• Jun 2nd 2008 at 2:27PM
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Rendering of the Chevy Volt battery pack

As hybrid models such as the original Toyota Prius and Honda Insight get older, consumers are beginning to wonder how much it will cost them if the battery eventually fails. It's a reasonable concern as those batteries can be quite expensive to replace. According to an article on Newsweek, though, that once astronomical price is going down. Honda, for example, will be lowering the cost for its hybrid batteries on June 1 from $3,400 to $1,968 for the Insight. The Accord hybrid could still be as much as $2,440. Similarly, Toyota's Prius battery is down to $3,000 from $5,500.

The good news, though, is that the chances of needing to replace the battery in your hybrid is low, even after the warranty coverage is up. Honda says that less than 200 of its hybrid batteries have failed post-warranty, despite over 100,000 vehicles on the road. How about Toyota? Its post-warranty battery replacement rate sits at just 0.003 percent.

Modern hybrid vehicles are designed to minimize the strain on their high-power batteries. Battery management systems have been programmed to only allow a certain amount of the battery's available charge to dissipate, which greatly extends the life of the unit. So, when considering a hybrid vehicle, perhaps the battery shouldn't be too much of a deterrent. Thanks for the tip, Joseph!

[Source: Newsweek]

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