Hybrid Car – More Fun with Less Gas

Battery warranty question - Page 4

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Posted by richard schumacher on November 17, 2004, 4:34 am

Ten years from now the battery will not cost $000.  I'll guess $000.

Posted by Michael Pardee on November 15, 2004, 11:31 pm

I disagree entirely. The battery pack has no target life span; it is not
designed to be "used up". If the car reaches the end of its useful life
because the interior is shot (as is the case on my present Volvo),
amortizing the battery cost over the life of the car is pointless. One
battery has lasted over 200K miles, so it is unreasonable to assume the
average owner will ever replace a traction battery. In that sense, it is
more durable than clutches or brakes or bushings or shocks (which are
spent), and is roughly as durable as a modern engine. Those durable parts
depreciate, contributing to the total depreciation of the automobile.

Cars are junked when *something* is not worth repairing. You could use your
argument with all vital parts in any car, and add up to very many times the
value of the car. But in actuality, it is only the specific "straw that
breaks the camel's back" that matters. With my old '70 Mercury Capri it was
the driveshaft; with our '84 Dodge 600 it was the timing chain; my '84 300ZX
was buried in electrical intermittents; after more than 300K miles my '70
Volvo 145 wasn't worth a new water pump. Most owner's manuals call for all
air bags to be replaced in 10 or 15 years - at that point it wouldn't matter
what condition the battery was in. My message is: don't worry about the
battery - there are things far more worth worrying about in any car.


Posted by Ben on November 16, 2004, 12:41 am
 Not really worried just looking for an accurate evaluation of this new
technology. Me I do depreciate the running gear to help determine if I am
paying a reasonable price for a car. I know I will depreciate the cost to
replace the battery should I buy a used hybrid. I don't know the design of
the battery but I do know that until now there hasn't been a battery that
would last indefinitely. I would say a dead battery in a Prius would be the
straw that breaks this cars back. Along with all the normal things to end a
cars life. I wish all luck with their hybrids, I just haven't been sold yet.


Posted by Michael Pardee on November 16, 2004, 11:31 am
 Toyota has stated the battery is designed to last the life of the car
(leading some to wonder wryly if that means the same as your heart being
designed to last the life of your body!) The hybrid system keeps very tight
reins on the state of charge and charge/discharge rates to maximize battery
life. My take on the warranty is that if they are expecting only 10 years
life, an 8 year warranty would cost them a fortune in battery replacements
from those early failures. A 15 year life expectancy is probably more
realistic. For that reason, my personal guess is that Prius will probably
show up in wrecking yards for the usual sorts of reasons, and many of them
will have usable battery packs to keep others going for affordable prices.
That is the situation now.


Posted by Ben on November 16, 2004, 12:52 pm
 Thanks for all the excellent input. I think this thread is at and end.


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