Savings Other Than Fuel Savings

The most unmentioned bonus to a hybrid is the long-term benefits from the way the vehicle is designed to have less service and component replacement required in the operation of the vehicle. Here are nine of the reasons:

  1. The generator takes on multipule tasks: recapturing energy when coasting or braking to recharge the batteries.
  2. The doing away of a regular starter due to the generator doing this task also. One less component to replace and also never accidentally grinding the flywheel again.
  3. The brake life being improved dramatically due to the generator handling 80 percent of the braking.
  4. Minimal chance of having warped rotors due to less heat due to the generator doing the majority of the braking.
  5. Brake fluid life increases also due to the minimal contamination of fluid due to minimal heat build up in the fluid.
  6. The steering being of electric assist instead of the normal hydralic type has many benefits. The electric assist has minimal kick back when driving over rough or uneven roads, giving a less tiring driving experience instead of constantly dealing with the tugging on the wheel. Also the benifit of no service required plus no belt required.
  7. The airconditioning on the 2004 Prius and newer model is electric driven instead of the traditional pulley driven off the gas motor. The benifit is that you are not running the gas motor inorder to have the ac on. Also one less belt to deal with.
  8. Having less if no valve adjustments in the life of the car due to it not having the motor constantly running like that in a normal car. At 300,000 kms (180,000 miles] the 2004 Prius taxi still does not require a valve adjustment.
  9. The injectors may never need to be cleaned. The 2004 Prius has had its injectors checked every 100,000 kms (60,000 miles], yet at 300,000 kms there is just a slight deposit on the injectors.

All other components of the motor benefit directly in a hybrid from not running all the time.

Andrew Grant is the world’s first hybrid taxi driver. He introduced his Prius taxi to the not-so-mean streets of Vancouver in 2000, and logged 200,000 miles in just 25 months. Andrew’s Prius was snatched by Toyota. The automaker wanted a chance to study the durability of the hybrid batteries and other components, which held up amazingly well. See this video for details. He’s now driving his third Prius. Andrew has taken a break from taxi-driving, and now works as a professional coach helping his clients achieve personal excellence in various fields of endeavor.

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  • indydoug

    I’ll never own a regular car again.

  • rjcjhaugen

    By rjcjhaugen – Monday, September 12 2005
    I’ve got money down on a Prius – this entry makes me wonder whether or not to get extended insurance coverage – I’ve always skipped it in the past. Your thoughts?

  • Guest

    Having had 3 Prius’s as taxi’s in the past 5 years and I’ve never had hybrid related failure yet. I’ve also had a 97 Camry LE for 3 years as a taxi and put 638,000 kms [398,000 miles] with less repairs and parts replacement than compared to any other car I’ve had over the past 25 years in the cab business in Vnacouver B.C. Canada.

    I would not pay for the extended insurance coverage. But instead I would take your Prius to a Toyota dealership for all your general service. The benifit of the dealership checking the hybrid components on a regular bases will minimize the chance of problems, plus there is an excellent 8 year 100,000 mile warranty on the hybrid system already.

  • Guest

    Somebody (like Toyota) needs to get this info. into the marketing for this car. Hybrid skeptics and quite a few conservatives are constantly writing that the maintenance (batteries) on this car make it a stupid investment. However, it seems that the opposite may in fact be true.

  • Guest

    Just for public information the 2004 Prius Yellow Cab in Vancouver B.C. Canada just went over 300,000 kms (180,000 miles) in 21 months with no hybrid component failure.

  • Guest

    I bought my Prius not to save money but to drive a cleaner car and to do my part to decrease our dependence on foreign oil by using less gas, no matter what the price. Of course, now that gas prices are skyrocketing, I’m feeling even better about my decision!

  • bradhtms

    I did put the insurance on the Prius, it was $1500.
    But at 60,000 miles in 18 months I have no failures of any kind. I will run out of coverage in the third year. I am only concerned about the battery cost replacement, that is now $2200 according to my selling dealer.

    This is a business car and will deliver another $20,000 deduction in its second year against my comissions. And, the Fed just increased the mileage allow to 48.5 cents retroactive to September, 2005. Yesterday’s run was 265 miles, 9 customers, and 5 gallons.
    The 60,000 mile service is going to be $293 late this month. But I got a 15% discount coupon from the dealer.

  • dg2558

    I just read an article by Terry Jackson of It was detailed and provided the conclusion that no one can financially make sense of purchasing a hybrid at this time.

