My Prius battery

This morning two engineers from Japan were riding in my Prius, as we all had to attend an off-site meeting. That made me think about my 2004 Prius battery, which we talked about.

One of the them said that in Japan, 100,000 miles is the financial break-even point for a Prius — I was too sleepy to ask how he calculated that number.

Anyway, when I got home I Google’d “Prius battery replacement” and found this Newsweek article, published just a few weeks ago:

Toyota says its out-of-warranty battery replacement rate is 0.003 percent on the second generation Prius that debuted in the 2004 model year. That equals about one out of 40,000 Priuses sold, says Toyota spokesman John Hanson.

Hanson says today’s Prius batteries are designed to last “the life of the car,” which Toyota defines as 180,000 miles.

For those unlucky few who have to replace their own batteries, the cost is coming down. Toyota also plans to substantially cut battery prices, which now stand at $3,000 (excluding installation), down from $5,500 on the original Prius.

…some analysts think Toyota and Honda are really trying to get ahead of consumer concerns about battery replacement.

“PR is a very important factor in the hybrid market,” says J.D. Power’s Omotoso. “Honda and Toyota have the oldest hybrids on the road. And when a hybrid gets to be that old, you have to factor battery replacement costs into your purchase decision.”

So if I’m lucky, I may not have to spend money on a new battery after all.

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