Blog: Dave LeggettHybrids and residuals

Dave Leggett | 9 May 2003

One of the main problem with hybrids, like the current Prius, is that the electric battery life is less than that of the car and needs to be replaced (the battery's also big and because it's additional to the gasoline unit, takes up valuable space in the rear of the vehicle). Current Prius is I think covered by a five year warranty and the battery would not last much longer. As a result, CAP produced some pretty brutal residuals estimates on the Prius that would make it unattractive to many buyers. The Honda Civic hybrid will come with a 100,000 mile/8 year warranty on the battery system. That's quite a big improvement over the Insight and the new Civic battery is also a lot smaller than the one inside the Insight. Wonder how many people will stump up the estimated £1,500 to buy a new battery system when the vehicle is near the end of its life? Perhaps they'll just run it as a straight gasoline car.

One side issue: the next Prius moves up to upper medium/D-segment, which takes it up a segment from Honda Civic. That takes the two hybrids out of direct competition with one another and should help to expand the total hybrid market a little further.


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