In more ways than one, the Toyota Prius walked so that Tesla’s Model S, X, 3, and Y could run. You can trace our most recent green push to the introduction of the Toyota Prius all the way back in 1997. Without it, we wouldn’t be where we are today with record-high fuel economy and record-low emissions.
The first two generations of the now-iconic hybrid are getting long in the tooth, though, and their hybrid batteries may be getting to their breaking point. How, then, do you tell if it needs replacement? What’s the average lifespan of a Prius battery? How much will it cost to replace? All these questions and more are answered by Car Bibles’ dedicated eco-warriors in the guide below! Dive in.
What Is a Toyota Prius?
A hybrid car made by Toyota. It’s also the devil incarnate according to most automotive enthusiasts, but they’re wrong.
How Does a Prius Battery Work?
There are a few different types of Toyota Prius models, some of which have plugs, some of which do not. In hybrids without a plug, a hybrid battery is charged through daily use by the gasoline engine and regenerative braking.
In the case of plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs), energy is primarily obtained through a plug and an electrical outlet like electric vehicles.. It then transfers that energy to the wheels to reduce the gas consumption of the internal combustion engine.
Some other hybrid types work slightly differently, but these are the most common functions.
What’s the Difference Between a Prius Battery and a Prius Prime Battery?
A standard Prius is a conventional hybrid, while a Prius Prime is a PHEV. Because the Prius Prime can charge through a plug, it is designed to store more energy, so its battery pack is larger. This allows the Prius Prime to run in pure electric mode, while the regular Prius cannot.
What is the Average Life of a Prius’ Hybrid Battery?
Toyota states that the average life of a Toyota Prius’ hybrid battery is between 100,000-150,000 miles, or between 8-10 years. That, obviously, will depend on how you maintain your car and how hard you drive it.
To better understand what to look out for when your Prius’ battery starts dying, let’s talk about some of the most common symptoms, issues, and causes of a failing battery pack.
Failing Prius Battery Symptoms, Causes, Issues
Here’s what to expect and what to look out for if you think your Prius’ hybrid battery is on the fritz.
Accident: An accident can impact the battery cell and cause components to fail.
Premature Part Failure: Parts fail, it’s a fact of life. It may be well before the…
Age: Parts have expiration dates, it’s best to know yours.
Battery Depletion: If a hybrid battery is damaged or old, it may not hold a charge for as long as it previously did.
Rough Running: Because a hybrid battery sends power to the wheels, it may cause the car to run rough if it’s failing.
Dipping Fuel Economy: The primary purpose of a hybrid is to gain better gas mileage. If it fails, your gas mileage will drop.
How Much Does it Cost To Replace a Prius Battery?
Between $2,000-$5,000, depending on the model. Other hybrid cars, such as McLaren’s P1, Ferrari’s LaFerrari, and Porsche’s 918 Spyder, cost a pretty penny more than your average Prius battery replacement due to their statuses and price-points.
Car Bible’s Glossary for Hybrid Cars
Welcome to Bible School!
MPGe stands for “mile per gallon-equivalent” and refers to a hybrid or fully electric vehicle’s energy efficiency over an average distance in the same way an MPG refers to a gasoline engine’s efficiency over an average distance.
A range extender is a small gasoline-powered generator that doesn’t supply power to the wheels, but instead charges the car’s battery. BMW’s i3 is one example of a hybrid that uses a range extender.
kWH stands for kilo-watt per hour and refers to the max output of an electric vehicle’s battery. In some parts of the world, a kilowatt can also refer to the power output of a motor, including those powered by gasoline or diesel.
Your Questions, Our Answers on Prius Battery
Car Bibles’ answers all your burning questions!
Q: Can You Drive a Prius With a Dead Hybrid Battery?
A: You can, but it’s not recommended, as you can damage other parts in the car’s drivetrain.
Q: How Long Can a Hybrid Car Sit?
A: As with any car, it depends on the situation and environment. If you’re in a warm climate, the car will likely be ok and still hold a charge after 3-6 months. If you’re in a climate where winter occurs, that amount gets halved.
Q: Does Cold Weather Affect Hybrid Cars?
A: It does. Just like any other battery, cold weather sucks the juice out of a hybrid.
Video on Prius Battery
Car Bibles’ editors understand that not everyone is a text-based learner. For those kinesthetic people out there, we have your back with a video showing you exactly how a Prius battery works. We pulled it from one of our favorite, and most trusted, sources and it’s a great additional resource.
Car Bible’s Favored Prius Battery Related Products
You can buy tools for hybrid cars at almost every auto parts and home improvement store. As well as online stores like Amazon. You have a sea of options to select from. We picked a handful of great home EV chargers that also work with plug-in hybrids. They’re cheap, reliable, and did we mention cheap? Check them out.
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