Hybrid cars have grown in popularity the past decade with relentlessly growing sales. Since not all cars are both fuel efficient and eco-friendly at the same time automobile customers are inclined to think twice whether they should get a hybrid car over a gas vehicle. After gaining ground in almost all auto categories from daily commute cars to luxury sports cars, hybrid cars are now the hot-selling ones but the next big question remains how long do hybrid batteries last?
A hybrid car battery is made up of a group of individual battery cells and like any battery has a shelf life and will eventually lose its power. The good news is that every hybrid car comes with a warranty for their hybrid battery of 8 to 10 years up to 100,000 miles. So if you happen to buy a hybrid car with a mileage less than 100,000 you can be assured that it is still covered under the manufacturer's warranty. Luckily, many hybrid cars are observed to last for longer than 100,000 miles.
Hybrid car batteries tend to last longer than other batteries because they are typically charged up to 80% and show it’s already full and empty at 20%. The inherent under-taxing of the battery prolongs the life of the battery unlike other batteries that we tend to overcharge almost all the time. You will be able to know that your car needs a new hybrid battery as you notice decrease in power and also fuel economy. There are also indicator lights that will prompt if you need a new hybrid battery. Replacing a hybrid battery is well worth it even with a refurbished one as it can last another 80,000 miles or even more.
When buying an older hybrid car having to change the battery is an important maintenance task. Some hybrid batteries last up to 70, 000 miles while others can go as far as 200,000 miles.So there is no definite limit when it comes to how long hybrid batteries last but it always helps to be aware of the cost of replacing the batteries ahead of time whether you’ll be doing it yourself or you’ll get a professional to do it.
Yes it’s possible to have a DIY battery change and have Youtube teach you to do it. All you need is a simple set of hand tools and electric screw or a drill. And you can look up how much it will cost just as easily. You can save tons of money doing it yourself but remember that there’s always accompanied risk when dealing with the high voltage part. The hybrid battery replacement could take about an hour and a half or even longer, especially if it’s your first time but soon enough you’ll be able to replace a hybrid battery in less than 15 minutes with enough practice.
Having a professional do the battery replacement can cost $6,000 to $8,000, with independent shops charging around $4,000. So a DIY battery replacement is well worth the savings especially when you got yourself an old second hard car and the replacement is going to cost more than your car’s worth.
How long do Hybrid Batteries last for Toyota Cars
Lexus/Toyota are well aware of vehicle owner’s fears when it comes to hybrid batteries dying on them so they have decided to guarantee the technology utilized in their hybrid cars. Lexus hybrid vehicles feature world-leading technology that includes a high voltage battery designed to last more years than that of a conventional battery.
In 2006 Lexus introduced the GS450h and the RX400h which demonstrated its commitment to the concept of hybrid technology. The following year 2007 they introduced the LS600hL which is the world's first upper-luxury petrol-electric hybrid and the first V8 hybrid. While an electric vehicle needs an external electric power source to recharge a spent battery, a Lexus hybrid vehicle’s electricity is being generated as the engine moves the vehicle.
With a simple supply of petrol, an external electric power source is no longer needed. The car’s computer constantly monitors the condition of the battery so the HV battery never gets completely flat. In a normal operation a charge load of less than 40 percent is prevented. And as soon as the battery’s charge level is low the engine activates the generator, so the electricity recharges the battery. Not only that — the motors begin functioning as generators as the brakes are applied supplying the generated electricity to the battery. All these factors make the Lexus hybrid battery designed to last for many years and rechargeable for thousands of times during normal operation. An added bonus is that the batteries are also recyclable.
Lexus hybrid vehicles are under warranty for five years or up to 100,000km, or whichever occurs first. The system shuts off automatically in case of severe battery failure or critical problems. Lexus Manager for Service and Parts, Bob Dawes reports, “There have been very few cases of Toyota/Lexus hybrid component failure worldwide. In fact these number less than 0.25% of all the Toyota and Lexus hybrid vehicles in operation.” In fact the Lexus/Toyota hybrid battery is designed to last the life of the vehicle. And some reports claim that Toyota hybrids can go as far as 180,000 miles without showing any sign of deterioration. Even if you are not that lucky, a Toyota Hybrid will survive for more than 150,000 miles or at least for 10 years.
Dawes also added that if ever failure happens the Lexus dealers will be able to replace the battery at only around four thousand dollars; a minimal cost given the advanced technology associated with the hybrid vehicle.
The Hybrid Synergy Drive, which is smart technology was also introduced. It tells the car when to switch between regular gas and electric power and the timing of when to combine both to guarantee maximum on-road performance while also minimizing fuel consumption as well as pollution from exhaust gases. The system allows for the charging of the battery when the engine is running and as soon as you hit the brakes the heat lost during braking is converted to electricity for the car to use later. Toyota claims that 99% of the hybrid vehicles they have sold since 2001 have never had their original battery replaced.
