Will the battery in my hybrid keep going?

Discussion in 'Prius, Hybrid, EV and Alt-Fuel News' started by Hawk, Mar 14, 2006.

  1. Hawk

    Hawk New Member

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    With gas prices still relatively high, more and more people are considering hybrid cars. But some readers are wondering how long the batteries in a hybrid vehicle will last.

    I know that hybrid cars get more miles per gallon and pollute less. But these vehicles all have an expensive battery pack that powers them when the gasoline engine isn’t on. How long are these batteries going to last?
    Bill H., Princeton, N.J.

    Full Story
     
  2. energyhog

    energyhog New Member

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    I've heard and read that they've been tested for up to 100,000 miles and have a 6 year/100,000 mile warenty. Also you will probably see people have already taken their Prius past that mark and have had no problems with their main battery. It's understood that the battery should last the life of the car... I say about 150k to 175k miles.
     
  3. aaf709

    aaf709 Ravenpaw of ThunderClan

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    The warranty in CA is 150,000 miles. And we have some members on PC with over 200,000 miles with their original battery.
     
  4. darelldd

    darelldd Prius is our Gas Guzzler

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    I wonder why no traditional-gasoline vehicle buyer wonders, "how long my expensive-to-replace gasoline engine will last?"

    The NiMH battery in the Prius will likely last longer than the gas engine in an average automobile. Why are we (well, *they*) so darn worried about it?
     
  5. aaf709

    aaf709 Ravenpaw of ThunderClan

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    Quite true. People have asked me what a new battery costs in order to justify not buying a Prius, but conveniently forget that their car with over 100,000 miles will probably need expensive work (like on the transmission or engine) done.
     
  6. ckbarnard

    ckbarnard New Member

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    Come on, Darrell, be a little charitable. :) Especially since the guy bought a Prius. But even if he hadn't, think about it. The answer to the first question you ask is most people have no experience with Prius, and they have lifetimes of experience with regular gas engines. The answer to the second question is: Most people's experience with batteries is that they eventually have to be replaced.
     
  7. DaveinOlyWA

    DaveinOlyWA 3rd Time was Solariffic!!

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    that part where

    when the U.S. Department of Energy investigated hybrid batteries, it stopped its tests “when the capacity remained almost like new — after 160,000 miles.â€

    that oughta do it
     
  8. tripp

    tripp Which it's a 'ybrid, ain't it?

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    DaveinOlyWA and ckbarnard you beat me to both of those things. <_< :D

    There is that perception though. I was telling one of my hockey buddies about the car and the first thing he mentioned was replacing the battery. I mentioned the DOE study and the 8 yr/100K warranty and he got the "oh, I'd never heard anything about that" look on his face. I think that there are a lot of misconceptions out there, for one reason or another.
     
  9. McShemp

    McShemp New Member

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    darelldd,

    Are you seeing any differences in you SoC charge and discharge rates since you installed the EV mod?
     
  10. galaxee

    galaxee mostly benevolent

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    like a blown auto tranny costs less than $2500 to replace. bah.
     
  11. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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  12. tripp

    tripp Which it's a 'ybrid, ain't it?

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    In this case I'd say it's ignorance, not resistance. The article was pretty positive and mentioned a lot of the numbers that we've all seen floating around. I think articles like this one, which address common questions that the unfamiliar have, well help to eradicate the ignorance that all to often gets in the main of greater acceptance of the technology.

    John, cool photo BTW.
     
  13. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    I'm almost ready to agree with that. Only having the ignorance remaining would be great.

    My guess is once 2007 starts, that will be the case. Camry-Hybrid really needs to take a good foothold before people will accept the fact that the hybrid revolution will continue due to HSD success, not just Prius.
     
  14. NewPriusOwnerCA

    NewPriusOwnerCA New Member

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    The only battery in a car that most people know about is the Lead-Acid 12 volt battery that turns over the starter. There were several 'electric cars' that used Lead-Acid batteries, but these cars were one of a kind, certainly not production cars. And, people know that Lead-Acid batteries have to be replaced. Fortunately, in the older cars, that isn't difficult.

    Now, with the Prius, there are two batteries (or one battery pack and one battery, however you wish to count). People mistakenly think that the batteries are dangerous or that they wont last long. But they will gladly chat away on their cellphones, which use pretty much the same type of battery, and continue to recharge with no problem.

    I have just finished the first tank on my new Prius. Got 44.3 MPG per the pump, 48.4 MPG per the computer, and have no problem with the battery. I have heard many stories of how long these batteries will last, and since the Prius has been out for a while and continues to sell so well, I see no reason to think that the batteries will die just after the warranty goes out. If batteries had been a problem early on, we would have heard about it long before now. Not that there arent battery problems ever, but that the batteries seem to be holding up well over time.
     
