Should we be Worried About Hybrid-Car Batteries?


We frequently hear it from hybrid-skeptics: "Ah, yes, nice car, fuel savings, etc, but wait until you have to pay to replace the batteries in a few years! Aren't these batteries polluting more than burning extra gas?" We always suspected that was BS and now and then an article seems to confirm it, but today it's HybridBlog's turn to tackle the subject with this post. They gathered from a few articles and by talking with carmakers that all the current big hybrid makers (Toyota, Honda, Ford) believe that their battery packs will last for the life of the vehicle."Toyota's own tests have run batteries for the equivalent of 150,000 miles with no discernible degradation, and the company expects them to last the useful life of the car." From this article. It's from a LATimes article that seems to have moved, and I can't find it in their archives.

"Honda Says Battery Pack in Hybrid Is Designed for Life of the Car." From here.

And the same from Ford, Toyota and Honda when HybridBlog checked directly with them, with the caveat that "they are sure someone will find a way to push a vehicle far enough that the battery may not last, but the same holds true for the engines, transmissions, and other components in any car or truck."

So yeah, nothing lasts forever, but "life of the car" is good enough for me.

Also, hybrid batteries are recycled:

Is there a recycling plan in place for nickel-metal hydride batteries?

Toyota has a comprehensive battery recycling program in place and has been recycling nickel-metal hydride batteries since the RAV4 Electric Vehicle was introduced in 1998. Every part of the battery, from the precious metals to the plastic, plates, steel case and the wiring, is recycled. To ensure that batteries come back to Toyota, each battery has a phone number on it to call for recycling information and dealers are paid a $200 "bounty" for each battery.
::Hybrid Batteries: Long Lasting Freshness