The REAL Cost of Replacing Your HEV Battery

Picture this scenario; you own a hybrid vehicle and over the last several months you have noticed that your car just doesn’t have the pick-up it once did, the gas engine is running way more frequently and your average MPG has significantly dropped. You cringe when the realization dawns that your HEV battery has reached the end of its expected lifespan and needs to be replaced.

If you are like most of us, you begin scouring the internet researching the cost of battery replacement, or even put a call in to your trusted auto repair shop for a quote. You might even consider selling your vehicle and starting over with a brand new hybrid. This is when reality slaps you in the face. The cost of replacing your HEV battery is way more than a fixed amount found in a spreadsheet somewhere.

Depending on what type of hybrid you own, the base cost of the battery alone can vary significantly. A Ford Escape hybrid SUV can cost upwards of $5,000 whereas a Prius battery will run closer to $3,000. Of course you have to take into account the model year of your vehicle; the earlier models have a much higher replacement cost. There is the shipping expense of having the battery sent to you and the labor cost of removing and installing the new battery. These are only the fixed dollar amounts.

You can’t talk about battery replacement without taking into consideration the high cost it imposes on the environment as well. Toyota does a pretty good job of recycling their batteries, however many other companies do not have a recycling program and these failed batteries too often end up in a landfill somewhere. Nickel batteries are responsible for 90% of acidification and eutrophication where excessive growth of algae in bodies of water deplete it of oxygenation effectively killing all other forms of life in the water. The EPA also believes that nickel is a probable human carcinogen.

If you have a failed HEV battery, and you don’t want to shell out the money to replace it, you might consider selling it and starting over. The problem with this option is that the resale value of your hybrid is now significantly reduced. Your engine might be in great condition and able to go for many more miles, however, the looming cost of a failed battery will either scare off any potential buyers or you will get massively low-balled on price. Neither scenario is a good one, and you stand to lose a considerable amount of money.

If you find yourself in this position, and are agonizing over what to do with your failing hybrid battery, you might want to consider an alternative option to battery replacement or selling your vehicle at a loss. Hybrid battery conditioning is a fantastic alternative and it can be performed at a fraction of the cost of replacement. There is not environmental cost associated with it and the value of your vehicle has been restored if you ever do decide to upgrade to a new vehicle. Before you take the plunge and invest thousands of dollars into a new battery, take a look at battery conditioning first. To learn more about battery conditioning, click here.