Cars are machines, and like any other machine they require proper maintenance to run smoothly, hybrid vehicles are no different. One of the biggest concerns of a hybrid owner is battery life; over time hybrid batteries deteriorate, lose power and cause the car to begin to lose gas mileage. Critics of hybrid vehicles almost always bring up the high cost of replacing the battery and they aren’t necessarily wrong, a new battery can cost upwards of $5,000 to replace. Fortunately though, there is now an alternative to battery replacement called battery conditioning.
So what exactly is hybrid battery conditioning? Well, it is not much different than recharging a normal nickel battery; the technology has been around for quite some time, but the methodology for how it is applied is unique and certainly new to the automotive industry. It was developed by Dr. Mark Quarto and the team at Automotive Research and Design; they took current technology and redesigned it into an application that works for hybrid batteries.
Battery conditioning is basically cycling the battery pack. What that means is that you take the battery pack down to a zero percent state of charge, back up to one hundred percent and then back down to zero percent, this is one cycle and it usually takes two to three cycles to condition a hybrid battery properly. There is a very strict protocol used to ensure the battery does not overheat or get overdischarged which safeguards the health of the battery pack.
This exclusive battery conditioning technology utilizes module testing, data analysis and charge cycling to restore a hybrid battery to over 90% of its original performance. If you want to see a video that explains the process in greater detail check out The Science of Hybrid Battery Conditioning.
Making the decision to condition a hybrid battery has some significant advantages over a battery replacement. First off, you will be saving a TON of money, several thousand dollars in fact. Considering many hybrid vehicle owners purchase a hybrid vehicle for the long term cost savings on gas, it defeats the purpose if you have to then invest another $5000 or so to replace the battery in five to seven years.
Also, the environmental impact cannot be overlooked. Used hybrid batteries typically end up in landfills, where they tend to precipitate and end up leaching hazardous liquid waste into the landfill and eventually back into the environment. Hybrid vehicles are designed to be environmentally friendly so negatively impacting the environment to help save the environment just doesn’t make sense.
If you currently have a hybrid vehicle and notice that your fuel economy is shrinking and your power and torque aren’t what they used to be, the most likely reason is your battery is beginning to deteriorate. Bring it into one of The Hybrid Shops and we will evaluate it for you and let you know what options you have to restore its power and fuel economy and get you back up and running efficiently once again.