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jyl jyl is offline
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How Long Does A Prius Last? At Least 315K Miles.

Flew into SFO tonight. If you go to San Francisco much, you'll have noticed all the taxis are hybrids or CNG vehicles. That is due to city regulation. So, if you want to know about the long-term reliability of hybrids and CNG vehicles, there aren't many better sources of first-hand information than San Francisco cabdrivers.

In the Prius (2010 gen 3) taxi to the city, I had a nice chat with the driver about Prius taxicabs.

This particular Prius had 311,000 miles. On the original traction battery. It was still running fine, not using oil, getting the same gas mileage as when new (according to the driver). The car was comfortable, about as quiet as a gen 3 Prius normally is, no evident squeaks or rattles, interior was holding up except for a loose armrest passenger rear (as observed by me).

This, according to the driver, is the typical experience they have with the Prius taxis, gen 2 and gen 3. Yellow Taxi's Priuses rack up miles at appx 12,000 miles per month. At 315,000 miles, San Francisco taxis must be retired, by city regulation. The Priuses are then sold as taxis to companies in other towns, or exported to Mexico, they fetch about $4-5K. The Priuses are retired because they hit this 315,000 mile mark, absent the city regulation they would keep going. Almost none experience battery failure (he couldn't think of any, actually).

He did say that the Prius gen 3 doesn't get 50 mpg in San Francisco taxicab duty. They get about 45 mpg overall. He said that is because the city is so hilly, which makes sense to me. The average cab driver is kind of a leadfoot, too (my observation).

Our 2006 gen 2 Prius has 89,000 miles. It seems likely that we'll be driving it for many years, possibly even decades, more. Or until we get the hankering for a new car. Unless there is something about private car usage that is more demanding that tax cab usage?

I also got a little information about their CNG cars. Apparently the newer ones have partly solved the range problems. Used to be that after two roundtrips from SFO to the city, the driver would have to refuel, and with only about 4 or 5 CNG refueling stations in the area, that was a big problem. The new CNG cars have bigger tanks with a 200 mile range, which has made them "less unpopular" with the drivers. For the most part, the CNG taxis are larger vehicles (vans, SUVs) that the cab company converts to CNG.

With the larger hybrids available now (Camry Hybrid, Prius V, etc), it will be interesting to see if the cab companies continue to convert vehicles to CNG.
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Last edited by jyl; 05-13-2012 at 08:41 PM..
Old 05-13-2012, 08:37 PM
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I did not know that they are that durable and that the batteries last for so many miles! Running them as San Francisco cabs should be a very good enduarnce test.
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Old 05-13-2012, 10:04 PM
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Any car used as a TAXI will outlast the equivalent privately driven car.

... Because most of the mileage is done with a warmed up engine.
When I first saw a Prius taxi locally I knew they must be good cars because the Taxi companies do their home work before buying any new car.

Toyota doesn't make junk. I just wish they would build a car that I would find desirable. Something with character.
Something like this but not 4x4

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Old 05-13-2012, 11:55 PM
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Interesting debate. I had no idea the batteries would last half as long. It is interesting to see just how far the technology has come. Hopefully more can emerge from the pioneering stage at present.
Old 05-14-2012, 12:26 AM
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When I was in Boston last year, I rode in a fairly new Ford Exploder taxi that sounded like it was minutes away from grenading. I don't know how many miles were on it, but the outside looked like it couldn't have been more than a few months old.
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Old 05-14-2012, 04:55 AM
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The cab driver mentioned that (taxis are running all the time vs a private car that has cold starts). Also I thought of the issue that by the time a private car reaches 300K miles, it is 10-15 years old and rubber etc has deteriorated. I'm not sure how much difference those factors make.

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Any car used as a TAXI will outlast the equivalent privately driven car.



... Because most of the mileage is done with a warmed up engine.

When I first saw a Prius taxi locally I knew they must be good cars because the Taxi companies do their home work before buying any new car.



