Join the Car Talk Community!

Discussion Rules

Welcome to the Car Talk Community!

Want to ask a question or join the discussion? Great! Join now.

Sign In Register

How long does a Prius battery last?

I was just told the battery is shot in my 2001 Prius and I have to pay $3700 (including labor) for a replacement. The warranty is 10 years, but because I was an eager early adopter the warranty is only 8 years. Is this typical?


  • edited January 2010
    In taxi service the cars are traded at 300,000+ miles and no taxi has ever "worn out" a Prius battery to my knowledge. Hence the long warranty in California. In other words, your 2001 Prius battery should still be going strong, since you most likely do not have 300,000 miles on it!

    There are cost considerations in buying a Prius, but premature battery failure should not be one of them.
  • edited January 2010
    No, it's not typical, but it does happen. A small fraction of owners will see unusual failures, just like any car.
  • edited January 2010
    The battery is 10 years old...That's all you can expect from ANY rechargeable battery.. By now, thousands of Prius's have been wrecked and totaled. The batteries are available from salvage yards. They usually charge 50% of new cost...

    You can accurately gauge Prius battery life according to the price asked by the salvage yards. If there is great demand, the price will be higher...
  • edited February 2010
    The 2004 and up batterys have a differant chemistry and last much longer than the 2001-03 batterys.You can buy an upgraded pack using these newer type of batterys for your Prius for about $1500 and install it your self,not hard to do.Look at, Prius battery upgraded ebay.I put this newer type in my 01 myself they work great.Nick.
  • edited February 2010
    Absolutely it is typical for electric vehicle batteries. I know because I have friends who have Priuses and 1 who has an electric Ranger and $3700 is about right for those batteries. I warned my friends who must have thought they were going to get some kind of half-assed award from the UN for saving the Earth, but, they don't even say I told them so. Glad I stuck with good old gasoline. Till something better comes along I'll stay with the oil companies.
  • edited February 2010
    Frankly I have been amazed with the reliability of all the hybrids out there. Battery life has also impressed me. It appears that there have not been many battery failures so far, but it certainly is time for the early ones to need replacement. I really like a few of the comments above and you might find the best solution in one of them.

    My driving style does not really fit current hybrid technology. I tend to do almost all short trips or very long trips. The short trips would be better served with a full battery car and the long trips are highway and there is little advantage for a hybrid there.
  • edited February 2010
    I had a friend at work who drove a 2001 Prius to about 233,000 miles. He knew I owned two Priuses and a Camry hybrid so we talked about hybrids all the time. He was in the electrical maintenance shop at work and I trusted his input. He kept up to date on hybrids and told me he had never heard of any Prius batteries failing. Knowing that such a thing was, indeed, possible, though, he also found that there are outfits that can replace the battery packs for a fourth of your stated cost. I do not know that to be true, but it could be worth study. My two Priuses are about halfway through their 100,000 mile battery warranty.
  • edited February 2010
    I have a coworker with a hybric Civic with a battery that needs to be overhauled. He said it was a $3000+ repair. The car currently has around 175,000 miles on it -- I think his plan is to not put any more work into the car and just drive it until it's dead. It still drives fine but is suffering from reduced mpg and error codes.
  • edited February 2010
    The battery is 10 years old...That's all you can expect from ANY rechargeable battery..

    You should keep up on battery technology. This is NOT a lead-acid battery. We have batteries very similar to that in the Prius on our Engineering production floor that are 20 years old and going strong...they are constantly being discharged and recharged.
  • edited February 2010
    Your nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) battery should slowly degrade over time but according to what I've read, they generally appear to be lasting much longer than their warranty period. If this were a dealer response only, I'd start pushing it up the ladder to see if the warranty could be extended retroactively. Their reputation needs repair more than your car. My question to you for potential hybrid buyers you think it saved over $3700 in gas the last 9 years over a Corolla and is it worth the bill now to keep and replace the battery?
This discussion has been closed.