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USA: Hybrid Batteries Show Plenty of Long-Term Spark

Q. You mentioned potential Toyota Prius battery life (Auto Letters, July 26). I recently read about Ford Escape hybrids used as New York City taxis since 2005 and how their number has grown to about 800 from 18. And Ford said that these units are using their original nickel-metal-hydride batteries. Any way to find out how many miles these taxis have run for a comparison with the planned 100,000- to 150,000-mile life of the Toyota batteries? — J.B., Racine, Wisc.

A. For starters, the “planned life expectancy” of Prius batteries isn’t 100,000 to 150,000 miles. The warranty is for 100,000 to 150,000 miles. So you have to assume Toyota expects the batteries to exceed that by a lot to spare it from having to replace the batteries.

As for Ford, spokesman Jay Ward said: “The first round of New York hybrid taxis were turned in recently and had as much as 300,000 miles on their original batteries and no issues at all.”



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