I own a Prius, my second one. And I keep seeing people make a lot of fuss about the battery replacement. Really, does anyone have some real data on this? My dealer said he never experienced a customer coming in and asking for it (and they sold a lot of these cars due to the tax benefits in my country). But I realize that a car dealer doesn' t sound too objective.
At this moment I still believe the vast majority of hybrid cars, at least the Prius, will never have a replacement. At most the capacity in the end will be so low that the fuel benefits are nearly negated, but in such old cars you don't invest in replacing the batteries. Simply keep driving it.
Up hill: even my previous Prius (which had a small 1.5 liter engine) was the best car I ever drove in the mountains. The aid of the electric part really makes a difference. And down hill was even better as it breaks 'on the engine' much better than a normal car. I am sure it doesn't get close to a a four wheel drive, but it saying it is terrible up hill seems a myth to me.
It's not a sports car, but at least the current model with the 1.8L engine is not slow either. You can't compare it to cars like BMW or Audi or such cars. But take a test drive once.
What is true in my view is that for long distances, the advantages of the hybrid are nearly gone. I get decent mileage if I drive long distances, but that seems to me has more to do with the design of the car rather than with the hybrid part.
So coming back to my original question, does anyone have some realistic data on battery replacement?