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Electric Vehicle Battery Comparison

Curious to see how much Toyota is charging for a Prius Prime battery pack, and how that compares to other battery packs? We were curious about that too, so we did some digging. We zeroed in on two similar vehicles that a) sell their battery packs as an assembly (just like Toyota does with the Prius Prime) and b) pricing is easily found online.

  1. The 2011-2012 Nissan Leaf, for which Nissan sells as a complete assembly, and
  2. The 2015 Chevrolet Volt, for which GM Parts Center sells as a complete assembly

Comparing the Prius Prime complete battery assembly to these other two should give us a decent "apples to apples" comparison...or at least that's what we were thinking. Here's the data:

Comparison IG

As you can see, Toyota's battery pack costs far, far more than either the Chevy or Nissan battery pack. While this is discouraging for red-blooded Toyota enthusiasts like ourselves, there's some fine print:

  • Toyota does NOT publish pricing on these battery packs to the general public, suggesting that the pricing may be changed at some point. Even if you go to our website, you can't see the price for a replacement Prime battery pack right now.
  • There's no reason for any Prime owner to buy a battery pack right now, as every Prime battery pack is covered by an 8 year, 100,000 mile warranty (or longer). So, the price on the Prime battery assembly that we see today might not be relevant to consumers. It could be that, in a few years, Toyota sells replacement Prime packs for the same low cost per kWh as Nissan.
  • There's every reason to believe Toyota Prius Prime battery pack costs will drop the closer we get to the end of the standard battery warranty period. Look at Nissan - back in 2012, it was believed that a replacement Leaf battery pack might cost as much as $15,000. Today? It's $6325. If Toyota's Prius Prime battery pack price drops in half like the Leaf battery pack did, it will cost about as much as the other two on a per kWh basis.
  • Most replacement battery packs are remanufactured, cutting costs even further. Even a "dead" battery pack has a value, as it can be remanufactured. Some remanufactured battery packs for a first gen Nissan Leaf, for example, sell for less than half the cost of the OEM replacement.

Summing up, the Prime battery pack replacement costs are high, but they'll probably come down once consumers actually start needing them. Currently, the only reason for anyone to replace a Prime battery pack is because of a warranty failure. So, the current price probably isn't that useful for comparison's sake.

Additionally, the rest of the parts on the Prime are just as competitive cost wise as the regular Prius - you can see for yourself on our Prius parts page.

Still, the comparison is interesting. It would be nice if all automakers listed their replacement part costs for their battery packs online so consumers could compare them, wouldn't it?

NOTE: None of the information shared here is officially from Toyota. We're not acting as an official Toyota entity here - we're just a company that sells Toyota parts and accessories commenting on some data we see.

Written by Jason Lancaster