Print 29 comment(s) - last by YashBudini.. on Feb 20 at 12:27 PM

Prius fuel economy is nearly as efficient a decade and 206K later
Prius batteries hold up pretty well afterall

One of the big questions that consumers have when shopping for a hybrid on the new or used car market is “How long will the batteries last”. That question is the one that at times keeps people previously interested in a hybrid from buying due to the thought of an expensive battery replacement years down the road.

Consumer Reports Car Blog has answered the question of how well a used Prius performs recently. The blog got its hands on a 2002 Prius that has 206,000 miles on the clock, put the car on the test instruments, and pitted it against a 2001 Prius that they tested back when the car was new with 2,000 miles on the clock.

The results are very impressive. The 206,000-mile Prius performed nearly identically to the 2001 Prius. When the editors tested the 2001 Prius with 2,000 miles on the odometer, it racked up highway mpg of 48.6 and city mpg of 30.5. The 206,000-mile 2002 Prius on the same instruments coughed up 46.3 mpg on the highway and 32.1 mpg in the city. This brought the overall combined fuel economy number to 40.4 mpg compared to the new 2001 Prius combined rating of 40.6 mpg.

The 2002 Prius with 206,000 miles on the clock is also reportedly still on the original battery, engine, and transmission. The performance tests show that the car is just almost exactly dead on with the performance when new despite all the miles driven.

The editors at Consumer Reports note that replacement costs for the Prius battery could be as much as $2,600. However, they point out that a Prius owner could likely get a unit from a junkyard for about $500.

Toyota unveiled the latest hybrid called the Prius V back in January.

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RE: Fairly Impressive
By MrTeal on 2/17/2011 1:04:46 PM , Rating: 2
Of course, but that goes without saying for any car. How many cars have you owned to 200k miles that haven't needed things like an alternator or water pump replaced at some point? One of the big early knocks against was that you'd have to replace the batteries early in their life at a huge cost. While this doesn't show that the average lifetime is 200k, it shows at least that some are capable of meeting and exceeding Toyota's claim that the battery will last the life of the car, which Toyota defines as 180k miles.

I'm not a fan of hybrid's by any stretch of the imagination, but at least this is some good news. Way better than Honda updating the car's firmware to lower the fuel economy in order to cover up faulty/undersized batteries.

RE: Fairly Impressive
By lightfoot on 2/17/2011 1:32:13 PM , Rating: 2
My only point is that you could take two identical 2002 Prius with 206,000 miles on them and get very different results. One could have had the vast majority of its milage put on through highway driving, and the other could have been mostly city driving. The difference being that the highway milage would have significantly less load placed on the batteries and thus would last longer. The very fact that the car is still operable and has original equipment may make the unit an exception case, not an average case. The only way to tell would be with a much larger sample. With a sample size of one, this is an anecdote, not a study. Regardless of what tests were done.

RE: Fairly Impressive
By ChronoReverse on 2/17/2011 2:07:03 PM , Rating: 1
Yes. However, we do have a lot more anecdotal evidence from various sources. For instance, the taxi fleet in Vancouver has been using Priuses for a while and have put in similar or greater numbers without issue.

RE: Fairly Impressive
By therealnickdanger on 2/17/2011 3:56:17 PM , Rating: 3
It should be noted that this article is simply describing the results of a single, simple before/after comparison, so arguing about anecdotes versus studies is moot. This wasn't a study and never professed to be a study. I wanted to point that out before the discussion devolves further.


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