If you are a Toyota Prius owner with an aging battery this article is for you. If you are a Prius owner that wants to learn how to keep your car working well into the 500,000 mile range, this also is for you. If you are just genuinely interesting in wanting to know more about the Toyota Prius HV system, well just keep reading.
The HV battery or Traction battery as Toyota calls it, is the main source of energy that the electric motors (MG1 and MG2) need in order to get the car moving at a decent pace down the road. The system in integrated with a highly efficient gasoline engine that aids the car in moving down the road. It also provides use as a generator to charge the battery.
When these HV batteries go belly up, our sweet little fuel sippers can become gremlins after midnight, throwing codes, acting all strange and causing us to wonder why we bought this car in the first place. While we get super attached to the cars we have to try and decide whether the relationship is worth it when the inevitable problems start rolling through the door, the HV battery is no exception.
I propose that it may be possible to keep these little tanks on the road a lot longer, if we could simply find a new, clean, fresh batteries this would be possible. Since we live in the 21st century, options are becoming more available all the time.
This is one option that I have not personally used, but have reached out to the company for support, so more information will come of this in the future. For now let us take a look at how NewPriusBatteries.com could be an excellent solution for your aging Prius.
The Toyota Prius Traction Battery
When it comes down to maintenance on your Prius, there are now companies out there that are telling you your battery needed attention a few years after use. But why was this information not presented to us when we bought the car? This may come as a surprise but, car makers are in the business of selling cars, not really fixing them. Warranties are also great, until they run out. So, what is a guy/gal to do when their Prius they love and cherish so much happens to have a bad HV battery that goes the way of the earth? Many used to pay the high dealer price of around $3,000 to $4,000 to have a new one installed and chalk it up to wear and tear.
Then a new emerging market came out where we saw people "refurbishing" these batteries for a whole lot less. Offering similar warranties as the dealers for a fraction of the cost, these seemed like acceptable solutions. Until some were and some were not. Not every company that "fixes" these batteries does it right. Many do not know what it takes to actually balance them and load test them to ensure that they are actually going to function properly and for the specified time they say.
So, here we are again stuck in a rut rolling the dice whether we should put in a new dealer battery ( that could be a marked up refurb) or an aftermarket refurb that claims to have a great warranty. In the fog of all this confusion there may be a beacon of hope that radiates through to dispel the ignorance of used batteries. This company is New Prius Batteries.
What Is A New Prius Battery?
New Prius Batteries are exactly what they say they are, new. They are not a remanufactured, refurbished version of our old traction batteries, but they are new virgin units that can be installed into our existing cars and give the same performance for a fraction of the cost as a new (or potential reman) battery.
They are different though. They are round cells, put into modules and stacked up in order to create the nominal 201.6v that our Prius needs to get it down the road. They are cells that are similar to what Honda used for years, but brand new, un-touched, fresh batteries. That is cool. This means if you are DIY person you could easily in an afternoon get your Prius up and running again for as little as $1600.
Does the price scare you? It should not by now. All the refurbished ones we are seeing are similarly priced units and they already have wear and tear on them. These again, are new units, with zero miles or use. Did I mention no wear on them?
This is making me really thing about all the time I spent fixing my battery and how I could have thrown these in and probably saved some serious time and effort, but then again I am a tech, researcher, and instructor so I will find, personally the cheapest solution I can to fix my car. but not everyone is like me and that is why this is, I believe a very valid and reputable option.
The Problem With This
When something sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Right now the thing that stinks the most, is that you can only get Generation 2 and Generation 3 batteries for your Prius. So sorry Gen 1 users, you are still out of luck, but hey, there may be a museum that you could lend it to for historical purposes, that is a bonus.
Also, the other thing that I am not super sure of, is if these packs are touting the same capacity as the original style. I have written to the company to see what else I can find and see if there is any help they can give me on this. That way I can give all of you the best possible information.
I think if you are in the market (which many are) for a hybrid battery repair that will last, this looks like it is a winner. Time will tell for sure if that is true. I also think you need to take into account what works for your budget and for how long you intend in keeping your Prius. Replacing a module folks is seriously not a good solution, it is very temporary and will only result in frustration and hate for the car. Do it right.
I hope that you have enjoyed reading about the New Toyota Prius Batteries. Check out my other story Why the first generation Prius is better than either generation Nissan Leaf.
See you in the next story where I am discussing why the Toyota Prius AWD-e is the best one yet.
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Peter Neilson is an automotive consultant specializing in electric cars and hybrid battery technologies. He is an automotive technology instructor at Columbia Basin College. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Automotive Service Technology from Weber State University. Peter can be reached on Linkedin and at Certified Consulting