As one of those who had nothing good to say about Hybrids and their implementation for a few years. I have to say it is pretty amazing just how far the Hybrid battery and electric motor systems have come in 7 short years. As the topic of Hybrid battery pack reliability and replacement cost has become a topic in another unrelated thread...I thought this might be a good place to relay some recent facts for those who still think a Hybrid represents substantially higher repair costs...the reality may surprise some...at least those among us willing to actually look at the facts. Some interesting quotes below regarding Hybrid tech...all links available upon request.... "What makes a reliable hybrid car battery, anyway? Craig Van Batenburg, chief executive officer of the Automotive Career Development Center in Worcester, Mass., cites the 2004 Ford Escape hybrid as a model for a winning system. The Sanyo-manufactured pack(edit...production has since been on shored to Rawsonville, MI) is managed by sophisticated computer software, and an active cooling system keeps the pack at optimum operating temperature. "It's pretty much bulletproof," he said. And therein lies the problem of determining what a hybrid battery pack costs to replace. "It's difficult to pinpoint the exact cost of replacing today's hybrid batteries because so few are being replaced," said Bradley Berman, editor of HybridCars.com, adding that cost also depends on dealership and labor expenses. Toyota estimates their battery failure rate at less than one percent -- and that number is dropping. So, how much can you expect to pay for a replacement hybrid battery? "The best ballpark figure is between $2,000 and $3,000, although battery packs can be found much cheaper in junkyards that have wrecked hybrids," Berman said." "Ford currently has 380,000 electric motors in the field packed inside the 190,000 hybrids sold so far, says DailyTech, and out of that number of electric motors not a single one has failed so far." "Yellow Cab in San Francisco first added Ford hybrids to its fleet in fall 2004, with 10 Escapes, said Hal Mellegard, assistant manager of the taxi outfit. He said the reliability and fuel savings have been so surprising that now about half his fleet is Ford Escape Hybrids. At the event, Ford showed off these durable parts of one of Yellow Cab's Escapes, which had racked up some 260,000 miles of usage. Part of Ford's findings about its battery cell durability were based on records from Yellow Cab. Gray said he drove the taxi before its engine was dismantled and was very pleased with the way it performed. "Taxis are a very tough test bed for an automotive product because of the severe mileage and stop-and-go traffic." "Bradly Berman, founder and editor of HybridCars.com and PluginCars.com, says that he is not surprised by Consumer Reports' test results. "For years, I've been seeing reports from Prius-driving taxi drivers, who have clocked 200,000 miles or more, and they've reported virtually no degradation of the battery or vehicle performance," says Berman. "There have been similar reports on HybridCars.com and other sites from individual long-distance hybrid drivers. "This is not to say that absolutely no owners of first-generation hybrids have had to replace battery packs," adds Berman. "There have been a few, but my guess is that it's a single percentage point or two. By and large, these hybrid battery packs are way over-engineered. The carmakers were worried about battery longevity, and its potential impact on consumer acceptance, so they went overboard to make sure that the batteries would last longer than any other component of a conventional car." ....oh and just a couple of tidbits for you guys out there who swallow what CR offers up to you hook line and sinker...heres another quote for you...is this independent and "certified" anough?...lol... "Gray also noted that Consumer Reports ranked Ford's Fusion Hybrid as the most reliable sedan - hybrid or conventional gas model. And, owners gave the Fusion a 91% "overall vehicle quality" score vs. 80% and 71% for the Toyota Camry and Nissan Altima hybrids, respectively." "The engineers at Consumer Reports recently decided to answer those questions by taking a 2002 Prius with 208,000 miles on it, and putting it through its paces. The magazine's testers hooked the car up to its testing instruments to see if battery performance and fuel efficiency had degraded, and if so, by how much. As part of the evaluation, the engineers also checked into battery replacement costs. The upshot? They found that there was very little difference in battery performance, fuel economy and acceleration in the used '02 model when compared to a nearly identical 2001 Prius they tested 10 years ago when it was new. The tests recently conducted on the old '02 model are the same ones they performed on the new '01 model 10 years ago. They drove on their own track, ran it through a city traffic course, and took it out on the freeway. The detailed results: The '02 Prius with 208,000 miles on it got 40.4 mpg overall, compared to 40.6 mpg for the '01 Prius when it was brand new. Highway fuel economy for the old, used Prius was 48.3 mpg, compared to 48.6 mpg on the new Prius back in '01. And in the city, the numbers were 32.1 mpg compared to 30.5 mpg, respectively."