Will Heat Ruin A Hybrid Car Battery?
First, it is important to be aware that hybrid cars have
two kinds of batteries. The first is the 12 volt battery
which is the same as any other kind of car on the road.
It resides under the hood and is subject to the same difficulties
as any car battery in a hot climate.
The second battery is the large, high voltage battery
which hybrid cars use to store energy that is used for
propulsion. This is the battery that most people are worried
about, since it is much more expensive to replace.
A. While living in a hot climate may be harder on a hybrid
car battery than if the hybrid car were always in a moderate
climate, this does not mean hybrid car batteries cannot
withstand hot climates.
There are plenty of hybrid car owners in states like Arizona
and Texas, as well as hybrid car owners in harsher climates
like Australia and South Africa. Battery Warranty
Most hybrid cars have long warranties on the hybrid battery.
For example the Toyota Prius has a 8 year/ 100,000 mile
warranty. (And in some states like California this is
extended to 10 year, 150,000 miles.)
Hybrid Car Batteries Are Protected From The Elements
Although hybrid cars have their 12 volt battery under
the hood like a conventional car, the large high voltage
hybrid battery packs are “hidden” within the passenger
The more comfortable you keep the cabin the happier the
hybrid car battery will be.
The battery packs on hybrid cars have thermal management
systems built in to help regulate the temperature of the
hybrid car battery pack. Hybrid cars protect their batteries.
If the battery pack gets too hot the hybrid car battery
management system would prevent the driver from “overusing”
the battery. Full use of the battery is available once
the hybrid battery temperature returns to an acceptable
Interior And Exterior Vents
Hybrid cars often have some type of vent inside the passenger
compartment to take in cabin air to help cool the hybrid
car battery. Hybrid car owners need to keep these vents
free from obstructions like extra luggage or other personal
items. Generally, there is also an exterior vent for the
battery compartment as well, but I have never heard of
a driver accidentally blocking these. For example, the
Ford Escape Hybrid has the exterior vent behind the driver’s
side rear window.
Bottom Line Hybrid cars can be operated in hot climates.
Taking extra steps to reduce interior temperatures and
making sure nothing is blocking the battery pack's vents
is helpful in keeping hybrid batteries healthy.