A Short Guide to Hybrid Battery Sustainability

    Hybrid batteries

    One of the biggest draws — and biggest mysteries — surrounding hybrid cars is the battery, which allow the cars to have the impressive fuel economy that they do. Hybrids are famous for being good for the environment in a world where traveling and commuting on a daily basis is an essential part of the way much of the world works. Hybrids are good for the environment, but what about all those additional batteries? Here’s what you need to know about the sustainability of hybrid batteries.

    Why are hybrid batteries good for the environment?
    Hybrid vehicles do get some of the best ratings for fuel economy — they’re about 20-35% more fuel efficient than similar models of traditional cars. This is pretty much due to the hybrid battery and the way it allows the car to function. Basically, there are two power sources in hybrid vehicles. One is gasoline fuel, like traditional cars are powered by. The other is an electric battery, which recharges when the car is braked. Basically, hybrids aren’t burning gasoline all of the time.

    Can the batteries be recycled?
    Hybrid batteries do fail, just like other types of batteries do. A hybrid battery warranty is going to vary by state, but it’s typically about eight years or 100,000 miles. The problem is that some research has found that hybrid batteries can fail as soon as six years after purchase. So what happens to these batteries? Can they be recycled? The short answer is yes. Some models of hybrid batteries are lithium-ion, which is the same type used in laptops and cell phones.

    Is there any other way to reuse them?
    Aside from recycling hybrid batteries, there are other ways to keep hybrid batteries from ending up in landfills. Before chucking the old battery and buying a new one, owners can look into reconditioning or remanufacturing their batteries, which essentially means rebuilding the same battery and checking and fixing the old parts which is generally less expensive and more environmentally friendly.

    Do you have any other questions about the batteries in hybrid vehicles? Feel free to share them with us in the comments section below.