Any First Hand Stories over Longevity of a hybrid car?

15

Asked by Jun 11, 2008 at 01:56 PM about the Honda Civic

Question type: General

My wife & I finally did the up the finances and decided we could finally pay cash for that new reasonably price car this year.  The question was what, we settled with Honda Civic 4 Dr Hybrid.  From the first time I drove that vehicle I was totally blown away at how far these hybrid cars have come just in the last few years.  Plenty of power to accelerate onto the freeway quickly, quiet riding especially in town when you come to a stop and your engine stops as the car maintains everything from electiic.

Then we filled up the tank for the first time after buying it.  Yes these days, the dealer still leaves the car full of gas as you drive it off the lot.  When I finished flying the tank, I sat down and got my calculator out, did the math and I redid the math as something had to be wrong.  So quickly I repeated the task and once again, twice couldn't be wrong.  An amazing 55 miles per gallon of gas was my first experince to the world of hybrid cars, I thought to myself ...WOW.  I find now that one seems to get better mileage in town when your on electric assist that is continually switching off and on.  While with cruise control on travelling down your interstate, the mix between the two fuels is ever so slight, reaching 45 mpg so far the best on the freeway.

My real question goes to those that have owned a hybrid vehicle of some time for more than just a couple of years?  How do they holdup in terms of mechanical failures vs their counter parts.  Batteries are warrantied for 10 years or 100,000 miles?  What is the cost to replace and dispose of them?  The warranty on our vehicle is 8 year, 80,000 miles so I am hoping that if it going to break down it does so somewhat early, sort of wash all the dust off.

Just looking for a little history here from those that had all electric or hybrid or some other alternate source of fuel by be and what you thought of them or think of them if they are still running.  CIAO for now.

Dean
Northern California

4 Answers

40,315

I am not sold on these specifically for the reasons you list. If you get the MORE EXPENSIVE hybrid car, even with high (15,000+ miles per year) driving, you likely won't recoup the cost of the gas before the batteries wear out.

7,555

Won't recoup the cost of the battery? lets say 12k miles a year. Conventional car we'll say 28 mpg mixed hybrid we'll say 45mpg at lets say $4 per gallon as the average of the next couple of years (if we're lucky) 12k miles at 28 mpg comes to 428.5xx gallons or $1714 12k miles at 45 mpg comes to 266.6xx gallons or $1067 $647 a year figure 5 yrs the batteries last, $3235 in savings over conventional Add in reduced engine wear, the fact that gas prices will likely continue going up, and the cost of hi-tech batteries are going down. Lead to the eventuality that a hybrid or electric car will easily recoup the cost of a battery and reduce carbon emissions in the process. Look at numbers they don't lie. Theoretically you can home assist a hybrid car by having a plug-in in your garage that further reduces the annual cost of ownership. Most those systems are priced to recoup the capital investment in 3-4 years. I mean the cost of a replacement these days is approx $5000 in parts plus labor. Compare to the fact that afew years ago the same battery would have cost $10k. I would expect by the time the battery is dead we've set up manufacturing to where a replacement could be had for around $3,000-$4,000 Additionally most anticipate that the batteries will last between 150k and 200k they are warrantied to 80k but as with other car components they don't die the minute they pass warranty, unless you are unlucky. So say you make it to 160k and we'll paint a more realistic picture that gas over the next ten years average $5.50 160k at 28mpg 5714 gallons or $31,428 or 160k at 42mpg(lower than before as batteries die a slow death at first) 3809 gallons or $20,952 A savings of $10,476. Conjecture that he gets a home station and after the cost of install and electricity he gets 55mpg (not the 80-100mpg they say due to the cost of electricty, install,...ect we'll take that out of the efficiency for arguments sake. Brings the cost at ten years to ~16,000 so a savings of over $15,000 in 10yrs. Maybe if gas were still 2.50 a gallon life would be different but hybrids are infact worth it in todays world even at todays cost in most of the country.

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15

Adam I think you need to redo your numbers just a bit, first there is a federal incentive to buy a hybrid, specifically the honda civic listed is a flat $2000 cash that you get when you file your income taxes for the year you bought the car. You get to deduct the additional sales tax that the car cost you, here in california that is 7.25%. There is no cost for electricity as you elude to, nothing gets charged. The difference in cost of the hybrid vs the standard car in my particular case was $1900. The batteries have a ten year, 100K miles warranty while the car itself has a 8 year, 80K mile warranty. Gas where I live has hit $4.79/gallon and for 91 octane it runs a few pennies short of $5/gallon. It requires 91 octane gas. I consistently get 55 mpg in town where i do about 75% of my driving. Between the incentives, the savings in gas, and the additional tax credits, it easily pays for itself over the life of the batteries several times over.

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30

A few corrections to Dean's note. 1) The federal incentive to buy a Civic Hybrid is only $525. For details, check out: http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/tax_hybrid.shtml 2) The Civic Hybrid does not require 91 octane - per Honda's site regular unleaded is more than sufficient. 3) The warranty for the Civic Hybrid battery is 8 years, 80k miles, except for CA, CT, MA, ME, NY, RI or VT, where it is actually 10 years, 150k. Although I have limited experience with the Civic, I am very familiar with the Prius. The Prius is one of the most reliable vehicles in the Toyota lineup. As a Prius owner, I can't say enough great things about it. I recommend everyone look into a Prius or a Civic Hybrid, they are really great vehicles....

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