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Replacing Hybrid Batteries Less Costly Than Assumed

Spending $1,800 on a replacement battery after 150,000 miles is less expensive than costs associated with many less-reliable cars, according to Consumer Reports.

Published: 28-Nov-2012

If you've got an older car in your driveway, which experts say is getting to be more typical lately, what happens when the battery poops out? You'll be paying $100 to $200 to pick one up at a retail parts store. But what about hybrid electric vehicles?

The Toyota Prius and Honda Insight have been on American roads for about a decade now, with some having more than 150,000 miles on their odometers. Battery replacements for these and other hybrids are going to cost much more than they will for internal combustion engine vehicles – about $1,500 to $2,500 to buy the battery pack and have it installed in a hybrid.

For those consumers attached to keeping their car, the hybrid does have its advantages. Consumer Reports has been impressed with the reliability of hybrid batteries and performance of the cars overall. For one thing, in the most popular hybrid design from Toyota, there are virtually no wearable parts in the transmission. "So if you have to spend $1,800 on a battery after 150,000 miles, you're still ahead of where you would have been in many less-reliable cars that are on their second or third transmission by then," said Eric Evarts, senior associate autos editor at Consumer Reports.

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