    Question: What benefit does this guy think he’s providing with his “creative” math and opinion?

    I purchased my Toyota Prius in May and have never had more pleasure driving, literally and for many, many reasons. I sold my Audi A4 to my son as he had admired it for a couple of years. So for now we are both happy, though the price of fuel is hitting him hard. (Post-graduate college student)

    I suggest we all think twice about doing business with

  • Guest

    Let me add a sound bite.

    Toyota Hybrids – Less Maintenance Than A Conventional Car.

    How’s that for concise. Now I know Bankrate and the other “conservative” press will disagree with this. But, Andrew Grant’s comments seem to indicate that wear and tear on the engine overall is less for a hybrid than an conventional. That seems like a no brainer when you consider that in stop and go traffic, the engine spends much of it turned off. And, although I’m not a mechanic, I’ve heard stop and go traffic is THE WORST for the health of your engine and other systems – hydraulics, ect. When you think of it that way the lower maintenance costs of the hybrid are obvious.

  • RobertCVA

    I heard someone complaining loudly about having to replace the catalytic converter/emission controls in their standard car. Any thoughts on whether the Prius provides long term cost savings in that regard compared to other cars?

  • Guest

    My personal experience to date, has been on my 2001 Prius I had to repalce the whole exhaust system at 240,000 kms (145,000 miles) due to it rusting from the inside out. That exhast went back to Japan for technical analysis. Even though the exhaust is stainless steel, there is no 100% stainless steel out there. What was found out was that due to the extended time a taxi can be parked on standby mode, the turning off and on of the gas motor for shor periods of time allowed for a accumulation of moisture inside the pipe, which in turn created the environment for rust to accumulate. Turns out that the new Prius has a more rust resilient exhaust system. The 2004 Prius Taxi has over 310,000 kms with no exhaust problems todate.

  • Guest


    I was wondering if hybrid car makers are making any effort in cost savings in terms of the engine mounts, exhaust, catalytic convertors, etc. With reduced used of engine, the lifecycle expectancy of certain parts could be considerably reduced and be reflected on money spent on respective durability performances. Any thoughts here are appreciated.


  • Guest

    I can only speak about Toyota and they have no intention of compromising of components. The current 2004 Prius that is on as a Yellow Cab in Vanvouver B.C. Canada just past 380,000 kms (approx. 240,000 miles) and still no major repairs. To date the front struts have been replaced twice (each time at around 170,000 kms), the fan for the battery pack was replaced at 250,000 kms and the airconditioning tempeture sensor was replaced at 200,000 kms. Other than that the usual general parts and service a taxi goes through. One last thing, this Prius will be going back to Japan one it goes past 400,000 kms (which should be by the middle of April 2006) and once again they will replace it with a 2006 Prius. This will be the last time this will happen.

    Hope this answers your question.

  • Guest

    Twice replacing front struts at a little over 100,000 miles each time seems like major repair to me. What did that cost ? My brother-in-law has over 400,000 miles on his American made Dodge Diesel Ram2500 truck which tows commercial trailers and has ONLY had one transmission related problem !

  • Guest

    Before everyone gets upset with me, I am not trying to compare a Dodge truck with a Toyota Prius. I am saying that having to replace the two front struts on two occasions, the battery cooling fan, the A/C sensor and “usual general parts” all in less than 120,000 miles doesn’t seem all that great to me.

  • Guest

    One point I want made clear that this was a vehicle that was being used as a taxi not a private vehicle….if you were to also take in consideration that the vehicle is on the road 22-24 hours a day 7 days a week and was never built to be used as a taxi. I think if you talked to other taxi owners around the world about the amount of money they would spend in parts and labour in the same distance driven as on this Prius, you would find that they are spending more money and down time then those that own Prius’s as taxis….in all fairness if you were to make a comparison should it not be with a Toyota truck? One of the reasons I love Toyota is that when you replace a part outside the warranty period you recieve a lifetime parts and labour for no charge replacement if it needs to be replaced again…that includes taxi’s.

  • Jesse Rudavsky

    Hello everyone from Hingham MA. Just want to update on my 2002 prius. Just under 324k miles and still gong strong. Wondering how to contact toyota. Please email me at You can see pics at

  • Stuart Thornton

    I just bought a 2008 Prius to offset my 186 mile daily commute (50,000 miles a years) and was curious how long I could expect the car to last. My trip is predominately interstate – 166 of the 186 round trip mileage. How long do you think I could reasonably expect the car to last and does the interstate mileage effect this positively or negatively?