Toyota Prius Taxi Logs More Than 600,000 Miles; Batteries Last, Apparently (Video)


Hybrid cars have now been sold in large numbers for more than a decade, but new buyers continue to raise concerns about their longevity.

One of the best ways to reassure potential hybrid drivers of the cars' general durability is to look to the hybrid taxis plying the streets of many world cities.

Taxis cover far more miles each year than the average private passenger car, in much harsher conditions.

DON'T MISS: Toyota Prius: Tough Enough To Be A Taxi. Anywhere (Mar 2009)

Many cities have deployed large numbers of hybrid taxis to help cut emissions, essentially creating a crucible in which they've been tested.

Prius Taxi in Las Vegas by Flickr user CasketCoach

Prius Taxi in Las Vegas by Flickr user CasketCoach

And one hybrid taxi in particular has made a strong showing, to say the least.

In a new video posted by Toyota Austria, a taxi driver in that country claims to have covered 1 million kilometers (more than 600,000 miles) in his Toyota Prius--all with the original battery pack.

That many miles is an impressive achievement for any car, hybrid or not.

What's more, the driver--Manfred Dvorak--claims the Prius has never broken down.

"For me, the Prius is the ultimate sidekick," he says.

ALSO SEE: More Proof That Batteries Last: Ford Escape Hybrid Taxis Retire With 300,000-Plus Miles (May 2009)

Over the past few years, hybrids have proven to be pretty well suited to taxi service.

San Francisco's first 15 Ford Escape Hybrid taxis made it through their entire service lives without any trouble--some racked up as much as 300,000 miles on the city's streets.

But this one Austrian Prius has apparently doubled that.

2009 Ford Escape Hybrid New York taxi (Image: eBay Motors)

2009 Ford Escape Hybrid New York taxi (Image: eBay Motors)

Fuel savings mean all of those miles also come at a lower operating cost.

The slow, stop-and-go driving of city traffic allows hybrids to operate solely on electric power more often, making the most of their green powertrains.

MORE: NYC's Nissan 'Taxi Of Tomorrow' Plan Upheld By Highest State Court

For cities looking to cut emissions and cab companies looking to save money, they'll likely remain among the best options available.

At least until charging infrastructure is built up to the point that all-electric taxis become practical, at least.

Some electric taxis already operate in certain cities, but the same issues of range anxiety and long charging times that dog consumer electric cars will probably keep their appeal limited.

[hat tip: John C. Briggs]

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