So, you have a hybrid car, and your battery is slowly fading away as it doesn’t last as it used to in the past? Maybe your battery is due to be replaced, and you should consider looking up a hybrid battery replacement cost guide.
- What Is Hybrid?
- How Does It Work?
- Battery Types
- Dead Battery Symptoms
- Replacement Cost
- Driving With Dead Battery
Hybrids are one of the hottest categories of automobiles these days, along with electric vehicles. Тhey started a whole movement against pure gasoline cars, with their harmful and non-eco-friendly engines.
Even though I am a petrol head, I’m starting to understand these innovations better and I start to see through the fact that gasoline vehicles are a lot of fun and make for great weekend warriors. However, they still pollute a lot and affect the environment greatly.
I personally don’t prefer electric cars because the charging – as it currently is for the most part – takes forever. I want my battery to be recharged pretty quickly to be able to drive and enjoy my cars. That’s why I prefer hybrids because they offer you the best of both worlds. It enables you to enjoy the electric power and also the gasoline engine, as well. The next car I would get will be a hybrid for sure.
In this article, we are going to cover everything you need to know when it comes to hybrid power. We are going to discuss this technology, with its positive and negative sides. Then, who are the top players in the hybrid game right now? We’ll also cover the batteries and the hybrid battery replacement cost. Then, we are going to discuss if you can drive with a bad battery. So, let’s begin.
What Is Hybrid Technology?
Hybrid technology has been with us for many years. It traces its roots back to the 90s when Honda and Toyota brought the first hybrid vehicles to the market. Namely, the Honda Insight was the first mass-produced hybrid car in the world. Toyota later followed it with the Prius.
This soon became one of the most recognizable models on the market when it comes to hybrid cars. The word ‘hybrid’ means that the car is a modified gasoline vehicle, a kind of hybrid between electric and gasoline. It uses two power sources and delivers plenty of benefits to the table.
Hybrid cars offered the best of both worlds – eco-friendliness, and fuel economy. The fuel economy is, in many cases, unmatched when you talk about hybrids. Most internal combustion vehicles can’t come close to these MPG numbers that the hybrids make. For example, a Prius has an endurance of around 50 MPG, which is incredible.
Currently, this technology is marginalized by electric cars. Personally, I think that’s not ok, as if we make an apples-to-apples comparison of them today, hybrid is the better technology. EVs may be a bit cleaner, but a hybrid powertrain is a lot more convenient on a daily basis.
With a hybrid, you don’t have to wait at some EV charging station for hours. All for your battery to be charged. You just go to the gas station and pour some gas. When you get home, you just plug in your battery cable and let the car charge overnight.
EV’s also can charge overnight, but their batteries are massive. Depending on how your home’s electrics are, even one night might not be enough. This isn’t to mention the range that hybrids have, which is much farther than a regular EV vehicle. That’s why hybrids have a future and they deserve a lot more attention.
How Does A Hybrid Car Work?
As to how a hybrid car works, it’s pretty simple. It uses both combustion and electric technologies to deliver the most out of the vehicle in terms of efficiency and fuel economy.
There are three types of hybrids, and these are:
Parallel hybrids are the most common hybrids on the market. This includes most of the hybrid cars that are on the roads at the moment in the US.
As the name implies, this system is using both technologies in parallel without favoring just one of them. The parallel system blends both systems and gets the most out of them.
The parallel hybrid has an internal combustion engine that is connected with a transmission. Then, there is an electric motor that is connected with a small battery pack. This electric motor is helping the internal combustion motor to accelerate better and makes power delivery easier. Thus, this aids in saving a lot of energy that is usually spent while a regular gasoline car is accelerating.
Many car brands offer these hybrids. And these include the Toyota Prius and the Chevy Volt, which are among the most popular choices on the market right now.
The series hybrid works a bit differently. In these cars, the electric motor is the one that brings the power to the wheels. Meanwhile, the gasoline engine brings power to the battery.
The gasoline engine simply recharges the battery. Series hybrids have more EV feel compared to a regular parallel hybrid and do not feel at all like a gasoline vehicle.
The ride is much smoother and it almost resembles an EV. This is even though there is a small amount of vibration that is caused by the combustion engine. You will be able to feel this vibration, but it’s not a deal-breaker in my opinion.
One of the most popular choices for this type of hybrid vehicle is the BMW i3. This small car implements a modern design and good fuel mileage. So, if you are on the market for a hybrid, it is definitely worth checking out.
And the last type of hybrid is the plug-in hybrid. The plug-in hybrid incorporates a bigger battery pack that adds more EV autonomy to your vehicle. With a plug-in hybrid, you can drive your car, only by using the electric motor.