  15. norman

    norman New Member

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    On the subject of the high voltage battery. Another point to make is that we are not talking standard off the shelf battery technology or quality.

    How many rechargable batteries have you seen that can charge and discharge and be recharged again within a couple of minutes. Any comparison between the Prius HV battery and a standard consumer battery is totally apples and oranges.

    If there are any raised eyebrows about the battery cost, it has to be said that the "initial" cost is high because of the quality of the components, It's this quality that negates the need to replace the battery at all, over an average motor car lifetime.
     
  16. hafwrite

    hafwrite New Member

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    It's not just that battery. I've had the same experiences. I had one guy say that he had researched the hybrids and that the warrenty on the battery was only 6 months. Well, then he didn't research, did he? And that's probably true for most people who shy away from a hybrid - they aren't sure about it and it's new and they don't like new.

    One thing I did seriously consider when I purchased my Prius was that I was essentially buying 2 car systems in one car - gas and electric and all the components in between. And THAT is where I can see the future expense coming in. It's not the battery alone. Frankly, that is the least of my worries because I feel that this will last considerably longer than the warrenty. I have more concern with the components and the cost of (out of warrenty) replacement.

    But, hey, we'll just have to see. If this thing runs as well as my old Honda Civic (12 years, 250+k miles when we sold it in very good condition) then I'll be a happy camper. We did have to pay $400 for a $40 part for that Civic, but hey, it was 10 years old then and they literally don't make that car anymore. Oh, that was the high fuel civic and we got close to 40mpg. Good car.

    But, I digress, must because it's Friday. For me, battery life is not a worry.
     
  17. tochatihu

    tochatihu Senior Member

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    If anyone can come up with a reliability/operating cost for conventional automatic transmissions I would be interested. Most useful data seems to be proprietary/unavailable.

    In the US I reckon there are about 3000 transmission shops, 700 AAMCO, 2000 ATRA members , etc. Let's say each shop has two dedicated staff, who make their living off the circa 150 million fleet.

    If hybrid vehicle traction batteries were equally "costly", there would be 13 professional fixers in the US. Since those people do not seem to exist, this shaky analysis suggests batteries are a better deal.
     
  18. tmorrowus

    tmorrowus Member

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    I understand why people get concerned about replacing the battery. There are many batteries people come into contact with that have to be replaced every few years: Normal 12V lead acid batteries, cell phones, ipods, digital cameras.

    What makes the Prius different is that it only does a shallow discharge of the battery, whereas all the other devices we have experience with do deep discharge. The shallow discharge is much more gentle on the battery, so it lasts longer. Toyota could have gotten away with a much smaller lighter battery if they deep discharged it, but they made the proper decision that the reliability would be unacceptable. People could also have cell phones, ipods, and digicams with batteries that outlast the device, but people wouldn't accept the weight/size penalty.
     
  19. quahog

    quahog New Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(john1701a @ Mar 15 2006, 12:51 AM) [snapback]225047[/snapback]</div>
    This is not a response to your thread but you seem Knowledgable about Prius and I can't get a straight answer from the dealer. My new Prius came with the battery indicated showing about half the bars. After two weeks of pretty steady driving it raised to about 3/4 of the bars but has not moved any higher. Does the indicator ever show 100% of the bars?

    Thanks for your help

    Quahog
     
  20. seasidetraveler

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    I can understand their concern, 100%. Hybrid technology is very new compared to the Ford Model T. And we don't know of any consumer electronics that have long lasting batteries. I bought the extended warranty so that I wouldn't have to worry. A client of ours had a Honda Insight, and after a couple years and less than 80k miles, the battery had to be replaced, and he said he was so happy he bought an extended warranty. He said the repairs would have been at least $6k.
    On top of the battery, the Prius does have many more components than a traditional vehicle... and still has an engine that can fail, so on top of a battery to replace, you have an engine, tranny etc etc etc. Will you see many 2001 Prii on the road 30 years from now, vs a basic Toyota sedan or truck? Carbuerators can be a nightmare to fix, imagine a 20 or 30 year old hybrid system!
    So basically it all comes down to some people not seeing why they should pay more money for a hybrid, when the cost of ownership COULD be potentially very expensive... Maybe Toyota needs to start advertising some high mileage Prius stories, like they have with their trucks... if people see that, they will look differently at the technology. I still have people every day ask me (after seeing my "Gas Electric Hybrid" stickers) if my car is electric... as popular as our car is, there is a large poplution that is very unfamiliar with it.

    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(quahog @ May 15 2006, 05:58 PM) [snapback]255894[/snapback]</div>

    Wow.. do you ever drive on an incline? Not making fun, but I just can't picture the bars never reaching full... Mine do every day as I am up and down hills, but even in stop and go, you should see them go from full to low.
     
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