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<x-flowed>Much like the myths surrounding the T3 FI system, the Prius battery isn't much of a problem from real life experience. I'm on 3 Prius email lists, including one with some serious techies (reminds me of this list!), and so far around the world, there has been exactly (1) one report of a battery with a problem. It was replaced by Toyota, and the owner saw the invoice for the battery, and it was about $1000. There are no reports of anyone paying to replace a battery, let alone for several thousand dollars, and anyone who says so, ask for direct evidence. A lot of myths out there, just like those out there concerning T3's.
There are a bunch of Prii out there doing duty as taxis and have way over 100K already with no real problem reported, and several over 200K.
The battery compares to replacing a transmission when it fails on normal cars, and it's not some magical failure prone component. Do you not buy a car because the tranny may fail in 10 years? It's just part of the cost of long term ownership as any other major component. What serves for a tranny on a Prius is very, very solid from an engineering standpoint and shouldn't ever fail.
The techies have determined that the cycling of the battery actually doesn't stress it much, so there is no reason why it shouldn't last the lifetime of the car, as Toyota maintains.
I suspect that within a few years, bigger capacity, lighter, cheaper, and more reliable batteries will be available. There are already ones on the market to make the Prius into a EV with a decent range.
Owning a Prius is much like owning a VW. If you don't mess with the original engineering, and it should last a very, very long time.
Jeff '67 Sqbk
Toyotas are 300Kmi cars if maitained well, but the Prius wont last that long. The batteries wont last as long as most folks think and they will be prohibitively expensive to replace when they finally need it, the Hybrids kinda have the built in end date when the batteries go... which is unfortunate.
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