Those that seriously consider purchasing a hybrid generally have the overarching questions – “How long will the hybrid battery pack last?” Or, “How durable is the hybrid.” Gas-electric hybrids are being produced by about every automaker. The Toyota Prius, the industry leader, is the most popular hybrid car. The top 5 selling hybrids last year according to Car and Driver were: #1 Toyota Prius, #2 Toyota Camry Hybrid, #3 Honda Civic Hybrid, #4 Toyota Highlander Hybrid, and #5 Ford Escape Hybrid. (See Source)
But hybrid sales follow gas prices. With gas prices now around $2 a gallon, hybrid sales have slumped. (See Source)
Will consumers continue to pay the premium for the hybrid technology if gas prices stay relatively cheap and if they aren’t assured that the technology is durable? The question of whether or not hybrids are durable can be examined by looking at taxi cab fleets. In San Francisco fifteen Ford Escape Hybrids have made it 300,000 miles – a feat for any vehicle. (See Source)
The question on whether the batteries can last should be put to rest. The manufacturers stand behind the hybrid components.
The hybrid battery warranty is determined whether or not the state you reside in is a CARB or Non-CARB state. A CARB state is one that follows the California Air Resources Board emission standards. A Non-CARB state is one that follows the less strict federal emission standards.
For non-CARB states…
The Ford Escape Hybrid and the Mercury Mariner Hybrid have an 8 year/100,000 mile warranty on hybrid specific components (high-voltage battery, electronically controlled continuously variable transmission, and the DC/DC converter). Toyota has similar coverage. The Prius, Highlander Hybrid, and Camry Hybrid have an 8 year/100,000 mile warranty on hybrid components. Honda also has an 8 year/100,000 mile warranty on the battery.
For CARB states…
The hybrid battery warranty is longer, 10 year/150,000 mile warranty.
CARB’s ZEV Program
CARB vehicles are classified by: ZEV (Zero Emissions Vehicles like Hydrogen Fuel Cell and Electric Vehicles); Enhanced AT PZEV (Enhanced Advanced Technology Partial Zero Emission Vehicles like plug-in hybrids or hydrogen internal combustion engine vehicles); AT PZEV (Advanced Technology Partial Zero Emission Vehicles like hybrids, compressed natural gas, and methanol fuel cell vehicles); and, PZEV (Partially Zero Emission Vehicles which include extremely clean conventional vehicles with reduced evaporative emissions and extended warranties). For more information about CARB’s ZEV program Click HERE. For a guide on clean vehicles, go to www.driveclean.ca.gov.
So will your hybrid last 300,000 miles? It could, with proper maintenance. San Francisco’s hybrid fleet did. If you drive a hybrid, let others know about your experience and the durability of your car by posting a reply below.