Back when hybrids were just starting to gain popularity, there were many naysayers out there who questioned their reliability. The common speculation was that the expensive lithium-ion battery packs would quickly need replacement, but given the bulletproof nature of hybrids like the Prius, it appears as though such concerns were more or less unfounded. To back this, we find examples of some Prius models that have managed to break 600,000 miles on the odometer while still carrying the original battery pack.
Toyota highlighted one such Prius in the above-featured video. The car isn’t exactly living a life of ease, either – it sees daily use as a taxi in Austria, covering the miles to earn a living and doing battle in the traffic-laden city streets.
Typically, cars like the Prius are sought after for taxi duties because of their low fuel consumption. But now, it looks like cabbies may go hybrid to also make sure the fares keep rolling in, rather than spending time in the shop.
“I can’t recall this vehicle ever breaking down,” says Manfred Dvorak, driver of the cab. “For me, the Prius is the ultimate sidekick.”
Why it matters
Here’s the problem with evaluating hybrids alongside their traditional ICE-only-powered counterparts: data. We have a LOT of data when it comes to internal combustion cars, with facts and figures that illustrate things like average reliability, average cost-to-run and average mileage, with perfect clarity.
It’s not easy to gather information on cars that have been in service for only a decade.
By comparison, the data on hybrids is pretty sparse. It’s not easy to gather information on cars that have been in service for only a decade. The above-featured Prius is actually pretty rare, all things considered.
That makes finding averages for the sake of comparison pretty difficult. And while some may still make claims as to which platform provides better dependability or return on investment, I think the final verdict is still out.
With that said, hybrids do seem to doing quite well for themselves these days, with the tech looking like it’ll only improve over time.
As adoption rates continue to climb, look for an valid comparison in the next five to 10 years. Only then will we have the data sets necessary to really get a good look at the differences between the ICE-only-powered cars and hybrids.