Toyota has lowered the price for replacing the batteries on the first and second generation Prius.
Customers looking to replace the nickel metal hydride batteries in their hybrids after their warranty has expired will now pay $2,229 for the 2000-03 first-generation and $2,588 for the 2004-08 second-generation. Toyota covers any replacement within 8 years/100,000 miles (10 years/150,000 miles in California). The company said many high-mileage owners choose to keep driving their cars long after the warranty ends, and indicated that battery prices will keep falling.
“We've stated from the beginning that battery replacement costs would continue to decline due to technology and volume related advancements, and we believe this will continue," said Gary Smith, Toyota’s manager for product quality and service support.
Battery cost has been a major concern for automakers when building hybrids. GM said earlier this month that it does not expect to profit on the Volt, largely due to battery replacement costs.
Toyota owns 60 percent of Panasonic EV Energy, which produces batteries for all its hybrids. It may start remanufacturing Prius batteries in North America in effort to further reduce costs.