June 16, 2024
Car Repair

Rare PHEV Battery Replacements Outside of Recalls: Don’t Worry as Much

One of the primary inquiries potential purchasers have about hybrids, plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) and EVs is, “What is the lifespan of the battery?” Skeptics often point to the high cost of battery replacements as a reason to avoid electrified vehicles, but a recent analysis by Recurrent and government data indicate that this might not be a major concern. A recent report from Energy.gov highlighted that plug-in hybrid batteries have shown remarkable durability post-2015, with minimal replacements not linked to recalls.

The statistics reveal that only around 1.5% of PHEVs have required battery replacements due to failure between 2011 and 2023, with the figure dropping to just 1% from 2016 to 2023. Advancements like thermal management systems and improved internal chemistries have extended the lifespan of batteries, reducing the need for replacements.

It’s worth noting that the rate of PHEV battery replacements was higher prior to the 2015 models. For instance, vehicles from 2014 had a replacement rate of 3.9%, while those from 2013 were at 4.4%. In 2011, this figure was 7.5%, underscoring the benefits of opting for newer models when shopping in the used market.

It is essential to acknowledge that this analysis covers a 12-year period, and average replacement rates may vary as more data is gathered. Additionally, recall-related replacements are not factored into these figures, which can be inconvenient even if you are not charged for them.

The positive takeaway from this data is that with a thorough pre-purchase inspection, buying a used PHEV is likely a sound decision. In recent years, automakers have also extended warranty coverage, providing ten years or 100,000 miles of protection against battery failures for vehicles from 2020 onwards. However, based on this data, recent used car buyers and new purchasers are unlikely to require this warranty.


Q: Are battery replacements for PHEVs expensive?

A: While battery replacements can be costly, the data suggests that the need for replacements due to failure is relatively low.

Q: Should I prioritize newer models when buying a used PHEV?

A: Yes, newer models have shown lower rates of battery replacements, indicating improved durability.

Conclusion: The longevity of PHEV batteries has improved significantly in recent years, with low replacement rates for failures. By considering newer models and ensuring a thorough inspection, buyers can feel confident in purchasing a used PHEV.

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