The Day My Prius Died AKA Hidden costs of hybrids

Went for a drive yesterday in my 2001 Prius that I bought in October of 2000. Several warning lights came on. This was obviously something more serious than just the check light. I took it to the dealer. The main battery is gone. $3600 to replace. Ouch,

It was a great car for a long time with no repairs to speak of, and has 102,000 miles on it. But when the battery in a hybrid goes, it costs way more to fix than repairs in an regular car.

So, I have get a new car or may get a new battery. Hmmm.

4 thoughts on “The Day My Prius Died AKA Hidden costs of hybrids

  1. Don’t we also lose some of the “green” gains over the past 9 years with the disposal of that battery (and the energy it took to make the new one) – First Law of Thermodynamics?

    Non-Hybrid cars with 102,000 miles can experience engine or other mech. trouble that cost $3,600 too, but it’s not the norm with modern cars. Is this the “expected” battery life for the 2001 Prius or is your failure an outlier?

    1. It’s about expected with a 2001, some of the newer models have a 150,000 mile warranty. Read somewhere a forklift company was buying old batteries like that, refurbing them, then using them in forklifts.

  2. Not only is $3,600 way cheaper than a new hybrid, it is also way less than what some people with regular cars have had to pay along the years. A friend with a 2006 Accord had to pay $2,000 for a repair, so if all goes wrong again every 3 years, by the time that car has the same age as what your Prius currently has today, his accumulative bill would come to $6,000 (not adjusted for inflation or for any other problems he might encounter).

    $3.6k/9yrs is a small price (figuratively) to pay, really…

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