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. Troy Heagy

    Troy Heagy Member

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    I didn't say anything requiring citation, except my reference to Rush Limbaugh saying in 2002 that hybrids only go 65. (I don't know how to cite an audio program from that far back.)

    As for other people: The original article author definitely needs a citation for his "people claimed $10,000". Where did he get that from? As a professional it's his JOB to provide citations.
     
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  2. DeadPhish

    DeadPhish Senior Member

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    You may have seen it already but if you haven't try this... it's the 'Triangle of Death'. If you want to see what it looks like on a healthy Prius then all you have to do is pull into a parking space and open your driver door without putting the vehicle in PARK. Keep your foot on the brake of course!!

    When the hybrid battery goes the Triangle comes on and stays on, then all the warning lights on the dash come on... it's a 'Houston, we have a problem' moment and you can't miss it. The vehicle can limp a short distance to get you safely out of traffic but don't try continuing to drive.
     
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  3. DeadPhish

    DeadPhish Senior Member

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    I used to work at that store from 99 to 2012 when I retired, I sold the first Prius in the market in July 2000. I'm certain that I got an employee discount on the installation but the total bill including installation was under $2500 out-the-door as the saying goes. It's about what I had expected. There were less expensive options but the fact that the battery was considered a 'new' one from Toyota swayed me toward that option.

    The labor cost itself is a minor part of the cost. It only takes a few hours to pull the old one and install the new one.
     
  4. DeadPhish

    DeadPhish Senior Member

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    This^^^. What he said.

    When I used to buy Big 3 vehicles, especially Chryslers, they always needed trannys well before 100K miles. I was 'used' to spending $2000-$3000 on a new tranny as far back as the '80s.

    The <$2500 expense of a new traction battery after 235,000 miles is the only breakdown expense I've ever had to make on my '05. I don't have any brake expenses, I've saved well over $10000 in gas money not spent vs my '01 4c Camry and even now at over 255,000 miles there is not one single rattle anywhere in the vehicle and every electronic function works like the day I drove it off the lot. Well worth the investment IMHO.
     
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  5. 100 mph

    100 mph Junior Member

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    Danny Cooper, the founder of PriusChat.com: “I remember when the 2004 Prius came out, there were many articles stating that buyers would be facing $10,000 costs to replace their [traction] battery.” Source: MSN Autos ("Will hybrid batteries last?")

    If you Google it, there's quite a few references to the $10,000 Prius battery. Here's my theory about the origins of the $10,000 figure: When the 2004 Prius came out, the only reference people had was the Gen1 Prius - and $10,000 was an often-quoted figure for traction battery replacement when the Gen1 Prius first emerged.
     
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  6. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web BMW i3 and Model 3

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    Three weeks ago, one of the employees at the do-it-yourself, auto shop repeated the '$10,000' cost of the battery. I briefly thought about suggesting 'no it is higher and half as many years.'

    When confronted with willful ignorance, I wonder if it makes more sense to 'pour it on.' If a Prius owner piles on the nonsense, perhaps, just perhaps, the sucker might eventually figure out 'I am being played a fool.' But a stranger to me, I bore him no malice.

    There is a cottage industry of liars, cheats, and thieves and we're not even talking about TV commercials. But the sad part is they often believe their own nonsense. Separating a fool from their follies, well sometimes you get tired of the tiresome task. In this case, I kept my mouth shut as I had a car to work on . . . my wife's Prius . . . and the gas pump will flog him where it counts.

    Bob Wilson
     
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  7. Troy Heagy

    Troy Heagy Member

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    I found NO car reviews from 2003 (when the 04 Prius released) or earlier that told buyers it would cost $10,000 to replace the battery. Sounds like an urban legend to me that never happened in the real world. (Along with tales that Betamax failed because it didn't have porn) (people are swiping kidneys & leaving victims in bathtubs) (etc)

    I had a guy tell me "I can't buy a Volt EV because it doesn't have enough range." (sigh) It has unlimited range just like any gasoline car
     
  8. ericbecky

    ericbecky Hybrid Battery Hero

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    The $10,000 amount if it ever was proposed was always way off base.

    Here is an article I wrote for About.com when I was working for them back in 2005. (Before the New York Times buyout).

    Q. How Much Does A Hybrid Car Battery Cost?

    In the article I wrote:
    To purchase a brand new hybrid battery from a dealer, the price for a Honda Insight Hybrid battery is around $3600.

    In November of 2005, when asked about the price of a new Prius battery, Toyota spokeswoman Mona Richard said, "The service parts price for a new battery is $3000, but we have not had to sell a battery yet."

