The Answers to Common Questions About Hybrid Vehicle Batteries
Did you know that in 2012, according to Statistic Brain, about 2,180,000 hybrid vehicles were sold in the U.S.? Hybrid cars are no longer a niche market. Instead, they’re becoming more popular among drivers who appreciate them not only for their minimized impact on the environment, but for the money they help drivers save on fuel as well.
Back in the early days of the hybrid vehicle, many people were unsure about how long the batteries would last, and suspected that it would be sooner rather than later. Instead, batteries are typically long-lasting and will get owners through many of the initial years of use. Honda, for example, has a typical hybrid battery warranty of 80,000 miles or eight years (whichever comes first).
Although potential car buyers today may realize that hybrid car batteries aren’t going to stop working after just a year, some questions might remain. Here are three commonly asked questions consumers have about hybrid vehicle batteries.
How can warranties end? I thought they were for the life of the car.
Although automakers have faced some flack for stating that their hybrid batteries will last for “the life of the car,” the reality is that most automakers have strict definitions for car life. Toyota believes that the life of the average Prius is about 180,000 miles. Similarly, Honda expects its Insight batteries to last for about 150,000 miles (or 10 years). Since batteries do not usually outlast the cars, most people replace their batteries after six to 10 years of use.
Is it true that battery replacements will cost as much as the car itself?
No. There were many early scare stories of the likelihood of failed batteries and $10,000 bills for batteries within a year of consumers purchasing a new car. Today, the truth is that a hybrid battery can be a bit costly, but it won’t break your bank account. Additionally, there is a robust market for used batteries. Companies use cell-replacement technology to provide used hybrid battery replacements that are as good as new, or nearly so, at a lower price.
Will the hybrid battery become damaged in the winter?
Hybrid cars are designed to withstand the same temperature ranges that conventional vehicles are expected to handle. One of the few reported cases of battery damage owing to temperature fluctuation came out of Alaska, where the damaged battery pack was exposed to temperatures of 56 below zero.
Do you have questions about your hybrid battery warranty?