Have you looked at the price of gas recently? It might be a little higher than what you saw at your favorite corner gas station this morning, but this is apparent: gas is not getting cheaper and remains on an upward trajectory.
While the obsession with the automobile will never die, the world is entering a crossroads regarding gas and oil. At that crossroads is parked the car that helped begin the next evolution of driving.
The Toyota Prius is the undisputed king of hybrid cars. Unveiled in the early 2000s, Toyota engineered a gas-sipping winner that normalized and brought high-efficiency vehicles into the mainstream.
But would-be consumers soon heard horror stories of hybrid car batteries not lasting long enough or becoming prohibitively expensive to replace. Unlike your standard car battery, a hybrid battery helps to keep gas mileage low by forcing the car to drive on electricity at lower speeds. Drive a Prius long enough, and you’ll soon meet dropping efficiency and less power.
So how long does the Toyota Prius battery last? Let’s get to it. But first, let’s separate fact from fiction.
Hybrid Car Batteries: A Primer
Hybrid cars combine an internal combustion engine with an electric motor, allowing them to get better fuel economy and reduce emissions.
The combination of a gasoline engine and an electric motor powered by a hybrid battery produces the high-efficiency car that has captivated the world. The battery comprises multiple cells that store the electrical energy produced by the vehicle. This energy powers the electric motor, which helps to propel the car forward.
The battery in a hybrid car is typically a nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) or lithium-ion (Li-ion) type. Both batteries have advantages and disadvantages, but the most critical factor is how much energy they can store. NiMH batteries are less expensive and have a longer life than Li-ion batteries.
Nonetheless, after hundreds of thousands of miles of use, hybrid car batteries lose effectiveness over time and require replacement.
Toyota Prius Hybrid Battery Life
The average battery life of a Toyota Prius is 8-10 years or around 150,000 miles.
Regarding battery life, the Prius is one of the most reliable cars on the road. The hybrid battery is designed to maintain its charge over the car’s life and should last as long as the car itself.
That said, certain factors can affect the battery’s longevity, such as how the car is driven, how often it is serviced, and how it is stored. For example, the battery life could be shorter if the vehicle is driven hard, not serviced regularly, and exposed to extreme temperatures.
To maintain the battery life of your Prius, it’s essential to follow the manufacturer’s recommended service schedule. This includes changing the oil, inspecting the hybrid battery, and replacing the air filter. It’s also essential to store the car in a cool, dry place to prevent extreme temperatures from affecting the battery.
Signs of a Dying Toyota Prius Battery
After years of driving a Prius, it will become exceedingly apparent when the battery is nearing its end of life.
Mostly, Prius drivers report a decrease in fuel efficiency in the weeks before they decide to replace the hybrid battery. In addition, since EV mode kicks in at lower speeds, drivers may note that EV mode kicks back to the traditional combustion engine faster than usual.
Another symptom is changes in the battery’s charging capabilities. Regular use of your Prius means your battery will gradually charge during start-and-stop driving. However, it may be time for a trip to a hybrid mechanic if you’re noticing less charge on your battery health indicator.
Of course, you may also notice the warning light on your dashboard. This is another indicator, combined with the others, to help you understand that servicing the car needs to be addressed sooner rather than later.
If you believe it’s time to check on your hybrid battery, it may be time to call your local Toyota dealership or hybrid car mechanic to help discover where your car is in the hybrid battery life cycle.
We won’t lie, either. Battery replacement is expensive. Let’s dig a little deeper so you know what you’re getting into if it’s time for a new battery.
What To Do If Your Toyota Prius Battery Needs Replacement
A hybrid battery gets weaker over time thanks to the natural life cycle of the device. Still, it can be an expensive fix if you don’t address the issue in a timely fashion. If your Prius battery needs replacement, there are a few things to remember.
First, check if your Prius and its battery are still under warranty. If you purchased your Prius new from a Toyota dealership, you should have either a 8 year/100k mile warranty or a 10-year/150,000-mile warranty on the battery, depending on when you purchased. Used warranties will depend largely upon where you bought the Prius. Hybrid battery warranties take the sting out of owning a hybrid and protect you from the possibility of a less-than-effective battery after a few years of driving your car.
Next, set up an appointment with your local Toyota dealership or where you bought the car. A technician can determine using tools on hand at the shop to discover if it’s time to replace the battery. You can find out more on the health of your hybrid battery through tools purchased online, but a technician can break down the information better.
Once a technician has determined the path forward, the best route is to get a new or refurbished hybrid battery from a reputable source. While you may consider the dealership or shop, they’re usually a more expensive option. At Exclusively Hybrid, you can get a brand new or reconditioned Toyota Prius battery for a fraction of the cost.
Exclusively Hybrid is the place for you if you’re in the market for a replacement hybrid battery for your Toyota Prius, Honda, or Lexus. Built upon the idea that replacing your hybrid battery in your existing car is a fantastic way to reduce your environmental impact further, we sell new and reconditioned hybrid batteries so you can keep your vehicle on the road!
Browse our Prius batteries here!