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How Long Do Hybrid Batteries Last And How To Extend It?

Hybrid cars have a zealous fan base due to their better gas mileage and lower carbon emissions. But, the hybrid car battery life could be a matter of concern. Remember Honda facing lawsuits in the US courts in 2012 regarding problematic batteries in a batch of Honda Civic Hybrid? How long do hybrid batteries last? Is there any way you can increase their lifespan?

How Long Do Hybrid Batteries Last?

The incident with some batches of Civic Hybrid batteries manufactured between 2006 and 2008 seems to be an anomaly. In reality, the time varies depending on the make, model, mileage, and a few other factors.

The hybrid cars are likely to provide many years of trouble-free driving. The expected lifespan could be minimum 5 years to more than a decade.

How long does a hybrid battery last according to the automakers? Toyota confidently claims the batteries to last the lifetime of the vehicle. The truth is Toyota hybrids can run almost 180,000 miles without showing any sign of deterioration. Honda hybrid batteries are designed to perform at least 10 years under normal driving conditions. Both brands, along with Ford, offer an 8-year warranty or minimum 80,000 miles whichever comes first) for their hybrid battery packs.

how long do prius batteries last
Toyota hybrid’s battery lasts for years. (Photo Source: toyota)

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How Long Do Prius Batteries Last?

People love Toyota Prius for its great performance and amazing fuel-efficiency. So, many people will be curious to know about the Toyota Prius battery life expectancy.

According to Toyota, the battery is likely to last the car’s lifetime. Even if you are not that lucky, it will survive at least for 10 years or more than 150,000 miles. Replacing a battery pack will require $3,500 to $4,500, which seems too expensive for an old car. But, investing in a hybrid car is still worthwhile since the car is unlikely to give up before 150,000 to 200,000 miles. Also, if you can manage a third-party battery unit (use it at your own risk), it won’t cost more than $1,500.

The Secret Behind Long Hybrid Battery Lifespan

You know how long do hybrid batteries last but what do they enjoy such a long course of life? Well, there are several reasons behind this. Most hybrid cars these days use nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) battery packs that have 30% to 40% more capacity than standard Ni-Cd batteries. For this reason, the vehicles get more mileage than regular cars.
There are two more reasons for the longer lifespan of these batteries:

Auxiliary Fan System

Battery life gets extended when it does not get overheated. The auxiliary fan system keeps the hybrid batteries cool. The fan pulls fresh air in and circulates it efficiently to keep the battery temperature down.


Hybrid cars are equipped with a function that prevents the battery from drawing energy when the charge hits 80% of its full capacity. The same feature will show that the battery is empty when the charge goes down to almost 20%. It is an approximate estimation because the automakers don’t reveal the exact figures. So, the automakers ensure a long life for the hybrid batteries by under-using their energy.

How To Increase Hybrid Car Battery Lifetime?

You know how long do hybrid batteries last but how to make them last even longer? Well, a hybrid vehicle features a combination of a petrol engine and an electric drivetrain. Poor engine performance will put a strain on the battery and drain its energy.

Also, when a vehicle runs smoothly without giving any trouble, the driver does not give much attention to its maintenance. When you neglect the upkeep, the battery is going to take a hit. Take these measures to extend your hybrid car battery lifetime:

Regular Maintenance

You should not neglect the regular maintenance of your hybrid car. A Toyota Prius can run more than 180,000 kilometers without showing any single trouble. But, you run the risk of running its battery when you don’t take it to the garage for regular checkups.

hybrid car battery lifetime
Regular checkups will extend the lifespan. (Photo Source: nytimes)

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You should have diagnosed the battery once the car is more than 8 years old or crosses 80,000 miles. After that, take it to the auto shop every 12 months.

Clean The Auxiliary Fan

The fan keeps the battery cool but it becomes dirty and requires periodic cleaning. The oil residue coats the propellers, which then begin collecting dust. Layers of dirt and dust block the air duct and make the fan less functional. Cleaning the fan regularly will definitely increase the battery life.

Conduct A Health Checkup

Some auto servicing shops perform a health test of the hybrid batteries to detect weak cells. They have services to regain these cells to almost 97% of the original strength. In this way, you can restore the battery power without spending thousands on a new one. But, it will only be possible when you take the car for regular battery checkups. If you wait until the check engine light is on, the battery will be beyond repair.

  1. Judy Hawkins says

    You don’t have to spend more then $2000, do some research on line and talk to your local independent repair shop.
    Some places say they can do it for $800, but I’d be happey with $000 for a car I love.

  2. Lizzy says

    Mine on my 07 Camry Hybrid died at 103,000 miles. That stung. They dropped the battery cost for me, but man did that sting. I like the environmental benefits, but I don’t drive enough for the cost to balance out. Still, I’ll likely get another Camry when this one is too costly to keep. I’ll drive it until then and I can decide if I am willing to go Hybrid again. I likely will despite the higher cost.

  3. Jean says

    I have a 2010 Honda hybrid, insight, this coming December it will be 10 years old, i bought it in December 2009.
    I only have 60,500 kilometers on the car and it is running fine, but if the battery quits i am going to see about putting an alternator on the car and remove the hybrid battery. for the cost of that battery it outrageous. would not be bad if it was only 500 euros, but I have not been able to find a price for under 2000 euros plus installation., Will never buy another hybrid. The do not tell you about the cost of the replacement battery when you buy the car.

  4. Hugh says

    You can easily check the health of a hybrid (traction) battery. Amazon and eBay sell ODBII readers for $11-$15 that plug into the port under your dash by the steering wheel. Installing Torque Pro ($5) on your smartphone lets you see the exact voltage of each cell in the pack. They should all be the same voltage (varies as the pack is used and recharged). If you find a cell that has lower voltage than the rest, you would have that cell replaced (about $40 on eBay), not the entire pack. If you’re considering buying a used car, this would help you make a better choice, better price, or recognize that you’ve found a car that’s unlikely to give you trouble. YouTube videos show you how to use Torque Pro and also how to change a cell by yourself, if you’re so inclined.

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