Way back in the beginning of time, when the world was new, and the first Toyota Priuses hit the streets, their detractors called foul on the likely lifespan of their electric battery packs. They said that the replacement cost of the batteries would make them essentially throw-away cars and that we’d have Priuses piled to the sky in a few short years. Obviously, they were wrong, and Prius packs have not only largely turned out to be pretty long-lived, but now they’re reasonably economical to replace.
Not only can you get a new, upgraded pack for just over $2,000, but you can install it yourself with surprising ease. I say surprisingly because I personally had no idea how not-that-involved that job would be until I watched this video of ChrisFix swapping one out on a Gen 3 Prius. It’s shockingly (get it?) simple and way less sketchy than you’d think when dealing with those bright orange I’m-a-kill-you wires.
Not only does relatively little of the interior need to be disassembled, but the only specialty tools you need are actually built into the car in the form of special high-voltage security nuts, and the tool for removing and installing them is molded into the safety circuit breaker. It’s genius.
The other big question in all this is whether it’s even worth swapping the pack on a 13-year-old Prius that’s probably worth only slightly more than the pack’s cost anyway, and I’d say yes. The Prius is still a super relevant, practical, well-built and affordable way to get around, and with current gas prices showing no real signs of slowing down by much, getting 60-plus mpg in town remains extremely appealing.
So, let us know if you would go this route. Or would you cut your losses and sell the dead-pack-Prius cheaply and get something else?