    Proof is on the internet archive capture of my 2005 article.
    How Much Does A Hybrid Car Battery Cost? Replacing A Hybrid Car Battery.
    .
    .
     
  9. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web BMW i3 and Model 3

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    A quick Google search for "battery replacement $10000" revealed a boat-load of hits. Many are speculations about the Tesla and Volt batteries but that is often how an urban legend starts . . . the mixing facts about two different objects by those who don't understand the differences:

    [​IMG]

    Bob Wilson
     
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  10. Troy Heagy

    Troy Heagy Member

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    Yes there are links but NONE of those google links are 2003 or earlier (the claim by the original author was reviews from that year). Nobody has produced a single review from that period which claimed the G1 or G2 battery would cost $10,000. Why? Because no such review made that claim.

    Professional authors need to start adding facts/citations to their claims..... just as if they were writing a Wikipedia article or college research paper. Making up wild claims w/o proof is not professional. (Like Glenn beck or Alex jones.)
     
  11. 3PriusMike

    3PriusMike Prius owner since 2000, Tesla M3 2018

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    I had a very early Gen 1. The first time I needed new tires I went to a national brand tire shop and said this is what I need (a tire on sale). The guy behind the desk asked for my car model and year (as he should). When I said Prius, he said that I needed special heavy duty tires due to the added weight of the large battery in hybrids. So I said, "Oh really, I didn't know that, how much does it weigh?" He said he didn't know but it was very very large taking up most of the trunk.. So I asked him if he could show me where this was. We went out to the car and I opened the trunk. He looked around for a while and then I showed him the small bump in the trunk floor and removed the cover over the spare and I said that's the only battery I know of (besides the 12v battery).

    He got very quiet and wrote up the order and installed the tires. I'm pretty sure someone had just told him this myth and he just believed it.

    Mike
     
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  12. Troy Heagy

    Troy Heagy Member

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    It's also possible he was trying to make more money. Places like National tire, Pep boys, Jiffy lube, etc will recommend services not needed, or just don't do the work. Here's one video where 5 out of 9 jiffy shops did no work (but charged for it).

    There are further followip videos where they recommend engine flushes "because the manufacturer recommends it" when in really Toyota, etc advise Against it! ..... I had a dealer tell me "your radiator is leaking" and tried to charge $600, but when I looked it wss obvious it was just a loose hose. The same incompetant mechanic ripped my door handle off! And tried to claim my wipers were worn out when they were only 5 months old. Dishonest schnucks

    I would not be surprised if your Prius Trunk guy was trying to upsell larger tires even though he knew you didn't need them. (But you caught him in the lie by demanding he Prove the car needed heavy duty tires.)
     
  13. SageBrush

    SageBrush Senior Member

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    Do you know how to search Google ?

    This took about 10 seconds to find ... it is a log entry from John1701a from 2003
     
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  14. bigrin

    bigrin Junior Member

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    Well said Dead. Thanks for sharing your experiences.
     
  15. Troy Heagy

    Troy Heagy Member

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    I asked for a OFFICIAL 2003 REVIEW from Car&Driver, Cnet, Autoguide, or similar professional level that said "Prius battery cost 10,000 to replace" not some random Internet user. You still haven't shown said review to me. (Probably because it doesn't exist.)
     
  16. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

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    Whether electrons or combustible energy ... the range of a hybrid or standard vehicle is only as limited as the size of the energy container. Maybe that 'guy' was planning on driving to the center of Australia on a regular basis.
    :)
    .
     
  17. csdx

    csdx New Member

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    So I was a bit curious and here's what I came across after about a 2min google search:
    But I can't post direct links yet so here's the quotes, google the quotes and the releveant articles will pop up in the results.
     
  18. ericbecky

    ericbecky Hybrid Battery Hero

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    Neither of these articles are primary sources that say batteries cost $10,000.

    They both allude to articles in the past that said batteries were $10,000. But no direct link or reference to back up that statement.
     
  19. ftl

    ftl Explicator

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    Here's a December 1999 research report:
    http://www.booz.com/media/uploads/US_Refining_Trends.pdf

    On page 8 of the PDF:

    "The consumer economics of hybrids are not yet fully known. OEMs sell the cars at a three to five thousand dollar premium over comparable all-gasoline models. So far, resale values and reliability are on a par with traditional vehicles. Battery life, however, is an important open question. With replacement batteries currently costing three thousand dollars, miles per battery in actual use will be a critical element determining long-term consumer enthusiasm for hybrids."
     
  20. Troy Heagy

    Troy Heagy Member

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    So an estimate of $3000 from a 1999 article. Still no evidence of 2003-or-earlier hybrid review saying $10,000. (I'd say that urban legend is debunked.)
     
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