How long do the batteries last in a hybrid car?

If you have a hybrid vehicle, you would know that the car uses a gasoline engine in conjunction with an electric battery and motor for maximum fuel efficiency. 

 

A hybrid car battery lasts longer than any regular AGM or lead-acid battery. 

But the question that should quickly pop into your mind is, How long do the batteries last in a hybrid car?

 

Don’t go anywhere. We’re here to give you a clear idea about the lifespan of your hybrid car battery.

How many batteries does a hybrid car have?

Before getting to the lifespan of a hybrid car battery, you need to know why it is called a hybrid car battery. A hybrid car is different from any normal car or electric car. It has an engine that depends on fuel and battery at the same time. 

 

The main reason behind making this type of engine is to maximize fuel efficiency and minimize emissions. It is very annoying for every car owner to repeatedly go to the fuel pump if he has a normal car. But in the case of a hybrid car owner, he needs to worry less about fuel. 

The battery system of a hybrid car

The battery pack of a hybrid car consists of two types of batteries. One of them is an auxiliary, and another is the main battery. These two batteries work seamlessly together. The function of these two different battery cells is unnoticeable. The two batteries work so well that it sets them apart from any normal gasoline battery or electric car battery.

Auxiliary battery

Most hybrid cars, like the Toyota Prius, have an auxiliary lead-acid battery. It’s a 12-volt battery. It works like a normal car battery. The functions of this auxiliary battery are simple. It helps the accessories to run smoothly. The car’s headlights, audio system, air conditioning systems, and computer controls depend on this battery. 

Primary battery

The main battery is a lithium-ion battery. This is the same rechargeable battery from an electric vehicle. It’s the heart of a hybrid car. It starts the engine and helps the motor to function with the help of gasoline. Unlike an electric car battery, a hybrid battery doesn’t impose the work on a single battery cell.

How long do the batteries last in a hybrid car?

The most commonly asked question by the car owner is how many years does a hybrid battery last. To answer this question, you need to keep in mind some factors like usage, mileage, age, etc. If you remove these factors for a while, the ideal answer should be 8-10 years or 100,000 miles(whichever comes first). 

 

But this period is increasing for the new upcoming cars. Nowadays, a new battery can survive up to 15 years or 150,000 miles. Now let’s see what factors have an impact on the lifespan of your hybrid battery.

Usage:

Battery life greatly depends on the usage of the car. If you are a normal civilian who barely hits 30 miles per day, that means you need to change your battery in 8 years. 

 

But you are an Uber driver and use your car for 100 miles daily; you may need to change your battery in 4 or 5 years. For most of the civilians of the USA, people travel 10,000 miles a year on average.

Mileage:

Milage is another great factor behind the lifespan of hybrid car batteries. If you get more mileage from a car, you should expect a shorter life. This is true because to produce more mileage; the battery has to work hard. 

 

A light bulb that is being used daily would survive less than a bulb in the storeroom, right? The same rules apply to a car battery.

Age:

Hybrid battery life also depends on age. If you compare your existing car battery to a new battery, you will understand the lifespan. An old car battery would survive less than 3 or 4 years, whereas a new car battery will survive up to 10 years. It’s because the older you get, the less efficient it is expected. 

Weather:

Weather is a vital controller which directly controls the battery life. A hybrid battery pack cannot bear extreme temperatures. Too much cold or warmth is harmful to car batteries. If you leave your car in extremely cold temperatures, it will not survive until a month. The same rule goes for extremely hot temperatures.

Charging:

Charging also determines the battery life. Overcharging can cause heat, and heat can cause battery degradation. Also, undercharging is harmful to your car battery. People who don’t maintain the proper charging status can end up with half of the expected life.

Manufacturing defects:

Manufacturing defects between the battery cells or poor connection between the cells can affect hybrid car battery life. The manufacturer offers a refund for this kind of defect in a battery pack, though. 

Servicing: 

Most owners don’t keep an eye for the proper servicing of a battery. Without proper servicing, a car battery can die within 2 or 3 years. Proper servicing ensures a prolonged hybrid battery life.

How to maintain a hybrid car battery?

Maintaining your hybrid vehicle battery can offer you the best battery life. If you leave your battery for too long, it will die on you at a crucial moment. To avoid this and get the best-prolonged life, you must follow these instructions thoroughly.

Proper servicing

Maintain a regular schedule to check your car battery. If you don’t have time for this, you assign a car mechanic to do that job properly. Regular checkup of your battery is the best way to prolong its lifespan. 

 

Getting service for your car battery on a scheduled basis can cost you a few dollars in a month. But as compared to a new battery, the cost is less. Without proper maintenance, your battery won’t last more than 2 or 3 years. 

 

Maintain battery temperature

Hybrid batteries can die like other AGM or lead batteries in extreme temperatures. You should ensure the average temperature for your hybrid battery. Keep an eye out if your battery is getting hot quicker than usual. 

 

Always try to keep the battery cool. But too much cold is bad for the battery. So, maintain an optimum temperature as the instruction book suggests. If needed, add extra fans if you have enough space for them.

Charge correctly

Avoid overcharging and undercharging every time you charge your hybrid vehicle battery. It’s a rechargeable battery. Unlike lead batteries, these batteries need to charge properly to function. 

 

Overcharging makes heat out of the battery, and too much warmth is harmful. Likewise, if you leave your car battery undercharged, it will shorten battery life.

Keep an eye for warning lights.

You should probably notice a warning indicator light in your car’s dashboard. It alerts you about any malfunction or defects of the battery. Don’t ignore the lights. It’s necessary to check for every possible defect when the light is blinking. 

Monitor the battery

Monitor the battery every now and then. Check for dust over the battery fan or any corrosion. Corrosion or leakage can damage your battery beyond repair. It could make the battery explode too. So, monitor the battery cell once or twice a week. Else you should notice a battery degradation.

Conclusion: 

A hybrid car battery falls into a whole new category. It uses a 12v battery as an auxiliary and an EV battery as a primary battery. Both the batteries work combined with an electric motor to maximize the fuel economy. 

 

Unlike lead-acid or Ev batteries, this type of combination offers you the best battery life. They work on different tasks together seamlessly to give you the best service life.

You should get your answer by now about how long hybrid batteries last. A normal hybrid battery pack should last more than 8 years. 

 

But technology has evolved, and it can survive up to 15 years. The number should be around 150,000 miles if you are counting distance. Hence, the battery life can vary depending on various factors. To get the best service life from your car battery, you should maintain some rules and necessary checkups.

FAQ: 

  • How long can a hybrid car seat without being driven?

The auxiliary batteries in hybrid cars can survive up to 3 months without being driven. By the time of 4 months, they will be completely dead since they are non-rechargeable batteries. But the main batteries, being lithium batteries, can survive long enough like any EV battery. You need to make sure to keep it charged before leaving it idle.

  • What happens to a hybrid vehicle when the battery dies?

A hybrid car battery like Toyota Prius cannot function properly if the battery dies. The car depends on the battery to function. Like lithium batteries, your car’s ignition won’t work at all with a dead battery. 

  • How much do hybrid batteries cost?

Hybrid car batteries are as expensive as EV batteries or even more. Hybrid batteries can cost you from 1000 to 6000 dollars. The high price is that these batteries help you reduce the fuel cost. Considering the fuel economy, it’s the best battery for money.

 

  • Can you drive a hybrid car if the battery dies?

No, you can’t drive your hybrid car without the battery. Hybrid car batteries are combined with the engine with an electric motor. The car batteries start the engine and other vital accessories of your car. So, if you are out of battery, consider changing it with a new car battery.

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