Toyota doesn't make junk. I just wish they would build a car that I would find desirable. Something with character.

Something like this but not 4x4



Old 05-14-2012, 05:08 AM
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A taxicab with hundreds of thousands of miles on it after only a few years I am shocked

2010 and it is still running, wow.
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Old 05-14-2012, 06:05 AM
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my BIL has the first prius. not sure the year they came out, but he jumped on the bandwagon with V1.0.

he has 170k miles on it, and it still runs kickass. he has gone through so many sets of tires. the first gens are butt ugly. but i am eating my words. he is still on the original batteries. i thought that thing would die early.
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Old 05-14-2012, 09:39 AM
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Anyone notice that 'civilian' Prius drivers, at least in the Seattle area, tend to speed and drive more aggressively than everyone else? I can almost count on a Prius whizzing past me at 70-plus on I-5 when I drive to-from work.
Old 05-14-2012, 10:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BE911SC View Post
Anyone notice that 'civilian' Prius drivers, at least in the Seattle area, tend to speed and drive more aggressively than everyone else? I can almost count on a Prius whizzing past me at 70-plus on I-5 when I drive to-from work.

i wont ride in my BIL's prius with him at the wheel. he is a menace.
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Old 05-14-2012, 10:33 AM
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It's all that eco-green fever making them drive mad. I encountered this same issue at a previous medical-courier job. I would just hit cruise-control and ride in the carpool lane. They would erratically change lanes, cut drivers off and excessively speed.

Good thing there's no environmental impact.
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Old 05-14-2012, 10:41 AM
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I think almost any car that is well maintained will go 300K miles. The trouble is, most cars aren't
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Old 05-14-2012, 10:44 AM
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Old 05-14-2012, 10:55 AM
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Quote:
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It's all that eco-green fever making them drive mad. I encountered this same issue at a previous medical-courier job. I would just hit cruise-control and ride in the carpool lane. They would erratically change lanes, cut drivers off and excessively speed.

Good thing there's no environmental impact.
Actually there is. Because hybrid drivers drive so many more miles they statistically speaking actually consume more gas per year than regular car drivers. So, they are greater contributors to global warming!
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Old 05-14-2012, 12:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BE911SC View Post
Anyone notice that 'civilian' Prius drivers, at least in the Seattle area, tend to speed and drive more aggressively than everyone else? I can almost count on a Prius whizzing past me at 70-plus on I-5 when I drive to-from work.
must be the same guy everyday...since i have never met a prius driver with those tendencies here.
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Old 05-14-2012, 02:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BE911SC View Post
Anyone notice that 'civilian' Prius drivers, at least in the Seattle area, tend to speed and drive more aggressively than everyone else? I can almost count on a Prius whizzing past me at 70-plus on I-5 when I drive to-from work.
In my experience, Subaru wagons are the only cars here slower than the typical Prius. Neither one can seem to merge onto the freeway at anything over 42mph.
No offense, Ted.
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Old 05-14-2012, 03:24 PM
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Not to hear the hybrid-skeptics.

Quote:
I think almost any car that is well maintained will go 300K miles. The trouble is, most cars aren't
Old 05-14-2012, 03:25 PM
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Miles and Time are not equal. If you take 20 years to get to the 315k miles I bet your batteries will have been replaced.

It's sort of like buying that 89 930 Turbo with only 12k miles. It's like new, only 23 years old.

Whatever the case 300k+ in that enviornment is impressive!
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Old 05-14-2012, 06:50 PM
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My Mom still uses her Gen 1 Prius (2001) as her only car. Very trouble-free. There was a recall early on, like 2002, for some steering rack issue but that is all I can think of.
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Old 05-14-2012, 07:25 PM
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Quote:
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In my experience, Subaru wagons are the only cars here slower than the typical Prius. Neither one can seem to merge onto the freeway at anything over 42mph.
No offense, Ted.
mine is a SPORT wagon
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Old 05-15-2012, 07:27 AM
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