Hybrid Battery Replacement Cost
There are nearly 6 million hybrid vehicles on the road in the US today, and that’s likely to grow in the coming years. Fewer emissions and lower fuel costs are two of the most prevalent reasons that hybrid vehicles are on the road today. They use electrical energy stored in a high-voltage battery to power the car, whether on its own at times or along with the gas engine.
Even the maintenance is more affordable but one major component adds an expense after around 10 years of driving: the hybrid battery pack. What does it cost to replace hybrid batteries, and how often should they be changed? Here’s what you can expect for pricing, what to watch for, and how you might be able to reduce the cost.
Costs associated with hybrid battery replacement
Different makes and models use different hybrid batteries, and it varies depending if the vehicle is a mild hybrid, full hybrid, or plug-in hybrid. The battery pack itself is the majority of the cost with variations ranging from around $1,000 to $6,000, although most batteries for common models tend to be under $3,000.
Along with the battery itself, you’ll need to pay a certified mechanic to install the high-voltage battery. The job often takes a few hours, and sometimes more than a full day. Labor prices range from around $500 to $1,500 but could be higher based on where you reside and the repair shop you choose.
Other than the battery and labor, there might be a few incidentals to consider such as inverter coolant, clips or connectors that may break, and the cost of diagnosis or programming.
Factors that can impact the cost of hybrid battery replacement
The most prevalent factor for the cost to replace hybrid batteries has to do with the make and model you drive. For example, a 2012 Toyota Prius has a NiMH battery pack that can hold 1.3 kWh (kilowatt-hours) of energy. The 2018 Honda Accord hybrid has a 17kWh battery pack, whereas a 2016 Chevrolet Silverado mild hybrid has a 0.45kWh Li-ion battery pack. With such a wide range of battery pack sizes, the larger the battery, the more you’ll need to pay.
Also, the battery chemistry makes a difference in price. Older technology such as NiMH batteries are less expensive to produce, so they’re more affordable. Li-ion batteries use highly sought-after materials and contain more energy than an NiMH battery of the same size, and they’re consequently more costly.
Also, the battery pack for a luxury model seems to consistently be more expensive than a similarly-sized hybrid battery for a mainstream brand.
When should a hybrid battery be replaced?
In select models from brands like Kia, there’s a pre-determined replacement interval for the hybrid battery of 10 years or 150,000 miles, or sooner if necessary. But for most models, the battery simply needs to be changed when it doesn’t perform like it should.
If the range has deteriorated significantly on EV mode, that’s often an indicator that the battery isn’t holding its full capacity anymore. Also, if the car’s gas engine isn’t shutting off like it used to when it’s in electric mode, the battery could be on its way out. You’ll notice a substantial difference in fuel economy if the hybrid system isn’t working too.
Ways to save on hybrid battery replacement costs
Because it’s not the cheapest repair you could imagine, you’ll want to save on battery replacement costs if at all possible. The first way to do that is to properly maintain your hybrid system. Your maintenance guide may prescribe filter cleaning or replacement for the battery cooling fan, or the inverter coolant may need to be replaced. Don’t skimp on these service items – it could be at the detriment of your battery years earlier than necessary.
Also, try to keep your battery topped up when it’s parked. Storing a hybrid with a depleted battery can cause sulfation that reduces range permanently. And whenever you can, park in an area where your car isn’t exposed to extreme heat or cold.
If you begin to notice the battery range is less than it used to be, hybrid battery reconditioning or balancing could help restore its performance and stretch out its lifespan for a few months or years.
For your hybrid car servicing or tools to take care of it, shop at AutoZone. Discover the best products, developed specifically for your make and model, from the top names in the automotive industry. If the job is too big for you, seek out one of our Preferred Shops to help you do the job.
FAQ/People Also Ask
Hybrid cars are efficient and can last a very long time. Replacing the hybrid battery can give you many more years of trouble-free driving.
On average, you can expect a hybrid battery to last around 10 years. With the right care and a little luck, high-quality hybrid battery packs can occasionally last as long as 20 years.
Expect that you’ll need to replace your hybrid’s battery pack at approximately 10 years or between 100,000 and 150,000 miles.
Usually, a hybrid can still operate on the gas engine for a short time if the hybrid battery dies. It’s not a good idea for the longevity of the system, though.
The most inconvenient issues with a hybrid is, due to its focus on efficiency, it tends to be less powerful than a similar non-hybrid model.