A Fool-Proof Guide to Understanding Batteries in Hybrid Cars

Honda insight hybrid battery

There’s no denying the growing popularity of hybrid cars. Over two million of them were sold in the United States in 2012 alone, and that number is hardly showing signs of slowing. There are a number of reasons that driving a hybrid is so popular. They get pretty impressive fuel economy, they’re trendy and have cool designs, they can get owners tax incentives, and are good for the environment. Though more people are driving hybrids, there still seems to be a bit of confusion surrounding how hybrid batteries work and how long they last. Here are a few things every hybrid owner needs to know about the batteries in their cars.

1. It doesn’t work alone.
The first thing people need to know about their batteries in hybrid cars is that they are not the only battery in the car. If it fails, this does not mean that the car is going to immediately stop running and become completely worthless. Hybrid vehicles are called such because they use both a fuel and an electric energy source. This means that the cars do run from gasoline as well, and the transition between the two power sources is seamless. Additionally, hybrid cars do also have 12-volt lead acid batteries that are found in internal combustion vehicles, so the hybrid battery is not the only one on the job.

2. Yes, there is a chance it’s going to fail.
Hybrid battery failure is consistently one of the biggest anxieties that hybrid owners have about their cars. A hybrid battery warranty is usually good for eight years or 100,000 miles, but studies have shown that there is a possibility they can fail sooner than that. The thing is, very part in a car is going to fail at some point. Cars are machines that need to be maintenanced. The average cost of hybrid car battery replacement in the U.S. is around $3,000 to $4,000, but try to remember all of the money you save on gas.

3. No, you don’t have to worry about it.
Batteries in hybrid cars do fail, and they can be a pretty pricey repair, but the reality is that it really shouldn’t be that much of a source of anxiety anymore. Hybrid battery technology is getting better all of the time which means that they’re becoming more and more reliable. Additionally, there are a few different options for hybrid battery replacement these days, so it doesn’t have to be a huge expense. There are also options for remanufacturing and reconditioning, so replacement may not even be necessary in every case.

Do you have any questions about batteries in hybrid cars? Feel free to ask us in the comments section below.

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