These plug-in hybrids offer around 50 miles of range. This is pretty much a decent range if you only drive around town to get groceries. When you arrive at home or your office, you can plug the charger back in the car and let it get to charge.
These types of batteries also charge relatively easily, and you can get to a full charge by using your power wall charger overnight. In my opinion, this is the way to go if you want a hybrid, especially if you are driving locally without straying too far out.
You will never have to turn on your gasoline engine for the most part. And when there is a reason to turn on the gasoline engine, it will be readily available and you will enjoy the range that this engine offers for longer journeys. But what about hybrid battery replacement cost? Well, we are going to cover that later.
What Types Of Batteries Are Used In Hybrid Cars?
In hybrid cars are usually used two types of batteries. These would be lithium-ion, and nickel hydride batteries. What differentiates these batteries is the chemistry that is inside them.
The use of nickel hydride makes the battery slower to get to a full charge compared to a regular lithium-ion battery.
Lithium-ion batteries, on the other hand, can charge faster. However, they also discharge faster than nickel hydride batteries. By discharging faster, it means that the lithium-ion delivers a lot more power and helps the vehicle to accelerate much faster than a nickel hydride battery.
The lifetime of lithium-ion batteries is also longer. That’s especially if they are exposed to a great amount of heat. When compared to lithium-ion, the nickel hydride tends to suffer more from extremely high temperatures.
The fuel economy is also on the side of lithium-ion batteries. Since they are a lot lighter compared to nickel hydride batteries, they also give a better fuel mileage because of that fact.
When Toyota started its production on the Prius it started implementing Nickel Hydride batteries. But as the battery technology advanced, they have started using lithium-ion batteries.
Lithium-ion batteries are far cheaper to make and lighter as well. This helps to make the hybrid battery replacement cost cheaper. They also charge quicker and deliver more power to the wheels. Basically, the whole industry has turned to these batteries. And with the recent advancements, they have reached a point where Toyota is using lithium-ion batteries in almost all their plug-in hybrids.
The battery industry does not sleep and currently are plans for far more advanced batteries than lithium-ion batteries. And these will include solid-state batteries. Solid-state batteries are expected to be superior in almost every aspect compared to a regular lithium-ion battery.
Which Are The Top Players In The Hybrid World?
The hybrid market in the USA is big and has a choice for almost everyone’s taste. It doesn’t matter whether you are getting a regular commuter vehicle or a luxury SUV. The top player in the hybrid segment is Toyota, which compared to other brands, their selection of hybrid cars is more diverse than other manufacturers.
It all started with the Prius, and now there is a whole lineup of cars that are hybrids. Namely, we have the Toyota Prius, Toyota Camry Hybrid, and the Toyota Avalon Hybrid. Toyota has a lot of trust in this technology and is one of the players that support the hybrid concept as much as they can.
Also on the market, there are other hybrid brands. For example, we have Honda and Hyundai. The Asian manufacturers are pushing hard when it comes to hybrids. Then, there are some American hybrids. The most popular ones would be the Ford Fusion Hybrid, the Ford Escape Hybrid, the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, and the Jeep Wrangler Hybrid.
In the luxury line up there are a lot of offerings. They include Lexus, Volvo, Honda, BMW. They are all expecting to get their fair share from this market. And in the future, the market will continue expanding rapidly. Hence, we are expecting some new technologies and market growth globally as hybrids become a trend.
For now, let’s focus on plug-in batteries and learn more about them. Then, we can move to study the hybrid battery replacement cost.
Dead Battery Symptoms
Like with every other component in your vehicle, when the hybrid battery decides to give up, it exhibits symptoms that you will notice. However, you need to train your senses to figure out that it’s the hybrid battery that decided to die on you. That’s why we are here for. We will go through all of the symptoms of a dead hybrid battery and then we will look into the dead hybrid battery replacement cost. So, let’s investigate the symptoms.
If your battery has a lower charge, it means that the battery has lost some of its capacity to hold a charge. Therefore, there could be a lot of dead cells in the battery.
These dead battery cells cannot be revived, and the battery will only function with those cells that actually work. But soon, more cells will start to die. This means that other cells are going to follow them and stop working.
In the end, you are going to end up with a dead battery that won’t charge at all. The only solution then will be to get a new battery for your hybrid vehicle. And you are probably interested in hybrid battery replacement cost. Well, we are going to cover that in great detail later in this article.
Increased Usage Of The Internal Combustion Engine
If the battery starts to die, it will start from one or two cells and spread in the whole battery. As the failures spread in the battery, you are going to start losing charge and the internal combustion will be more and more engaged in working.
