As reported by Statistic Brain, during 2012 approximately 4.5 million hybrid cars were sold throughout the world, and 2,180,000 were sold in the United States. The love for these efficient cars continues, but every hybrid owner knows that eventually, the battery in their beloved vehicle will fail. Unfortunately, the battery hybrid cars employ are not to be found just anywhere, and the cost of replacing a hybrid battery is prohibitive as well. To help lengthen the life of owners’ hybrid car batteries, here are four tips.
- Nickel Rebalancing: The battery hybrid cars most often use is a type that employs nickel-metal hydride technology. These are quite resilient, but the nickel does become unbalanced, and should be rebalanced by a hybrid battery technician. The suggestion is this should occur between five and eight years after the car’s purchase. This may eventually be an irrelevant suggestion as some new vehicles and all-electric vehicles switch to lithium-ion batteries.
- Restoring Capacity: This can be done at the same time as rebalancing, and it is also referred to as conditioning. It will be more necessary for those who travel over rough terrain or if the car is driven hard, which shall be addressed next.
- Coast: There are places where this is not legal, so not everyone can manage it, but when possible, coast to a stop instead of break. The kinetic energy needed to recharge the battery will still be produced, but it can help lengthen the life of the battery. Before attempting this practice, understand that a higher level of awareness of surroundings is necessary. It is always a bad idea to drive with attention divided, but even more so in this circumstance.
- Slow Starting: Idling at a red light will cause a hybrid battery engage as the gasoline engine shuts down. A slow start will cycle the better, not to mention being a good thing for hybrid cars fuel economy, and thus maximize the life of the battery.
Each car owner’s battery will last at a rate that is unique to them. This is due to driving conditions, type of car and the way the owner drives. However, with effort and awareness, it is possible to maximize the life of a hybrid car battery.