One of the biggest concerns car buyers have regarding hybrid vehicles as they age and move into the used-car market is the costly amount of replacing the battery pack. So today, Toyota seeks to calm some of that worries for buyers of its hybrid vehicles by offering a new extended battery warranty. Beginning with 2020-model-year vehicles they will cover batteries in its entire hybrid lineup for 10 years or 150,000 miles. That’s far better than the previous 8 year / 100,000-mile warranty, which is a very good news for folks who are seeking to buy a secondhand Toyota hybrid.
So, how long do Prius batteries last?
The Toyota Prius is considered one of the most popular cars of the past two decades as the original hybrid vehicle, and is also considered as a bold leap in automotive technology. It is well loved for its great performance and amazing fuel-efficiency. And like other Toyota hybrids the way its battery charging system works affects the car’s longevity in the most positive way possible.
There are two types of hybrid vehicles. The first type is the Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEV) that rely mainly on gas but also contains some electric components like regenerative braking. This type of vehicle does not rely on a source of electricity to charge the batteries and is the most common type of electric vehicle hitting the roads nowadays. This type of vehicle became popular when Toyota released the revolutionary Prius Hybrid. The second type of hybrid electric vehicle is the Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) that uses both gas and electricity. The battery is charged using a plug with an electric smart charger that you can do at the comforts of your own home. Like the HEV it also has the regenerative braking.
The Prius Prime is an example of a PHEV and it works similarly to a standard Prius, but with enhanced fuel efficiency and a more powerful electric motor. It has an increased EV Mode and driving range of 25 miles.
Most Prius owners with cars from the early 2000’s reported that their Prius battery lasted anywhere between 12 and 15 years. And in rare cases some even reported a battery life that reached mileage volumes of 200,000+ miles.
How Long Do Hybrid Batteries Last for Honda
The Honda Civic Hybrid came highly recommended as a hybrid vehicle for many years until the 2009 and 2010 models’ batteries started dying prematurely. A hybrid battery is expected to last between six and 10 years, with an eight year/100,000 mile warranty. It was unfortunate that many drivers started to report failed batteries after only three or four years of owning their Honda hybrid. As early as 2013 nearly one in three drivers expressed through Consumer Reports that they already needed a hybrid battery replacement that past year. Consumer Reports called it a “shocking failure rate,” and it tainted the otherwise reliable and beloved brand that stood the chance to compete with Toyota Prius on the hybrid market.
Honda fortunately gave a proactive response by releasing a Technical Service Bulletin in 2012 which gave way for the extension of the warranty on the Honda Civic hybrid IMA battery to 11 years or 137,000 miles. And for customers who already replaced their battery out of pocket they received an additional limited warranty for their new battery replacement for three years or 36,000 miles. The generous warranty coverage helped in covering the costs for many drivers.
When all is said and done the incident with the Honda Civic 2009 and 2010 models seems to be an anomaly. The hybrid battery lifespan does vary on the make, model, mileage of the vehicle and a few other factors. Under normal conditions the hybrid vehicles are likely to provide many years of trouble-free driving with an expected lifespan of minimum 5 years to more than a decade.
To answer the question about Honda hybrid batteries, the hybrid batteries of Honda are designed to perform for at least 10 years under normal driving conditions with an 8-year warranty or minimum 80,000 miles — whichever comes first for their hybrid battery packs.
In general hybrid batteries also last longer because of its auxiliary fan system that keeps the battery from getting overheated. The fan pulls in air to circulate the battery and keep the temperature down. Another factor is that hybrid cars come equipped with a function that stops the battery from drawing energy when the charge has reached 80% of its full capacity, as mentioned earlier. The automakers had ensured a long life for the hybrid batteries by effectively under-using their energy. Most hybrid vehicles nowadays also use nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) battery packs containing 30% to 40% more capacity than the standard Ni-Cd batteries so hybrid vehicles get more mileage than that of the regular cars.
How to Make the Most Out of Your Hybrid Car Battery
Regular maintenance – When a vehicle runs smoothly the driver tends not to give much attention to its maintenance. But when you neglect the upkeep, you will end up compromising the battery. A hybrid car has a combination of a petrol engine and an electric drivetrain so a poor engine performance due to lack of maintenance could put a strain on the battery and in turn drain its energy.
Keep the Auxiliary Fan Clean – As mentioned earlier the fan keeps the battery cool and extends its lifespan. But when neglected the fan becomes dirty and the dirt could block the air duct making the fan less functional and it will not be able to serve its purpose.
Have the Battery Check Regularly – Some auto servicing shops perform a health test for the hybrid batteries to detect weak cells and regain these cells to up to 97% of their original strength. This way you’ll be able to save the battery and not have to spend thousands on a new one. But that can only be possible when you take the car for regular battery checkups. The battery will already be beyond repair if you wait until the check engine light is on.
So again, how long do hybrid batteries last? Given its component and its operating mechanism the odds are in your favor having a hybrid battery that could last longer than a regular car but several factors still come into play. When all is said and done its lifespan still depends on how well you use and maintain it.