Those considering purchasing a hybrid car may be a little concerned about what’s under the hood. Hybrid cars have battery-powered motors. Since a battery-powered motor is not something that typically comes to mind when people think about what’s under the hood of a car, it’s a good idea to get a good understanding of the hybrid-car battery-pack. Below are a few facts about it.
Battery packs in hybrid cars do not need to be replaced
Made to last over the lifetime of the vehicle, a hybrid car’s warranty covers the battery for a time period that lasts between eight and ten years. In terms of mileage, a battery pack is expected to last between 150, 000 and 200,000 miles, and it probably lasts longer than that.
Battery toxicity is a concern, but not a major concern
Hybrid cars use NiMH batteries, not the rechargeable nickel cadmium. Nickel cadmium batteries are usually detrimental to the environment, but the NiMH batteries that are used in hybrid cars are fully recyclable.
Hybrid batteries contain hundreds of cells
Hundreds of cells means that hybrid cars have a lot of complexity going on underneath their hoods, and complexity does usually mean expensive, but with the generous warranty car manufacturers are giving on these cars, there is little involved in purchasing a hybrid.
The numbers of battery failures in hybrids have been really low
When I say low, I mean really low. If failure happens, it’s probably before the cars even get off the lot. Toyota has even said that some of its original Prius models have packs that have gone over 300,000 miles.
The cost of replacing hybrid batteries isn’t even an issue
It isn’t an issue because the battery packs in hybrid cars are built to last. The Department of Energy looked into hybrid vehicles, but stopped its test when the capacity was “just like new” after 160,000 miles. So no one really seems to know for sure what it costs to replace the battery pack in a hybrid car.
The battery packs in hybrid cars are evolving
If we look further into the future, the next generation of hybrid batteries is in the works. The goal: To discover a technology that gives lots of power, lasts for the hybrid car’s lifetime, and costs less to make.
If the battery pack in your hybrid car does run out, there is a solution
Toyota has put out some advice on what to do if your hybrid battery should run out after the warranty has ended. The advice is to recondition the battery. The solution works well because if something goes wrong, the problem lies within only one of the 28 modules that the battery is made up of. So if you simply replace the problematic module with one that matches the chemistry of the other 27 modules, your hybrid car’s battery should be in good shape. You can find a match by getting a battery pack from another car that has a similar mileage and age.