Can a Prius go 350,000 miles on one battery?
John Goreham's picture

How To Make A Toyota Prius Hybrid Battery Last Past 350,000 Miles

Keeping a Toyota Prius Hybrid well past a quarter million miles does not have to be expensive.
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The Toyota Prius is a very reliable vehicle. Aside from a couple of issues related to just a handful of years, the Prius has for the most part been a bullet-proof workhorse for many Uber and Lyft drivers. The battery is one component that many owners wonder about. Will it last? How long will a Prius battery last? To find out, we spoke to our own guest contributor, and green vehicle advocate, Jesse Rudavsky.

jesse toyota prius

350,000 Mile Toyota Prius Battery
Jesse tells us that he has now owned multiple Prius cars with batteries that have lasted well past a quarter million miles. Jesse is a ride-share provider who drives all day most days. Jesse has thus far logged 837,000 miles in Prius cars that he has owned. Three of his Prius cars all lasted over 330,000 miles! The first two had no battery issues. His current Prius is a 2010 model that has just flipped 350,000 miles. This particular model did have some battery issues after it was past 250K miles.

We asked Jesse to tell us a bit about his current car's battery. Jesse told us:
"My 2010 Prius has 350K miles. However, not all those miles are on the original cells. The first cell required replacement at 258K. The next four at 287K, and then two more were replaced at 327K miles."

Toyota Prius Battery Repairs
Jesse performs his own battery module replacements using parts he obtains locally from Pleasant Street Auto in Norwood, Mass. They cost about $50 each. Jesse has learned to do this work himself, but there are shops around the country that will affordably repair a Prius battery by replacing cells and then properly adjusting the voltages.

Interestingly, Jesse also says he has logged more than 8,500 miles on a "failed battery." The warning lights are annoying, but he tells us that the car could still keep up with traffic and he managed the repairs when he had time in his schedule.

The Prius is not the only hybrid that Jesse has logged big miles on. He also owned at 2008 Nissan Altima Hybrid on which he logged 237,000 miles. That car still runs and it has never had any battery problems.

Hybrid batteries from Toyota are built to last longer than the lifespan of a typical car and ofter surpass 250,000 miles of service with no issues. However, for those Prius vehicles that do have a battery issue, it is not necessary in most cases to replace the battery at a high cost. Rather, the battery can be cost-effectively repaired. Either by a local shop or in some cases, by the owner. The owner we have highlighted here is not a mechanic, nor is he a professional electronics repair person. He's just a dedicated green vehicle and Prius owner.

You can network with Jesse at the Facebook Toyota Prius Owners Club. You may also be lucky enough to have him pick you up if you use a ride share service in Metro Boston.

See you in my next story in which I will discuss Toyota Prius battery replacement vs repair, which one is better?

John Goreham tweets at @johngoreham. Please send him news tips and follow us at @TorqueNewsAuto.