This will affect your power output. This is the case because the battery is helping the internal combustion engine to work. And since there isn’t a battery anymore to power the electric motor, the internal combustion engine has to do it all by itself. This will result in greater stress on the engine and more things to fail as well. This is since your car was built from the factory to work with a battery this will not be a good situation for your vehicle.
Battery Does Not Want To Charge
If the battery does not want to charge, it means that the battery is completely dead. Let’s say you plug in your battery to charge and you get an error message. This is a clear sign that there is something wrong and has to be checked. Since other components around the battery convert the energy.
Maybe some of them have failed. So, to be sure about why your battery does not want to hold a charge, you will have to diagnose the issue. And this can only be done by a certified mechanic for your vehicle. Take your car to a workshop and tell them that you have a problem. If the battery is dead, they will tell you that you have to change the battery and they will quote you a hybrid battery replacement cost. And it’s up to you if you want to change the battery.
Fluctuations In The State Of Charge
If the charge fluctuates is also meaning that you are having a problem with your battery. It is not normal for the charge to fluctuate all of a sudden. For example, you charge your battery and the charge jumps to 60% and then returns to 20% and then again fluctuates.
All of this is because of an unreliable battery. These types of batteries are most dangerous because you never know what you can expect from them. It’s basically some internal failure that messes up the charge. This has to be checked immediately, to conclude what is causing the battery to give up and cause all these issues.
After diagnosing, it is time to start the repair. If the battery is repairable, the technician will repair it or if it’s not, they will mention to you the hybrid battery replacement cost and how much it’s going to cost to replace the whole battery pack.
Significant Drop In MPG
Since the battery is dead, your MPG will drop. Maybe you were getting 50 MPG before your battery died. Now you can expect to get around 25-30 MPG.
This is a huge impact to fuel economy, and if you won’t like this if you’re used to running your car cheaply. This is not to mention the overloading of the engine. The engine will be extremely overloaded since there is no electric motor to give it a hand when it’s running.
This stress can also affect the components inside of the engine as well and it can almost scrap your engine as well. The result is that you will pay for a used engine as well as for a new battery pack.
Noises Coming From The Engine
Noises, when you connect the battery to get a charge, are also noted. These may sound like electricity sparks or other malfunctions connected to the electrical components in the vehicle.
This does not sound very good and can cause some shorting and fire in a worst-case scenario. You don’t want a car that has a malfunctioned electrical component. If I were you, I will look for a hybrid battery replacement cost and swap the malfunctioned battery pack with a new one as soon as possible.
Hybrid Battery Replacement Cost
As we said, batteries do not last forever and have to be changed at some point. As they age, they tend to fail and cause issues. So, the best thing to do is to replace them altogether.
Changing your battery will also going to refresh your car and will improve its performance in the long run. And the hybrid battery replacement cost is not affordable. But if you are running a Toyota, you will enjoy some discounts with the $1350 core credit that Toyota offers for your old battery.
This will drastically reduce the costs of replacing the battery with a new one.
The average price for a 1st generation Prius is $3,649. For the second and third generations, this price goes up and reaches almost $4,000. So, keep this in mind if you are on the market for a used Prius.
For the Camry Hybrid, the costs are usually around $4,800 for a new battery pack. The same thing goes for the Toyota Avalon. The Highlander, on the other hand, has a more expensive battery, and it’s going to set you back around $6,000.
Other hybrids have similar prices. The greater the battery pack, the greater the cost to replace it.
How Much Does A Hybrid Battery Last?
Toyota claims that its batteries last for 20 years and can go more than 200,000 miles. Some owners have reported that they went as far as 300,000 with the same battery before they needed a replacement.
Meanwhile, some batteries don’t even survive 150,000 miles. It all depends on luck, with some other factors concerning how you drive them. There are billion of factors that affect these batteries that we are not even aware of, to be honest.
Can I Drive My Hybrid Car With A Dead Battery?
Yes, you can drive your car with a dead hybrid battery. Driving without a battery will not affect your car, except that you will not be able to use that extra power from the battery and your MPG will drop significantly. So, you’re better off looking at a hybrid battery replacement cost and replace your old battery.
Hybrid Battery Replacement Cost – Conclusion
In this article, we have covered a lot when it comes to hybrid technology and hybrid batteries. We discussed how these cars work and what are the types of hybrid vehicles. The parallel hybrid and the plug-in hybrid were the most popular vehicles that people usually get and also, they are the most eco-friendly as well.
Then we have covered the types of batteries that are used in plug-in hybrids. Then, we have covered the symptoms of a dead battery and the hybrid battery replacement cost. The cost to replace is not cheap, but you’ve got to replace it sooner or later.
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