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Debunking Battery Myths: The Longevity of Prius, Tesla and EV Batteries

When I bought my 2005 Toyota Prius some 18+ years ago, I was warned by friends that the battery would only last 3 years, and I'd have to pay $8000 to replace it. Reality was that 11+ years later, and 200K miles later, I had to spend $3200 for a brand-new battery.

In an era where environmental concerns dominate the headlines, the electric vehicle (EV) industry has emerged as a game-changer. Among the prominent EV manufacturers, Tesla has garnered significant attention, not only for its cutting-edge technology, but also for the longevity of its batteries. Some people complain in forums that first Tesla owners should pay 26,000 Euros to replace their batteries. But recently, a Toyota Prius user named David Vangerov shared his personal experience with the longevity of his 2005 Prius battery on a Facebook post about Tesla batteries. His personal experience challenges conventional beliefs about battery life, highlighting the misconceptions surrounding EV technology. Let's delve deeper into David's story and explore the impressive longevity of electric vehicle batteries.

The Fallacy of EV Short Battery Life:

David's story starts with his purchase of a 2005 Toyota Prius, accompanied by the cautionary advice from friends that the battery would last no more than three years. "I was warned by friends that the battery would only last 3 years, and I'd have to pay $8000 to replace it," David wrote in his comment. However, defying these expectations, his battery continued to function well for over a decade, enduring 200,000 miles before requiring a replacement. It's worth noting that David's experience is not an isolated incident; numerous Prius owners have reported similar longevity with their batteries.

In fact, I have a 2012 Toyota Prius myself, and have only lost one bar from my battery.

Lessons from David's Experience:

The first lesson we can glean from David's experience is that longevity of batteries in hybrid and electric vehicles is often underestimated. His 2005 Prius did pretty well. The widespread perception that EV batteries have a short lifespan is a remnant of outdated beliefs and early EV battery technology from the first generation Nissan Leaf times. Advancements in battery technology, particularly in the case of Tesla, have greatly extended their durability and lifespan.

2005 Toyota Prius Battery

Second, it is crucial to consider external factors that can affect battery life. In David's case, the premature failure of his Toyota Prius battery was a result of engine seizure, which put excessive strain on the battery pack. It serves as a reminder that the overall condition of the vehicle and proper maintenance play a significant role in the longevity of EV batteries.

Tesla's Longevity:

While David's story primarily revolves around his Toyota Prius, he acknowledges that Tesla's battery longevity surpasses that of his hybrid vehicle. In his comment, he refers to a European Tesla owner as an outlier, implying that Tesla's battery technology far exceeds expectations. This sentiment aligns with numerous reports and studies that have highlighted the impressive durability of Tesla batteries. However, in the following particular study, reported by Torque News Toyota reporter John Goreham, Toyota Hybrids offered twice the lifespan of Tesla Model S or Nissan Leaf EVs.

Tesla's advanced battery management system, coupled with the company's commitment to continuous improvement, has ensured the longevity of their battery packs. Tesla vehicles have been proven to retain a significant portion of their battery capacity even after hundreds of thousands of miles, further cementing their reputation as long-lasting and reliable electric vehicles.

Shifting the Paradigm:

David's personal experience serves as a reminder that outdated perceptions and misconceptions about EV battery life need to be challenged. As battery technology continues to advance, it is essential for consumers and skeptics alike to recognize the strides made in increasing battery longevity and durability.

The Future of Electric Vehicle Batteries:

Looking ahead, the future of electric vehicle batteries is incredibly promising. With ongoing research and development, manufacturers are investing in cutting-edge technologies, such as solid-state batteries, which have the potential to revolutionize the industry. These batteries promise even longer lifespans, faster charging times, and increased energy density, addressing many of the concerns that still surround EVs. In fact, just a few days ago I learned that a Chinese startup, Greater Bay Technology, has unveiled its groundbreaking Phoenix cell, a battery with a 621-mile range that charges in just six minutes and works flawlessly in any weather condition.

David Vangerov's personal experience with his Prius battery challenges conventional beliefs about the lifespan of electric vehicle batteries. His story serves as a reminder that EV batteries, particularly those in Tesla vehicles, can far outlast expectations and rival the durability of the vehicles themselves. As the EV industry continues to evolve and innovate, it is imperative that we dispel misconceptions and recognize the remarkable progress made in battery technology. The future of electric vehicle batteries is bright, promising enhanced longevity, increased efficiency, and continued environmental benefits.

How many miles and battery capacity do you still have on your PHEV or EV? Let us know below, in the comments section please, for our readers discussion.

Armen Hareyan is the founder and the Editor in Chief of Torque News. He founded in 2010, which since then has been publishing expert news and analysis about the automotive industry. He can be reached at Torque News Twitter, Facebok, Linkedin and Youtube.


John Goreham    June 11, 2023 - 10:59AM

Great story! Since Teslas are luxury-priced vehicles, one strategy to avoid any concern about battery replacements is to simply sell or trade the vehicle before the battery warranty period expires. The mileage varies by specific Tesla Model and trim, but none of the warranties are shorter than 8 years. Why worry?

