price the pundits were saying it would cost to replace the hybrid batteries when the second generation Toyota Prius splashed onto the scene in a big way. Along with all the accolades, the technology was accompanied by fear and loathing—fear of the unknown and loathing over all the attention it was getting. Fast forward ten years, and hybrid battery repair can be now had for the cost of a major tune-up. How did it get from $10,000 to under $1000? This is the story.

    REVENGE OF THE NERDS - How the $10,000 Prius hybrid battery came down to the cost of a major tune-up | LA Car

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  2. ericbecky

    ericbecky Hybrid Battery Hero

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    The only near-$10,000 new battery out there from some of the original hybrids is the Ford Escape.
    I called the other day and was blown away by the price of nearly $10K.

    In case people don't read the whole article, the under $1,000 option is for USED parts with 90 day warranty.
    The other is also a USED pack with a 12 month warranty.

    Currently the cost of a NEW battery is not under $1,000.
    Most aftermarket NEW batteries I install are back by a 2 or 3 year warranty with unlimited miles during that time period, and new cells, not used.

    If you ever want to expand on the article, give me a call. I've been working on hybrids for over a decade, and have run our local hybrid car club since 2004.
     
  3. telmo744

    telmo744 HSD fanatic

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    Eric, the article shows all prices for 3 levels: service 1 (bad cells replacmt), service 2, and a new OEM part.
    Title is "correct": it is possible to keep running a Prius for a 10th of a myth-related-price...

    I haven't heard of any service like these(yours) in Europe yet, it would be good to know of one, within a couple of years from now.
     
  4. ericbecky

    ericbecky Hybrid Battery Hero

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    The opening of the article says
    $10,000
    That’s the price the pundits were saying it would cost to replace the hybrid batteries"
    "Fast forward ten years, and hybrid battery repair can be now had for the cost of a major tune-up. How did it get from $10,000 to under $1000? "

    It's not exactly true that replacing the battery costs under $1,000.
    That's the misleading part.

    When people talk about replacing a part, they do not generally compare to the cost of a used part.
    And I'm sure that was not what people were alluding to 10 years ago, when quoting $10,000.

    Replacement is, as stated in the article, around $3,000 at a dealer. (Less at independent shops.)

    We all knew that quoting $10K was ridiculous then. Prices are right about where we all knew they would end up.
     
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  5. PriusC_Commuter

    PriusC_Commuter Active Member

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    It will be interesting to see the price of the Li-Ion battery for the Plug-in in a few years.
     
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  6. usbseawolf2000

    usbseawolf2000 HSD PhD

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    When the engine or transmission needs replacement, do people normally put in a brand new one on 8-10 years (out of warranty) old car?

    The same with hybrid battery.
     
  7. DeadPhish

    DeadPhish Senior Member

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    My hybrid battery gave out on my 2005 Gen II at 238500 miles. I had it towed to my former dealership and had a 'new' replacement from Toyota installed for just under $2500. I expect another 100K or 5 yrs on the replacement at which point I'll be approaching 350,000 miles. Just about time for a new one...LOL
     
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  8. SureValla

    SureValla Member

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    I'm curious what happens when the battery goes? Do you start getting really low mpgs? Is it sudden or gradual?
     
  9. El Dobro

    El Dobro A Member

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    There's two in salvage yards, one for $3500 and one for $1700.
     
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  10. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    it will be really interesting after musk gets his factory up and running.
     
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  11. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web BMW i3 and Model 3

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    I do not have direct experience but it appears Prius traction battery failure occurs over a period of a couple of months. Initially the car control laws try to 'balance charge' the pack. But the increased traction battery temperatures tend to cause shorter and shorter periods between error codes until it fails hard. There are exceptions but that appears to be the trend.

    Bob Wilson

    Well done!!!

    Roy Nakano summarized all of the FUD spread over the years about hybrids and the Prius in particular. Best of all, he has used 'facts and data' to whack the battery cost bogie man. Well done!

    Just a minor suggestion but I equate traction battery replacement the same as transmission repair. The costs and functionality of a traction battery is equivalent to the replacement of a burned-out, automatic transmission. Still, an excellent article.

    Thanks,
    Bob Wilson
     
  12. ucmenhvn

    ucmenhvn Junior Member

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    Glad to hear your Prius has given you that many miles and after a battery replacement it will get you over 300,000 miles. How much did the dealership charge you for labor installing the battery pack?

    I bought my C to go maximum miles. It is a form of basic transportation for me and i don't see anything i would sell or trade it for. I'm hoping in a few years the industry will have a decent price EV car at some point that will get good range and an adequate infrastructure for long distance driving.
     
  13. Silver bullit

    Silver bullit Right Lane Cruiser

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    Good to know that there is a go to place for hybrid battery work in southern California. Thank you.
     
  14. SageBrush

    SageBrush Senior Member

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    The battery repair service mentioned in the OP uses G2 batteries. Fairly cheap, but IMO not a good value.
     
  15. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    Is there a difference between the gen2 and gen3 battery cells?
     
  16. SageBrush

    SageBrush Senior Member

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    Not electricity wise, but in remaining service life likely night and day.
     
  17. Troy Heagy

    Troy Heagy Member

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    Where did they get the 10,000 number from? Maybe an extremist like Rush Limbaugh (who also claimed hybrids can't go faster than 65). The more-realistic car reviewers estimated $5000 for a new battery, which is actually a good estimate of what it ended-up being (3000).

    I recall doing this with my Honda: D cell batteries times 120 equalled about $4000 back in 2001. Most car reviewers did the same analysis. (BTW I have zero plans to replace any battery..... the cost would nullify all the gas savings.). I'll just keep driving battery free.
     
  18. SageBrush

    SageBrush Senior Member

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    Funny.

    You must work for the government

    IIRC the original estimate came from Toyota itself, who reported the then cost of the battery. Toyota also said that they thought by the time batteries would require replacement the cost would likely be $2000 - $3000, but of course the FUDsters ignored the part they did not like.
     
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  19. Troy Heagy

    Troy Heagy Member

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    No not a government worker, but my 2001 estimate of $4000 for my Honda was only 33% off the mark.

    That's not bad for looking over a decade into the future..... as for Toyota & others, I see a strong lack of citations. Every time you (or the article author) claims "They said _____" it should be backed with a link from the 2001-2003 timeframe. :-D
     
  20. Silver bullit

    Silver bullit Right Lane Cruiser

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    Why should others be required to give citations when you don't give any?
     
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