How Long Does a Hybrid Car Battery Last?

Hybrid cars have been popular in the past decade and we doubt that sales will be slowing down any time soon. That being said, there are a lot of older Toyota Prius, Honda Insight, and Hyundai Ioniq models currently popping up in the used market and while they can all present a good deal, there might be some woes when it comes to the hybrid battery. If you’re looking to buy a used hybrid car, then you might be wondering just how long the hybrid battery will last.

When will the battery fail?

Hybrid car batteries are made up of a group of individual battery cells and just like any other battery, they have a shelf life and will eventually lose power. Fortunately, all hybrid cars do come with a hybrid battery warranty of either 8 to 10 years and up to 100,000 miles. In the event that you do buy a hybrid car with fewer than 100,000 miles, you can rest assured that it will be covered by the manufacturer. However, we have seen many hybrid car batteries last for longer than 100,000.

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Workers prepare a Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid at the 2017 Frankfurt Auto Show on September 12, 2017
The Toyota Prius | Sean Gallup/Getty Images

What happens if a hybrid car battery is out of warranty?

If you happen to score a great deal on a hybrid car that has more than 100,000 miles and is therefore out of warranty, then you might have to pay for a new one eventually. The typical Toyota Prius hybrid battery replacement will usually run around $6,000 or so if it’s done by the dealership, however, you can probably get it done for cheaper elsewhere as there are a lot of independent shops that work solely on hybrid cars.

Another option is to replace the hybrid battery yourself, and while that might sound like a daunting task, there are plenty of helpful videos on YouTube to get you through the process. If you decide to go this route, then you can expect to pay around $1,000 for a refurbished battery.

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2020 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid

Why do hybrid car batteries last so long?

While 100,000 miles might not sound like a lot, since most drivers intend to keep their cars “forever,” it actually takes a long time to reach that milestone. A car would need to be driven an average of 20,000 miles a year for five years just to get there, however, the average annual mileage for most drivers is closer to 10,000 miles per year. So if anything, a hybrid car battery should last around 8 to 10 years depending on where and how the car is driven during that time.

The reason that hybrid car batteries last so long – unlike cell phone and laptop batteries, per se – isn’t just due to their sheer size. According to a report from the Christian Science Monitor, a hybrid car battery is typically only charged up to 80 percent when it shows that it’s “full,” and when it’s empty, it’s usually only down to 20 percent. This inherent “under-taxing” of the hybrid battery actually prolongs the life of it, unlike our faithful phones and laptops that we like to over-charge all the time.

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Porsche Taycan Turbo battery system
Porsche Taycan Turbo battery system | Porsche

When will I know that the car needs a new battery?

There are indicator lights that will tell you if the car needs a new hybrid battery and you will notice a decrease in power and fuel economy. While it might sound like a hassle to replace the hybrid battery in a higher-mileage hybrid car, we can assure you that it’s well worth it as even a refurbished battery should last another 80,000 miles or more.