Joey Driver (not verified)    June 11, 2023 - 5:01PM

2015 Prius. Battery died in 2019 with 210,000 miles. Failure occurred within 2 weeks of Toyota flashing the hybrid firmware. I'm not happy with a battery dying in 5 years. I would call that a longevity problem.

Joe (not verified)    May 1, 2024 - 12:44PM

In reply to by Joey Driver (not verified)

With replacement batteries (refurbished) being $1500 installed, after a 210,000 mile run I do not agree. As soon as the car starts to show signs of overcharging and racing the engine at stops after a long downhill, schedule a replacement of the battery, and go forward.

The fundamental problem of the entire industry is the lack of modularity and lack of easy access to flawed battery packs. Each module, even on the Prius, could be removable by design, allowing flexible replacement. This is not being followed at all, by anybody. Until this does happen, the EV market is self-crippled.

Gregg Hoge (not verified)    June 11, 2023 - 5:38PM

My son bought a Prius hybrid in 2008. The car stayed in our family until 2019 at which time it had 177,505 miles on it. The battery was never replaced and mileage was consistently in the upper-40 mpg range for most of the life of the car. In its last couple years, the mileage gradually decreased into the mid-30 mpg range; I attributed (guessed) that to an aging battery but the car certainly exceeded our expectations.

Zevrts (not verified)    June 12, 2023 - 7:26AM

Only issue with this is the "continued" environmental benefits" phrase. Up to this point, the battery impact on the environment has been muted by the amount of resources (including fossil fuels) used to create them versus output. We are probably approaching an infection point in the next few years where they will exceed the input measurably.

The only thing that will continue to mute this wil be cost impacting adoption and the throw away culture.

Peter moy (not verified)    June 12, 2023 - 9:49AM

My 2009 prius has 338000 miles on it with original battery. It was rear ended and totaled by insurance Co back in 2015 but I still drive it everyday

Richard R Garabedian (not verified)    June 12, 2023 - 3:21PM

In reply to by Peter moy (not verified)

That sounds like a major lawsuit against insurance companies and their scam like ways of marking a car as totaled even though yours has lasted 7 years after the fact

Theophilus (not verified)    June 12, 2023 - 10:04AM

I have a 2019 Chevy Bolt Premier with 170,000.
I have only had to replace the tires, wiper blades and a wheel bearing after hitting a pot hole from hell at a Walmart.
It's still charging in warm weather at 260 miles range.
It's the best car I have ever owned.

Mark M (not verified)    June 12, 2023 - 1:17PM

My first Prius was a used 2010 which had about 40,000 miles. At about 150,000 miles I started using it for Uber driving - constant city driving with a lot of passengers took it's toll and at about 180K I rebuilt the hybrid battery which worked fine with a couple more rebuild actions costing me about $300. At about 200K the gas engine started having problems. 2nd Prius was given to me by relative from east coast, a 2005. It ran fine to about 115K, 15 years after manufacture, hybrid battery had a few failing cells and a lot of rotting -disintegrated wiring from east coast weather and salt on winter roads. Replaced hybrid battery with new one from Toyota for about $1500, doing install myself - still running well. It is rare to see that low a price for Toyota battery, but 2K is still a good range.

David Radzieta (not verified)    June 12, 2023 - 7:59PM

The Leafs have been using a NMC532 million mile battery formula since the 2018 model. Great batteries. We love our 2012 and 2020 Leafs. They are running at 85% and 110% EPA range. Never a problem.

David Radzieta (not verified)    June 12, 2023 - 8:01PM

We loved our Priuses. But after a couple years they would no longer go a mile under 35mpg on battery power. The gas engine would starts as soon as they were put in gear. We find the Leafs sturdier and more reliable but very similar to our Priuses, albeit the Leaf has a lot more power.

David Radzieta (not verified)    June 12, 2023 - 8:07PM

The Leafs have been using a NMC532 million mile battery formula since the 2018 model. Great batteries. We love our 2012 and 2020 Leafs. They are running at 85% and 110% EPA range. Never a problem.

David R Sorum (not verified)    June 12, 2023 - 8:40PM

I bought my 2012 Prius new and it only has about 105ķ miles; however, my battery is still good and I still get about 50 mpg driving a combination of city and freeway miles. Very happy with my battery and car performance.

jridge (not verified)    June 14, 2023 - 10:46AM

Had a 2006 Prius hybrid that I drove everyday to work ~38 miles. I live in the foothills on Denver, so every drive into work would fully charge the hybrid batteries. Then, the drive home would fully discharge the batteries. In addition, during the winter months, the cold weather didn't help. So I probably put the batteries through the worst conditions they could experience. The battery pack lasted for 122,000 miles.

Sean (not verified)    January 30, 2024 - 2:58PM

My recently purchased 2009 Prius, which I'm fairly confident has the original battery, has 247,600 mi on it. And I'm still getting between 40-50ish MPG when not cold outside. As we know cold is not a batteries best friend.