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Old 07-15-2013, 10:27 PM   #41
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I have heard the following things about the Prius and would be interested in an owner's POV:

1. the battery the car requires uses HAZMATs, so it's not really green to build or dispose of
2. there is an EPA disposal fee associated with getting rid of the battery which will need replacing every 8-10 years depending on driving conditions (that is why they are often abandoned on side of the road in CA)
3. cost to insure a hybrid vehicle is higher
4. in an accident, a firefighter's job working on a hybrid takes special additional training
Re #3: At least where I live, insuring my Prius is no more expensive than any other car I've owned. It should be a factor in any purchase decision but it is going to vary based on your own personal circumstances. Just call your insurance agent and figure out if it make economic sense in your case.

As for #'s 1, 2, and 3: I don't know and I don't care. I'm guessing that there aren't a lot of 10 yr old Prius's out there so if there are particular disposal issues then they haven't become a national news story yet. In any case, all the major car companies have hybrid models. Battery disposal is not isolated to the Prius. You might as well complain about all the UPS's that are out there in homes and business too.
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Old 07-15-2013, 11:14 PM   #42
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...
2. there is an EPA disposal fee associated with getting rid of the battery which will need replacing every 8-10 years depending on driving conditions (that is why they are often abandoned on side of the road in CA)....
Seriously? Please cite a source for data on Priuses (Prii?) often abandoned on side of the road in CA. I just told DH our next car when the time comes will be a hybrid, but I had not heard about them being abandoned.
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Old 07-15-2013, 11:36 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by MasterBlaster View Post

Lets beat this thing to death and do some math...

lets say you drive 12k miles a year (1000 mile/month) and Gas cost $3.80/gallon ...

A Prius at 50 MPG it would cost (1000 miles/50mpg)*3.80 $/gal = $76/month

a Corolla at 34 MPG would cost (1000 miles/34 mpg)*3.80 $/gal = $111/month

So net fuel savings on a Prius versus a Corolla is perhaps $35/month or so. Now is that worth paying $150 or more extra cost a month to finance the extra cost or a Prius ?

Then add in the extra costs for interest/registration/maintenance.
My Dw bought hers for about 4k more than a comparable Corolla in 2005 and we got $2k back in the tax credit. At over 170,000 miles so far we figured she has saved around $4500-$5,000 in gas. We are a few grand ahead so far and counting. So if you will drive a lot of miles and can get the delta down to a few grand more than a non hybrid you can save money.

There is also a continual benefit of feeling happy each week (or every other week) that your cost at the pump is much less than what others pay. You get that feeling several times per month for the life of the car which has a value that only ownership lets you experience.

The tank on DW car takes about 7-8 gals to "fill up" from near empty. Costs her only about $28 and gives her over 400 miles of travel. Multiply that feeling by 300-400 times if you plan on keeping the car more than 4-8years.
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Old 07-16-2013, 12:08 AM   #44
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I have heard the following things about the Prius and would be interested in an owner's POV:
.........
4. in an accident, a firefighter's job working on a hybrid takes special additional training
Just addressing #4 - by now, most or all FD's have been through one or more classes on responding to incidents involving hybrid and electric vehicles. Our FD went through it a few years ago.

Our Fire Chief says a bigger concern of theirs is unexpected airbag deployment while extracting people, and things like McPherson struts suddenly exploding when there is an underhood fire.
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Old 07-16-2013, 06:10 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by Al in Ohio View Post
My Dw bought hers for about 4k more than a comparable Corolla in 2005 and we got $2k back in the tax credit. At over 170,000 miles so far we figured she has saved around $4500-$5,000 in gas.
You've saved a lot more than that. You came out ahead of the Corolla a long time ago, especially after getting that tax credit.

170k miles / 30 mpg for a Corolla * $3.50/gal = $19,833 in gas

170k miles / 50 mpg for a Prius * $3.50/gal = $11,900 in gas

[Numbers based on what I get for mileage in my own Prius and Corolla, and a wild guess at the average gas price since 2005. With a very simplistic analysis, I see the break-even point with a Corolla being around 118k miles.]

Tim
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Old 07-16-2013, 06:34 AM   #46
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DW is keen to get one, but how is it in the winter in snow? IIRC it is pretty low for aerodynamic reasons and it seems like it would be a snow plow in more than a few inches of show. Drive wheels are front, right?
It drives OK in snow, but you definitely use the FWD, traction control and anti-lock brakes. I haven't had any accidents, so I'm able to keep it under control. It can be a snow plow in a heavy snowfall, but I live in the suburbs, so our roads are kept clean enough for me to get to and from work even with some of the heavy snowfalls we've had since I've gotten it.