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Comments

In no way did this article say how to make the battery last 350k miles. The cells fail, you replace them. That's not making the battery last.
I was just about to respond with the same comment Brianna just made. It is not recommended to do the things fine in this article as an amateur so what makes this guy different. Help me PLEASE!!!
You replace the failed cell or cells (usually only one or two). Then you cycle all of the cells through a series of discharge/charge cycles (maybe two to four times) to even out the cell capacities. We currently own three Prius, have owned a total of five. Once we have had to replace two cells on a battery. No other battery problems.
Doug, Thank you very much for sharing your real-world example of how to extend the life of a Prius battery. Much appreciated.
Agreed! No maintenance nor any driving tips were given.
Yeah how to extend life ?? It doesn't say...and why did he have trouble with his batteries so early ??? I've had 2 Prius a 2009 and 2012 both with over 500k miles on them and no battery issues ever and the 2012 still doesn't...sold both to friends here in Sacramento/Napa Ca. I do 400 miles per day 5 days week...
Carl, thank you very much for sharing your experience. We'd love to have you write a first-hand guest story here and share your experience of driving Prius vehicles over 1 million miles. You can contact us via the "Contact Us" tab at the bottom of the page if interested. Thanks again.
Thanks for your comments Brianna, Al, and Carl. Here is how you can extend the life of a Toyota Prius battery: "there are shops around the country that will affordably repair a Prius battery by replacing cells and then properly adjusting the voltages." The story is intended to illustrate that the battery outlasts the typical lifespan of a vehicle, and if they do run into trouble, do not need to be replaced, but can be cost-effectively repaired. Either by a local shop, or in some cases, by the owner. Jesse is a very talented man, but he is not a mechanic. I will make an edit to the story to help clarify the point. Thanks again for your comments.
I own an 06 and an 07 Prius. A new Prius battery lasts 10 years whether you drive it 1000 miles a month or 10,000 miles a month. Battery failures are because of age, not miles. So this is a goofy article. In 2016 I put a refurbished battery in my 06. They go out after about 2 years. In 2018 I put a new battery in it. So I'll drive it until the wheels fall off. I have replaced the engine with a used one at about 300k (due to low mileage and oil use). This article is mis-informed and gives poor information.
Not necessarily true. I am the original owner of a 2004 Prius. I currently have more than 193,000 miles on it and have had ZERO problems with the main battery. In fact it was in the dealer service dept last week for an unrelated issue - I asked them to test the main battery and they say it's absolutely fine. Broad generalities are rarely true, something demonstrated by politicians daily. I also realize that one data point is not enough, so I will mention my brother's 2001 Prius which had more than 200,000 miles before the battery failed.
Finding a competent shop to service a hybrid battery is not easy, there are only a few. Replacing modules or "cells" is not a long term solution without very expensive equipment and knowledge to condition and balance the entire battery. An unbalanced battery will continue to kill cells and you will be in a vicious cycle of replacing cells. I highly recommend finding a competent hybrid battery rebuilder with the proper equipment and knowledge to rebuild batteries....a good rebuilt battery should be good for 5 years or 100k miles minimally.
Let me pass on my suggestions. I have a an 04 prius with 190k miles on original battery- yes I going on 15 years and still get 45 to 50 mpg. 1. Don't start the car with the AC on . Open the Windows and let the car cool off for a minute or two. Then set the stat for 78 or 79 degrees and close the Windows. This keeps the battery from discharging too deeply. 2. Avoid full throttle acceleration- especially as the car ages. Again this keeps the battery from rapidly discharging. 3. Drive the car every day. If your daily drive has a mix of suburban/city driving and highway driving, this will be a plus for the battery. 4. Brake gentlely and maximize regenerative braking. 5. Garage your vehicle if at all possible. 6. Make sure the hybrid battery cooling vent exhaust (in the corner of the back seat) is not obstructed. I bought the car with 82k miles and have all the service records from day one. I've been using these suggestions since I bought the car in 2010. I don't know how it was driven previously but I know the hybrid battery has never been serviced. Also the 12v battery is 8.5 years old.
I can't see myself owning a vehicle past 100k miles, even though my very reliable 2015 Camry SE with 57k on the clock still looks and runs like it's only a year old.
I just saw a 2010 Prius at work with over 400k miles. It looks close to new still
I had a 2002 for 10 years and put over 300,000 miles on it going cross-country more than a couple times. We partially melted part of the transmission/motor assembly going 75mph through Arizona when it was 117 degrees out and Toyota replaced it, well out of warranty. Finally traded it in when highway speeds became unattainable and the dealer wanted $900 to replace a computer so their diagnostic equipment would talk to the rest of the car -- just so they could tell me what was wrong. I said, no thanks, what else you got on the lot...
Smart. nearly 20 years old, past 300K and a big repair. - Time for a new vehicle. Did you consider the Corolla Hybrid? What did you end up with?
How can I tell if my battery is bad or needs new cells?
The car will alert you with a warning message if it needs service.
Thank you for taking the time to answer my foolish question. I should have realized there would be a warning.
Not foolish at all. Thank you for reading and commenting.