Jack Dreyer | Monday 28th March 2022 10:00am
It goes without saying that the cars we drive are becoming increasingly ‘green’. Since the Toyota Prius hit the showrooms in 2000, there has been a noticeable shift towards more eco-friendly vehicles.
From entirely electric to hybrid cars, nowadays there is an impressive range of environmentally-friendly alternatives to petrol and diesel cars on the market. But, as with any new technology, there is a lot to grasp and you may find yourself asking, ‘Are hybrid cars really worth it?’.
Just how efficient are hybrid cars? How far can they travel? And what is their lifespan? Read on to find out.
How long can hybrid cars travel without charging?
If you thought there was one straightforward answer to this question, you can think again. Since there are many different models of hybrid vehicles, the lifespan and battery capabilities vary for each.
Full or ‘parallel’ hybrids
Some vehicles, like the Prius, are entirely self-charging. In these models, a combustion engine is twinned with an electric motor to provide power and drive the vehicle.
These cars don’t need to be plugged into mains; rather, the battery charges while they drive. When the battery is running low, the petrol/diesel engine powers it up again. So, in this instance, the car has no need to stop and charge itself up!
Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, or PHEVs, on the other hand, do need to be plugged into the mains to be charged up. As a result of their reliance on an external power source to charge, PHEVs have to be charged up overnight before long journeys, or stop and charge en route. You can find out more about how hybrid vehicles charge here.
On average, the battery of a plug-in hybrid can last for about 300 miles when fully charged. However, some high-end models like Teslas can cover up to 350 miles without charge! To summarise, hybrids are capable of driving for 10-50 miles using purely electricity, after which they must rely on petrol slightly.
How long do hybrid car batteries last themselves?
While hybrid car batteries can potentially save you thousands on fuel expenses, nothing lasts forever. Eventually, you will have to pay out for a repair or a replacement battery.
Typically, leading hybrid car manufacturers like Honda and Toyota state that hybrid batteries last between 80,000 to 100,000 miles. But with regular maintenance and servicing, some hybrid car owners claim their batteries have lasted up to 200,000 miles!
However, as with any vehicle, the battery lifespan largely depends on how you drive with it. Frequent town-driving with repeated starts and stops causes more cycles in a shorter period of time, causing the battery to wear out quicker. Just like tyres, wear and tear occurs. The fewer cycles per commute, the longer your battery will last.
Age and mileage also impact hybrid battery health, like a normal car battery. In some cases, you might need a battery replacement in as little as 5 years. Though, without long road trips and excessive mileage, your battery could last up to 11 years.
What is the lifespan of a hybrid car?
As for hybrid vehicles themselves, it may be too early to tell what the maximum lifespan is. Since the vogue for hybridity is still very much a new phenomenon, not many hybrid vehicles have been involved in accidents or have reached ‘retirement’ age.
That being said, compared to regular vehicles with internal combustion engines, it is predicted that hybrids will last longer. Since hybrids have both regenerative batteries and a fuel engine, both are used proportionally less — meaning both are likely to last longer.
Roughly speaking, though, hybrid car drivers can expect to drive their car from anything between 5 and 15 years if suitable maintenance is carried out on them.
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