I just stepped out into the garage and the front bumper is ~7 inches off the ground, so make of that what you will. FWIW, a friend who has a long commute out to the country decided against a Prius for specifically that reason - he has to travel on unplowed roads frequently in the winter, and just can't make it unless it's in a Jeep.

We too did the cost analysis, and figured that it's a wash. The hybrid engine isn't saving us anything. However, ICEs are not sustainable long-term, and supporting the development of alternative technology was worth a little extra to us. If we wait for the perfect solution, the world will burn. Kinda literally.
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Old 07-16-2013, 06:37 AM   #47
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We too did the cost analysis, and figured that it's a wash. The hybrid engine isn't saving us anything...
What numbers did you use to arrive at that conclusion?

Tim
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Old 07-16-2013, 07:44 AM   #48
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I bought my Prius new for $21k, and after five years and 80k miles I still get excited about it. I think that's rarely heard from other car owners. I've gotten slightly better than 50 mpg over its lifetime, and done only regular maintenance: conventional oil every 5k miles, new tires at 60k, and new wiper inserts just last month. The brakes look like they'll last forever. Some batteries have failed in hot climates around 100-150k miles, but it mostly seems to occur when the cooling fan gets choked with dog hair. I checked mine recently and it looked pristine (I don't have a dog), so I'm expecting no trouble.

Discussions about "the math" of buying a Prius are a lot like discussions about "the math" of tax policy and federal budgets: inescapably colored by ideology. Personally, I don't see a $10k premium. Like I said, I paid $21k for mine. A new Corolla with an automatic transmission runs $15-16k, but I own a Corolla too and they are clearly not in the same class: the Prius has substantially more leg and cargo room. Regardless, after enough miles the Prius always wins in terms of total cost of ownership. It might take 150k miles, but it still wins. If you don't want to wait that long, and you don't need a mid-size vehicle, then a Corolla or Civic or Fit is a fine choice too.

Tim

Paid ~ $23.5k for new 2006 Prius. ~ 7.5 years and 136k the Hybrid battery
went out (internal short). Hot climate.
Service manager called and discussed options, large discount on replacement battery, etc.
Called Toyota USA. Really love the car, goal is to keep it and drive it until 300k miles then
buy a new Prius. What could they do for me. Very easy to work with.
Want to keep a loyal happy customer. Only paid for labor.

Our car still looks new, no scratches, etc. Brakes have never been replaced and at 75%.

Never did the "Math" thing.
Selling the 6 figure "Garage Queen" and buying the Prius was one of the best
decisions I have ever made.

Still get excited about the car and from time to time will do that trick with the gas pedal when I'm under 40 to see how far I can go ( with the engine off and Hybrid system not being charged ).
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Old 07-16-2013, 09:13 AM   #49
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I've never seen a Prius or a battery on the side of the road in California.

As to why a person would want this or that, who the hell cares! Coke or Pepsi? People want what they want.

And I'll still like my prius, thank you very much. I don't care what you drive.
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Old 07-16-2013, 10:24 AM   #50
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I just went through an exercise for myself debating in my own mind whether to go for a Honda Fit vs a Toyota Prius C.

I think the "moral of the story" of choosing what car to get is a very subjective decision.
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Old 07-16-2013, 10:28 AM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by web_diva View Post
I have heard the following things about the Prius and would be interested in an owner's POV:

1. the battery the car requires uses HAZMATs, so it's not really green to build or dispose of
2. there is an EPA disposal fee associated with getting rid of the battery which will need replacing every 8-10 years depending on driving conditions (that is why they are often abandoned on side of the road in CA)
3. cost to insure a hybrid vehicle is higher
4. in an accident, a firefighter's job working on a hybrid takes special additional training
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bestwifeever View Post
Seriously? Please cite a source for data on Priuses (Prii?) often abandoned on side of the road in CA. I just told DH our next car when the time comes will be a hybrid, but I had not heard about them being abandoned.

I would also just love to see some reliable references for these. I'm neither for/against hybrids(against any subsidy), but if the math works for some, that's great. But this list looks like some anonymous email junk.

'often' abandoned? Really?

-ERD50
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Old 07-16-2013, 11:09 AM   #52
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> Family has two cars: a gas guzzling SUV getting 10mpg and a sedan getting 20mpg.

