The Cost of an Aging Prius

Since Toyota debuted the first Prius back in 1999, they have sold more than six million hybrid vehicles worldwide. According to their newsroom, being able to mitigate the environmental effects of vehicles is a priority for Toyota and their global sales prove that they are not alone in their endeavors. We love all the hybrids out on the market today and love that America is embracing them as well; they are becoming more affordable with better options and more choices which is awesome. However, sixteen years down the road from the first Prius, we are starting to see more and more Prii (yes, the official plural) come into the shop with depleted hybrid batteries.

Toyota’s warranty covers battery replacement up to 100,000 miles or eight years in most states and up to 150,000 miles or ten years in California and other states that follow California’s emissions standards. Considering the age of the Prius though, there are thousands out on the road still that fall outside of the battery’s warranty. Out of pocket costs to replace a Prius battery will run approximately $3,600 including a refundable core deposit of $1,350 if you return your old battery pack to Toyota. For many consumers, this cost can outweigh the value of an aging vehicle and they are stuck with what to do.

If you have the mechanical know how, you can purchase a second generation battery online at around $1,000 and replace it yourself. This can be a tricky (and dangerous) process though and you want to make sure you are getting a good battery and aren’t paying a fortune in shipping costs to get it. In addition to finding and purchasing a decent used battery, you need to make sure you know what you are doing when uninstalling and re-installing the new one. Also take into account how to dispose of the used battery properly – they can have some serious environmental impacts if not disposed of properly.

Fortunately there are other options to consider instead of a full battery replacement. Toyota’s nickel-metal hydride batteries are perfectly suited for battery conditioning. The Hybrid Shop’s exclusive conditioning process can often reinstate up to 97% of the original battery’s performance, and at a fraction of the replacement cost! If you have a hybrid battery that is at the end of its lifecycle, look into battery conditioning before you opt for replacement; not only will you be saving thousands of dollars, you are keeping toxic batteries out of the environment which is one of the main ideas behind a hybrid vehicle to begin with.