With more and more hybrid car options available these days, it’s good to know what type of batteries are used in your hybrid and how to care for them. The technology for Hybrid auto batteries is constantly evolving and improving. Let’s look at the most common battery packs in use today, explore what regenerative braking is, and how charging stations work.
WHAT ARE HYBRID AUTO BATTERIES?
Manufacturers made the early hybrid auto batteries out of nickel-metal hydride (NiMH or Ni–MH). The automobile industry considered these early batteries both stable and reliable. However, the batteries were also quite bulky and heavy. By 2008, manufacturers produced more than 2 million NiMH style batteries for hybrid cars worldwide.
Moving forward to the year 2020, most hybrid vehicles now use lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries, which are smaller, lighter, and more efficient than NiMH batteries
HOW DO HYBRID AUTO BATTERIES WORK?
Most hybrid vehicles offer a greener alternative to traditional all-combustion engine vehicles. They use two powertrains: a gasoline engine with a standard 12-volt battery, and an electric motor. A large battery pack (NiMH or Li-ion) operates the electric motor. The gasoline engine and the energy generated from the braking system (regenerative braking) seamlessly recharges the battery pack.
Regenerative braking works when you remove foot pressure from the accelerator or gas pedal. The motor in the drivetrain will then stop supplying power to the vehicle to propel it forward, and start working as a generator to recharge the battery pack. The magnetic force created by this recharging process is powerful enough to assist in stopping the vehicle, which improves the overall efficiency of your hybrid. Furthermore, regenerative braking can significantly extend the life of the braking system since the components do not wear out as quickly through friction.
The battery pack, made up of rechargeable NiMH & Li-ion batteries, powers the electric drivetrain in your hybrid. Currently, all manufacturers of hybrid vehicles in the United States warranty high-voltage hybrid battery packs for at least 8 years or 100,000 miles of use. Some Japanese-made hybrids companies offer warranties of 10 years or 150,000.
Charging Stations, are also known as Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) or EV Chargers. They generate electrical power via a plug for re-charging electric & hybrid vehicles. Since you charge the batteries with DC (direct current) Power, most electric vehicles have built-in AC to DC converters.
The inexpensive public AC Charging Stations provide low-power AC charging capabilities. You can find them in shopping centers, government facilities, and public parking lots. However, higher power DC Charging Stations provide direct DC power and often have their own built-in AC-to-DC converter, which bypasses the vehicle’s converter. They come with a variety of connectors, and are applicable for many different makes/models of all-electric and hybrid vehicles.
HYBRID AUTO BATTERIES MAINTENANCE
Just like a traditional gas-powered vehicle, you should get routine maintenance performed regularly for your hybrid vehicle. Read your owner’s manual to familiarize yourself with the components in both the electrical and the gas powered systems. Be aware of how your vehicle drives normally, so you will notice when things change or issues start to develop. Use these tips to keep your hybrid running great.
- Follow the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule for your hybrid
- Address dashboard warning lights ASAP
- Have the battery packs inspected regularly
HYBRID AUTO BATTERIES SERVICE IN CLARKSVILLE, TN
Here at A&R Complete Auto Care, we have the tools and the certified technicians to keep your hybrid going strong for miles and miles. Hybrids are complicated machines and if you have a check engine light or malfunction indicator pop-up on your dashboard, then we will be happy to run a diagnostic service and track down the issue for you.
SCHEDULE A SERVICE
Feel free to visit our shop, give us a call at (931) 552-0606 or schedule an appointment online for a day and time that works best for you!
We are located at 1111 Fort Campbell Blvd., Clarksville, TN 37042