Hybrid Battery- in it for the long haul?

How well will the batteries on a hybrid car hold up with light usage of the car? I put 3,000 miles on a car a year and my car can sit for days without being run. Is the lack of use detrimental to the battery performance?

What would be the advantage to buy a hybrid with that kind of use ? I don’t see a problem if it were used regularly for short distances. I hope it’s just a theoretical questions, because IMO it;s a waste of money under those conditions.

I would guess it can handle few and short trips better than standard cars. You did not tell us how you use your car, other than low mileage overall. Do you have all very short trips or maybe a couple of long trips and a few very short tips a year?

Of course we are not going to be able to give you a final accurate answer because they have not been on the market long enough for us to get an idea of what the life cycle is on those batteries. Too few have failed. However that is good news. So far they are giving better than I expected life.

The extra cost of a hybrid would be totally wasted for this type of light usage. I’d buy a Corolla or similar small sedan or hatchback for this type of driving.

Yes, I think a Prius will suffer from lack of regular use. We’ve had posts dealing with this issue.

I agree. I’d go just the opposite too… You could milk an old Fiat too for 3000 miles a years. The fewer the miles, the less I’d spend (junker time) and worry about gas mileage, insurance and other driving expenses.

If you already own the Prius it will handle light use such as you describe about the same as any car. The batteries are sealed and don’t need water or any regular maintenance.

If you are considering buying a Prius or other Hybrid it would take 10, or 15 years to recoup the higher initial costs since your fuel savings per year is going to be very small. I’d advise either buy a small regular car like a Honda Civic. Or, wait just a bit longer and get a total electric car like the Nissan “Leaf”. The Leaf might be just perfect for you and there would be no gas motor needing oil changes etc.

I don’t think the battery would suffer, but I question whether or not a hybrid is the best choice for your needs.

The fuel savings of a hybrid only express themselves if you drive it a lot. If you get a different fuel efficient car, like a Honda Civic or Toyota Corolla, you will probably spend less per mile to operate it than you would a hybrid.

Agree, with the amount of driving I do now, a Prius would take about 22 YEARS to pay for the difference in cost with an Corolla!! I spent $670 on gas last year driving a Corolla. A Prius would use about 30% less ($201) maximum, since there is a lot of warmup in those short trips. In addition there is the higher insurance, and the eventual replacement of the battery, $2800 over 20 years, or $140 per year to amortise it.

The additional capital tied up, $9000, would give a good return if invested.

It simply does not compute to buy such a complex vehicle just to save a few dollars in gas per year.

OP would have spent half as much on gas as me, or $335 at the same gas price. That makes the economics totally non-productive.

The energy required to produce the expensive battery and other hybrid items is worse for the environment than burning a few extra gallons of gas!!!

What…3,000 miles? Where do you live, on an aircraft carrier?

The low miles makes it useless and not cost effective to even consider a hybrid…forget the functionality.

Just buy the largest Hummer you can…the cost difference in driving only $3000 a year compared to the best gas mileage vehicle available would be less then $1000/yr.

Although I can’t reply for the Prius I can tell you that the Honda hybrids (at least the gen 1 Insight and Civics) will suffer from battery degradation if let to sit for any extended amount of time.

The manual states not to let the car sit for more than 30 days or battery damage can result.

People think they get a good deal on a battery from a junkyard out of a low-mileage car however after a month or so they begin to have the IMA light come on with the code for battery issues.

I agree with the consensus here that the hybrid would not be your best choice for these reasons.