Straw man?

We have two old cars: a 10 year old Murano SUV (OK, a "crossover", but I like to call it an SUV because it annoys people ;-) ) which gets ~21 around town; and a 15 year old Camry which gets about ~24 mpg with our driving.

Sure some folks have cars with the very worse mpg, but neither the Murano nor the Camry are rare cars.

We did just ordered a replacement for the Camry and it's a diesel that should get well into the 40 mpg range on the highway (it's not been rated by the epa yet, but it's been written up a couple of times). I'm more interested in the range rather then actual gas savings - we bought it to take some long trips all around the country over the next couple of years and it can go around 900 miles on a single tank of diesel.
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Old 07-16-2013, 01:50 PM   #53
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..........we bought it to take some long trips all around the country over the next couple of years and it can go around 900 miles on a single tank of diesel.
I'm in awe of your bladder.
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Old 07-16-2013, 02:12 PM   #54
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I'm in awe of your bladder.
I routinely get 600+ miles out of my Jetta with the 14.5 gallon tank of diesel....but those new diesel Passts with the larger tank can get near 900! (or more if you keep it under 80) That's at least three potty stops for me so I am sticking with the Jetta.

No comparison to a Prius intended here. These diesels are for the driver's who seek German quality and a real driving machine.

The Prius is a good car, especially for people who are not enthusiasts and are satisfied with driving an appliance, so to say. A neighbor a few blocks away just bought one of the new Prius V's and I stopped to give it a look over. Very roomy and a very nice set up overall. A little pricey, but isn't everything these days?
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Old 07-16-2013, 02:23 PM   #55
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.........a real driving machine.........

A diesel Jetta? It's a nice car but hardly what car enthusiasts would call "a real driving machine."
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Old 07-16-2013, 03:37 PM   #56
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A diesel Jetta? It's a nice car but hardly what car enthusiasts would call "a real driving machine."
Certainly not a BMW, but way more than a Prius is.
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Old 07-16-2013, 04:10 PM   #57
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[QUOTE=aja8888;1338528]

The Prius is a good car, especially for people who are not enthusiasts and are satisfied with driving an appliance, so to say./QUOTE]

Not really an appliance. When you get into how the hybrid system works, how the parts interact to get that performance, and some of the unique characteristics of the car (like no reverse gear, they just spin the electric motor backwards), one becomes a bit enamored of the great design that went into it. I guess it's the Benji in me.
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Old 07-16-2013, 04:11 PM   #58
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Just looked up the latest "great values in new cars" (Consumers Report Feb 2013). In the category of small hatchbacks, the Prius Four series ($26750) came out on top with a cost per mile of $.49 and a test score of 80. In second place was the Honda Fit ($16915), cost per mile of $.46 and a test score of 68. The value ranking was based on 5 year ownership cost, road test score and predicted reliability.

Also, in the category of "wagons /minivans" The Prius V Three series ($28217) came out on top at $.51 per mile and a test score of 80. Second was the Mazda Grand Touring ($24820) at $.65 and a test score of 88.

Even though I'm not a huge Consumers Report fan, I guess figures don't lie. Hard to beat the Prius in any category. But, that's why they make so many different vehicles, sizes and drive trains. Everybody wants something different. To each their own.
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Old 07-16-2013, 08:21 PM   #59
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For what little it's worth, the nickel-metal hydride main battery in the Prius is 100% recyclable, that is, none of the battery should wind up in a landfill. Further, Toyota offers a $200 per-pack bounty for the used batteries to dealers and repair facilities.
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Old 07-16-2013, 08:24 PM   #60
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I saw segments about the Prius' being abandoned on the side of the road a few years ago on the national network news...At that time, a battery around $8,000 to replace plus an EPA disposal fee - a lot of money to sink into a high mileage vehicle. Seems the cost has come down now to around $2300 + labor + EPA disposal fee on these older batteries. Replacing A 2001 Toyota Prius Battery Pack: What It Cost
More recent models seem to be around $2500 +labor + EPA disposal fee: Replacing Prius batteries can be good for the environment... and sales

Here's someone who explained the batter HAZMAT topic better than I could: Is the Toyota Prius battery bad for the environment

I was glad to hear from the firefighter about the training being available to most firehouses by now...I understood the cars introduced some unique issues in the firefighting world in the way of vehicle and battery fires, disabling, etc.

By all means, drive whatever you wish. I am posting this to assist OP in information gathering on the topic.
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