Why 2021 Toyota Prius Uses Both Lithium-ion and Nickel-Metal Hydride Batteries
Toyota Prius is the best-selling hybrid of all time and has been one of the most reliable and dependable cars on the market for two decades. In short, this is a vehicle owners can trust.
Of course, getting terrific fuel economy does not hurt one bit either. Current 2021 Toyota Prius is rated up to 58mpg in the city, 53mpg on the highway, and 56mpg combined (for the L Eco trim level).
I recently wrote a Torque News story about how long a Toyota hybrid battery generally lasts. This got me thinking more about batteries.
What about the different types of hybrid batteries? Toyota hybrid vehicles typically utilize either a Nickel-Metal Hydride (NiMH) or Lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery.
One or the other.
A 2021 Prius uses both.
Time to analyze.
2021 Toyota Prius
You may recognize 2021 Toyota Prius trim levels, as they are coming from a familiar place. Just like on other popular Toyota models you will see L Eco, LE, XLE and Limited. These are front-wheel drive.
Prius also features all-wheel drive trims as well. They will be labeled as LE AWD-e and XLE AWD-e. Two all-wheel drive trim levels. The “e” stands for electric.
Both all-wheel drive Toyota Prius grades come with a Nickel-Metal Hydride battery. Nickel batteries can withstand harsher temperature changes. Therefore, this hybrid battery choice is ideal for colder climates where snow and ice and frigid temps are more prevalent.
Yes, I am talking to you Michigan and Boston and Denver drivers. I grew up in Michigan and learned to drive there. I wish I had something like Prius AWD-e.
Lithium-ion vs Nickel-Metal Hydride
The more familiar name here is Nickel-Metal Hydride. This hybrid battery has been around the longest. It is dependable and long-lasting.
Then again, so is Lithium-ion. That is the beauty here. Either Toyota hybrid battery type is reliable and trustworthy over time.
VIDEO YOU MAY ENJOY: Our Toyota master diagnostic technician consultant compares Nickel-Metal Hydride vs Lithium-ion batteries.
Lithium-ion is the newer kid on the block. It is smaller and lighter than its NiMH counterpart. Although both can hold and store a similar level of power, the Lithium-ion battery is able to charge and discharge quicker.
A lighter battery like Lithium-ion may be advantageous in a hybrid, as it aids in getting Toyota Prius going easier and faster. Benefit for Li-ion.
One potential pitfall for Lithium-ion battery is that it does not last as long as NiMH in extremely high temperatures. Maybe I am talking about you Arizona. I had to pick a geography that is known for harsh heat. I was not singling you Arizonians out, I promise.
Lithium-ion is the more expensive technology compared against Nickel-Metal Hydride. The good news here is that Lithium-ion is becoming more and more common. Costs for both battery types should decrease over time.
I guess the take home message is that there is a place for both battery types in the Toyota hybrid world. Hopefully, it will give you some peace of mind knowing that both Nickel-Metal Hydride and Lithium-ion are incredibly dependable and will last you a long time.
If not, remember the new Toyota extended hybrid battery warranty that covers your hybrid battery for 10 years or 150,000 miles.
Yes, more and more peace of mind.
Time for your thoughts on Toyota Prius
Do you own a Toyota Hybrid like Prius or RAV4 Hybrid or Camry Hybrid or maybe RAV4 Prime? What is your experience so far? I would love your feedback.
How many miles do you have on your vehicle? What is your gas mileage typically?
I have driven a Toyota Prius AWD-e recently but only for short drives. What do you think of yours and how does it do in the snow and heavy rain?
Thanks for reading everyone. See you next story when I guide you on a video tour of a Toyota hybrid engine.
Follow Jeff Teague on social media:
Thank you everyone for following me.