What’s the difference between a hybrid battery and a standard battery? This is a question that has been floating around since hybrid vehicles first hit the market in 1999. We’re here to tell you the similarities, differences, and offer insight on how each one works.
What is a Hybrid Car Battery?
A hybrid car battery is like any other battery, aside from its ability to be recharged. Hybrid batteries have two electrodes that sit in an iron-rich solution, the electrolyte. To prevent a short circuit, each electrode is separated by a polymer film, which prevents them from touching.
Although the hybrid battery is typically referred to as a battery, it is actually a battery pack which houses many individual cells. For instance, your cell phone battery is one single cell battery; anything larger houses two cells which offers more “juice” to power the larger machine such as a laptop or your hybrid vehicle. These batteries, if well cared for, can last about 10 years or 144,000 miles.
What is a Standard Car Battery?
If you’re a seasoned vehicle owner, you’ve likely changed the battery in one or more of your vehicles. The battery in your combustion-engine vehicle has a single purpose, to start the vehicle by providing power to the engine, thus referred to as a Starting-Light-Ignition or SLI.
A standard vehicle battery is typically a 12V 40 Ah lead-acid battery which come in 6 or 12 cell series, depending on the vehicle. You can expect these types of batteries to last anywhere between 2 and 6 years; longer if you are in the Northern region which sees colder climate.
Differences Between The Batteries
A few differences exist between standard combustion batteries and hybrid batteries. Although the biggest difference is the lifespan of each battery (6 years in standard batteries and 10 years in hybrid batteries) there are a few others differences, such as:
- Battery Taxonomy. A hybrid battery is actually a pack of individual cells, separated by a polymer film to keep the battery from short circuiting. A standard battery is a single housing that contains the 6 or 12 cells.
- Environmental Effects. Part of the allure for consumers purchasing hybrids is due to their environmentally consciousness. The lead-acid battery in standard vehicles is defined as a hazardous material, and should be recycled properly as it adds toxic waste to the environment.
- Fuel Efficiency. The hybrid vehicle is vastly more efficient when it comes to fuel consumption, due in large part to its battery pack. Although all hybrids contain a lead-acid battery in addition to a NiMH (Nickel Metal Hydride) battery, they use less fuel due to the NiMh battery.
If you still have questions concerning hybrid batteries and their differences from regular, standard batteries, or their similarities, The Hybrid Geek can help answer them.