I am an economizer, especially when it comes down to my transport expenses.

So I live in Tanzania (Eeastern Africa), we have no electric vehicle recharging stations, not so many EVs around here,

I am planning of buying a used 2006 Toyota Prius model code - DAA-NHW20

I want to buy this car due to its fuel economy as everybody seems to talk well about it.

There are no charging stations anywhere near where I live. So would I achieve 50mpg running completely on gas ?

  • If you're not using the electrical equipment: batteries & motor to power the car they become dead weight that the petrol engine has to move. My guess is that 50 mpg is an overall efficiency that includes using both petrol & electricity & some stages while driving the car. Without the electrical system operating I doubt the car will achieve 50 mpg (21.25 km/L or 4.71 L/100 km - assuming US gal).
    – Fred
    Commented Dec 16, 2016 at 12:40

1 Answer 1


That model of car can't recharge from a charging station. It charges the battery either from braking or by using the petrol engine as a generator.

So yes, you should in theory get the 50mpg without a charging station.

However it can depend. I have no idea of the type of driving and the quality of roads you'll be driving on. Most of the benefits come about because in normal city driving in Europe/USA/Japan, the markets the car was originally designed for, a lot of energy is thrown away in the brakes under relatively gentle braking. If the roads or driving style mean that this doesn't happen then you lose a lot of the benefits.

Also the batteries in a 10 year old electric car will be 10 years old unless they have been replaced. That means they will have a greatly reduced capacity which will have an impact on fuel economy but I have no idea how great this will be.

  • 2
    This answer is spot on. If you are going to get a 10 year old Prius, ensure you get a new main battery in the deal, as the original battery will be near end of life. They will only last so long and when they won't recharge anymore, you are running completely on engine. As long as everything is running optimally, you can usually see the high end fuel economy numbers. Remember, the car will get better fuel mileage in the city than on the highway due to how the regenerative braking system works. You do not recharge these vehicles, the engine/drivetrain does this for you. Commented Dec 16, 2016 at 13:07
  • 4
    Actually, Consumer Reports has tested a 9-year old Prius and it showed mileage identical with a Prius that was tested as new. Prius is not an electric car! Electric car batteries are deep-cycled, whereas the cycles in a Prius are very shallow, as the battery is severely oversized for its job. If you only use 10% of the capacity of a NiMH battery, you get hundreds of thousands of cycles. Also, the failure mode is not lack of recharging; it is loss of capacity which doesn't matter as only 10% is needed. If the HV battery is really dead, you will see it as the engine not cranking anymore.
    – juhist
    Commented Dec 17, 2016 at 8:36
  • Based on my experience the battery and motors in a NHW20 can easily outlive the mechanical parts. I had one for 13 years with no sign of deterioration. Commented Jun 1, 2018 at 12:41

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