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I'm looking seriously at a hybrid Camry, but someone mentioned recently the battery may give out after five years, and they're terribly expensive to replace. What can you tell me about this? Thanks...

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Patty Streeter,  at AskPatty.com Sue, Great question! You can find a lot of answers to your hybrid related questions here: http://www.hybridcars.com/faq.html As for whether or not you need to replace the battery, here is some info I found: How often do hybrid batteries need replacing? Is replacement expensive and disposal an environmental problem? The hybrid battery packs are designed to last for the lifetime of the vehicle, somewhere between 150,000 and 200,000 miles, probably a whole lot longer. The warranty covers the batteries for between eight and ten years, depending on the car maker. Hybrids use NiMH batteries, not the environmentally problematic rechargeable nickel cadmium. "Nickel metal hydride batteries are benign. They can be fully recycled," says Ron Cogan, editor of the Green Car Journal. Toyota and Honda say that they will recycle dead batteries and that disposal will pose no toxic hazards. Toyota puts a phone number on each battery, and they pay a $200 "bounty" for each battery to help ensure that it will be properly recycled. There's no definitive word on replacement costs because they are almost never replaced. According to Toyota, since the Prius first went on sale in 2000, they have not replaced a single battery for wear and tear. I hope that helps! Good luck!

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