Last Updated on May 30, 2023 by Rose Morah
If you are wondering how long a Prius battery last, this article has got you covered.
The article is going to cover the following:
- Expected Toyota Prius battery lifespan.
- Factors that affect the Hybrid battery lifespan
- Tips to improve the Toyota Prius Hybrid battery lifespan
- Whether you can fix a bad hybrid battery by reconditioning it.
- How to know when your Prius Hybrid battery needs a replacement
- Whether to buy a new car or replace the Prius’s battery.
But before that, Prius has got two batteries:
A 12-volt battery whose main function is to run the vehicle’s computer system, headlights, and all the other 12-volt systems.
The other battery is the main hybrid battery which runs the main mechanical powertrain on the Prius. These are nickel-metal batteries (for older Prius) and Lithium batteries (for the newer Pruis).
How long does the Toyota Prius battery last? (Lifespan)
Toyota Prius battery can go for 150000 to 200000 miles which is between10 to 15 years on average.
This means that hybrid batteries are long-lasting and very reliable. Hybrid vehicles also tend to have a longer life span even after a battery replacement.
Factors that affect the Hybrid battery lifespan
- Weather conditions
The battery tends to degrade faster in areas with very hot weather or extreme heat, especially if you normally fast charge it.
- Driving frequency and mileage
The more miles you cover the more the battery gets worn out. Additionally, if you let the car sits for long periods without being driven, the battery may not last long.
As the hybrid battery gets older its efficiency naturally decreases. This is also known as capacity fade.
CASE STUDY: Age of the vehicle vs. miles driven
|Year||Miles||Battery Life Span||Battery’s Current Status|
|2010 Prius||210,000 miles||12 years ||The battery is in fair condition.|
|2006 Prius||174,000 miles||16 years ||Replaced after 16 years.|
|2009 Prius||350,000 miles||12 years||The battery is in poor condition and needs a replacement.|
|2009 Prius||202,000 miles||12 years||The battery is in good condition.|
|2008 Prius||265,000 miles||10 years||The battery is in fair condition.|
Summary of the table:
- The Prius that covered fewer miles(2006 Prius), has a more battery life span than the rest on the table.
You can tell that the battery’s age is what contributed to its replacement after 16 years.
The owner of this Prius uses the car for short commutes on a daily basis.
- The Prius that had covered more miles (2009 Prius) had a shorter (reasonable) life span compared to the others on the table.
The owner of this Prius uses the car for short commutes and long road trips.
Therefore, the miles covered are what has contributed to the battery’s life span.
Tips to improve the Toyota Prius Hybrid battery lifespan
- Don’t let the hybrid’s battery stay for a long time (weeks & months) without charging it.
The battery will degrade prematurely if you let it sit for so long without driving and charging it.
- Avoid overheating the vehicle.
There are different ways you can overheat the vehicle and end up affecting your battery’s life span. This includes:
- Fast charging when in very hot weather.
- When the vehicle’s air intake is blocked or clogged with dust and debris.
Always confirm that the cooling system is functioning efficiently and effectively.
Additionally, be sure that the exhaust vents and cooling ducts are not clogged up with dust or some other debris and that the fans are working properly.
This is another way of preventing the Prius’s battery from overheating.
- Service your car on schedule.
Proper maintenance will actually help your Prius’s battery to cover more miles.
A study has shown that most Prius owners who have covered between 150,000 to 200,000 miles and still have a healthy battery did oil changes after every 5000 to 6000 miles.
Those who drive on dirt roads often change the oil every 4000 to 5000 miles.
Some also reported to have done absolutely no repairs but did oil changes after every 5000 miles, even if Toyota recommends doing it after about 10,000 miles.
Apparently, this has enabled the Prius to serve them for a long duration without battery degradation worries and without incurring other repair costs.
According to experts, this is true in many ways.
- Reconditioning of the battery
Reconditioning of the battery helps maximize the battery’s capacity, which then extends its life span.
I have seen Prius owners reconditioning the battery at over 200,000 miles and then end up covering thousands of miles with it. However, these are mainly batteries that were not in bad condition.
Some people believe that you can fix a bad Hybrid battery but…
Is it possible to fix a bad hybrid battery by reconditioning it?
Reconditioning a bad hybrid battery will temporarily improve its battery health. But since this is a temporary fix, the battery will not last long because its cells have already lost their capacity.
However, the temporary battery fix could see some batteries last for over a year. But others would just go for a few months or weeks.
You may also like these 5 Important Toyota Hybrid Tips and Tricks.
How to know when your Prius Hybrid battery needs a replacement
I will show you how to check the health of the Prius battery. But first, what are the signs that the battery needs a replacement?
The following are signs that it may be time for a battery replacement:
- You will notice a reduced power on acceleration.
- The Toyota Prius will indicate that the battery is dying on your dashboard.
- Reduced fuel economy.
- Fluctuation of the hybrid battery charge status.
This means that you parked it in the evening with almost a full charge but find it almost half empty the following day. This is a very common sign of aging hybrid batteries.
How to check the Prius battery health (DIY)
- Get an OBD 2 dongle.
- Locate the OBD port in your Prius- just above the brake pedal.
- Insert the OBD 2 dongle and make sure it lights up.
- Sync the OBD 2 to your phone through Bluetooth.
- Download and install the Dr. Prius/Dr. Hybrid mobile app.
- Open the app and select your OBD2 device. It will automatically connect to the OBD 2 reader.
- Once connected, you will see a bar graph with information about the battery.
- The voltage of each battery cell.
- Pack Voltage.
- State of Charge (SOC).
- The voltage difference between the battery cells.
- Battery temperatures.
- To run the battery health test, tap on the hamburger menu icon (≡).
- Next, tap on the “Life Expectancy Test” and follow the directions (warm and park e.tc).
- Once you are done with the above step, the test results of the battery health will automatically appear on the screen in percentages.
90% – is new condition.
70% – is good condition.
50% – is fair condition.
40% – is poor condition.
Less than 40% – the battery needs a replacement very soon.
If 10-year-old Prius’s battery health is about 70% this means it’s well maintained. When a vehicle is well maintained, the battery can serve you for a long time and still maintain its health.
Should you buy a new car or replace the Prius’s battery?
Unlike other Hybrids in the market, I believe it is worth replacing the battery rather than buying a new car. Not unless the vehicle is in a crappy shape.
Prius is built to last and can be very reliable even after replacing the battery. I have seen Prius owners who have covered over 100,000 miles with a replaced battery and with no problems.
Additionally, if you intend to sell the car then the new battery will attract buyers.
If you bought the Prius as a second-hand vehicle, before digging deep into your pockets to replace the battery, check first if the cost can still be covered by the warranty.
If you discover that the warranty has lapsed but it’s not that far off, I would still advise you to call and convince them to replace it under the warranty. Most people have done it and ended up lucky.
What are the options to consider when replacing the Prius battery?
- You can choose between going for a new, upgraded, or second-hand Hybrid battery.
- You can bypass the vehicle’s hybrid battery by removing and replacing it with a regular car battery. This means you will not have the eco-mode option.