Hybrid cars are getting better and more popular every year. In 2012, there were more than two million hybrid cars sold in the United States. These vehicles are more efficient and cheaper to drive than standard cars and trucks. They use between 20 and 35% less fuel. Auto insurance companies also offer more discounts to drivers of hybrid cars because they are less likely to be in an accident. In 2000, the Environmental Protection Agency rated the Honda Insight hybrid the most fuel efficient car in the country. At the time, it was able to get about 61 miles per gallon on the highway and 53 miles per gallon in the city. And the fuel economy just keeps getting better.
One main drawback to these vehicles is the costs associated with replacing a hybrid battery. The costs of a hybrid car battery replacement are higher than with standard cars and the chances are that your battery will not last as long as your car, even for high quality ones such as the Honda Insight hybrid. Batteries in hybrid cars can cost up to $4,000.
Tips for Extending the Life of Your Hybrid Batteries:
- Avoid fully charging and discharging hybrid car batteries. This adds a lot of wear and tear to the battery and just cuts down on how long it will last. Charging your car to the absolute maximum is one of the worst things you can do to it. Instead, keep your car below a 80% charge level. Keeping your battery less than fully charged will also allow you to boost your fuel economy more by letting Honda Insight hybrid replenish the batteries when you brake. Regenerative breaking, which is a feature that goes off when your car is fully charged to avoid over charging, takes advantage of the energy saved when you brake. This gets pumped back into the battery. Running your car at a maximum of 80% full is one of the best and easiest ways to keep it healthy and happy.
- Use your mountain mode setting to save the battery. Do you know you have a steep hill ahead of you? Using the mountain mode will save your battery by switching your car to a mode where it uses more gas. Make this switch at least 20 minutes before you hit the high road to give your car enough time to transition and make sure you have enough power in the car to get you where you need to go.
- Use timers on your car. Most people start to charge their car when they get home at night. It makes sense, you charge the car batteries while you charge your own. Unless you get up in the middle of the night to stop the charge, it will go until the car battery is completely full. You are better off putting a timer on your Honda Insight hybrid to prevent it from being charged all the way. Many people delay the charging so that the batteries are at the charge level they need about an hour before they need to use the car.
- Work with the weather, not against it. On hot days, park in the shade. On cold days, try to park inside. Makes sense, right? The thing is that it takes power to keep your Honda Insight hybrid at the temperatures where it wants to be. You will save your battery some wear and tear by taking simple steps to help it during cold and hot weather.
- If you know you are not going to use your car for a long time, use the storage mode. If you do not have this, store your car someplace that is cool. Charge the battery until it is at about 60% and check back on the car periodically, If it gets to below 20%, charge it back to 69%.
- Do not use your quick charge feature unless you have to. Sure it is handy to charge it up quickly but few things hurt your battery more than doing this. Use this only when you really need to.
People worry about their hybrid batteries but these simple steps will extend the lifespan of your battery.