Will driving limited miles kill the hybrid battery?

Discussion in 'Gen 4 Prius Main Forum' started by Ozark Man, Apr 8, 2021.

  1. Ozark Man

    Ozark Man Member

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    I guess I am about to find out. I just traded my mazda 3 for a 2017 four touring with 22,500 miles. I tend to agree with someone who said that we don't have data to prove that but I'm sure someone will disagree with me.
    I love the vehicle with all the "bells and whistles" though. I'm old and retired and don't care to drive much any more but do enjoy it when I do drive. I've been putting about 3,000 miles a year on my mazda. I will be driving it on the interstate for 3 miles at least once a week where I get up to at least 70 mph. The battery usually gets up to an 80% charge a few times and is usually on that when I get home after a 16 mile round trip to the grocery store. I think my "old-man" style of driving helps it, I tend to coast a lot and lightly apply the brakes when stopping. I have a phone which I don't use much either and has a reputation of having a short battery life It has lasted a long time. But back to the Prius, it looks to me like not having the battery to heat up a lot would be a plus. Also we don't get too much real cold weather so that's good. Anyway I plan to start saving up for a new battery (which is the only kind I would buy) in case it does go bad after the warranty expires. By the way, does anyone know how much the gen 4 battery's are going for? I still have 4 years and 7 monthes on the warranty. A self-proclaimed toyota tech on youtube claims you should change the oil every 5000 miles or 6 monthes but I plan to go a year which will probably be about 3,000 unless it starts looking bad on the stick. I plan to change all fluids, including transmission at 10 years or 50,000 miles, although I'm sure it will be in 2027. Anyway I will keep everyone posted if I don't die before the hybrid battery does. lol Pardon my rambling and poor sentence structure.
     
    #1 Ozark Man, Apr 8, 2021
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2021
  2. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sunday driver DIY’r

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    Our 2010 was built in Aug ‘09; we bought in Nov ‘10, with about 10 km. This November it’ll be eleven years, and currently it’s just shy of 90k kms, maybe 60k miles. Hybrid battery seems to behave just like new, mpg the same and Dr Prius app static test shows everything green (good, knock on wood).
     
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  3. jdenenberg

    jdenenberg EE Professor

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    There are two different Prius battery systems:
    1. The original 1.2 kwatt-hour NiMh battery system which seems to do a bit better when driven regularly (or kept balanced with a Prolong charger). My 2004 Prius battery lasted 195k miles and over 8 years before reversing a cell. Had I been doing regular rebalancing of the battery, it would have lasted longer.
    2. The newer (most Gen4 and some plug-in Prii) 700 watt-hour LiOn battery system that was in my 2016 Prius. We on PC don't yet have enough long term data on these to know the impact of limited miles/year on battery life on the LiOn batteries.
    My 2020 AWD-e Prius has an NiMh battery system and I am no longer driving 30k miles/year so perhaps I should consider getting a Prolong charger for my new Prius.

    JeffD
     
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  4. Ozark Man

    Ozark Man Member

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    That sounds great! There are those on here that say that the li-on batteries won't last as long but only time will tell. Mine was built in June 2017 and first sold in November 2017 so I lucked out on that. Thanks, you made my day!
     
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  5. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    what made you buy a prius?
     
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  6. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    Also the Gen 4's OCI is 1 year/10,000 miles anyway. There is a shorter "severe use" criteria that includes short trips and/or dirt road driving since the engine doesn't get to warm up properly (or there's the potential for contaminants in the dirt road scenario)
     
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  7. Ozark Man

    Ozark Man Member

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    I had one several year ago and really liked it. Back then I worried about having to spend a lot of money if the battery went bad so I traded it off. I had been reading about how the gen 4's rode and handled so I test drove one and loved it. I guess most people buy them for the savings on gas but I like the comfort and it's just fun to drive. Believe it or not my mazda got about 40 mpg but it was a very uncomfortable ride compare to the Prius.
     
    #7 Ozark Man, Apr 8, 2021
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2021
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  8. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    it is likely to outlive you, all the best!
     
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  9. Ozark Man

    Ozark Man Member

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    Thanks, I think????? lol I know what you mean. That's a tossup!
     
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  10. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    no offense :), i'm old and retired too. and i expect my 2012 w/74,000 to outlive me unless i decide to trade it in for something else.
    i don't enjoy driving anymore, it's a means to an end. at 3-4,000 miles a year, it does everything i need it to, and then some.
     
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  11. Ozark Man

    Ozark Man Member

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    None taken. The best to you and I hope we both outlive the battery's and they last about 40 more years. At least yours has a history of longevity. Mine doesn't have much history in the Prius.
     
  12. alanclarkeau

    alanclarkeau Senior Member

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    I'd just drive it, enjoy it. The battery will be fine - there doesn't seem to be much correlation that I've read about the mileage against time (TAXIs with huge kilometres still often have good batteries). I would spend my money on other things rather than saving for a battery - you'll likely never need one - they tend to last the life of the car. Besides, they're not that expensive now - and you've saved more than that on petrol, brakes and transmission repairs which are the blight of a "normal" car.

    A 16 mile round trip should be fine for exercising everything, everything should heat up nicely. And you're meanwhile rarely putting petrol in.

    Enjoy it.
     
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  13. Ozark Man

    Ozark Man Member

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    Thanks for the good advice. I agree with it all but it's always good to hear it from someone else. Take care.
     
  14. alanclarkeau

    alanclarkeau Senior Member

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    Retired too. I'm driving much less than 10 years ago too. Retired for a few years (I'm now too busy, I couldn't fit work in). And COVID-19 cut driving dramatically in the last 12 months.
     
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  15. Ozark Man

    Ozark Man Member

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    I know what you mean. Don't know how I ever got everything done when I had a real job.
     
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  16. Aaron Vitolins

    Aaron Vitolins Senior Member

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    Lucky for you, you’ve got the lithium hybrid battery. These do fine sitting for long periods unlike the NiMh chemistry that doesn’t like to sit. Lithium can sit for years without damage, and very low self discharge rate.
     
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  17. Ozark Man

    Ozark Man Member

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    Thanks for that info that I had not heard. The most it will probably have to sit is about a week. It was more the not driving very far and taking few trips that I was concerned about. But my weekly trips to the grocery store seems to be allowing it to charge to 80% a few times so I guess that's enough. I've heard that keeping it between 30 to 80 percent is the best for optimum life.
     
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  18. alanclarkeau

    alanclarkeau Senior Member

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    The battery won't actually deviate from those limits - I'm not sure of the exact figures, but it's about 20% top and bottom is unavailable. You'll rarely, if ever see the top bar filled in normal driving.
     
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  19. Aaron Vitolins

    Aaron Vitolins Senior Member

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    Like Alan said the car takes care of that. I was reading a study the other day where some lithium batteries can sit unused for up to a decade without use and not cause noticeable negative affects.
     
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