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When to Replace Your Hybrid Battery

By Bill Moore

The first hybrid sold in America - the Honda Insight - is now 15 years old. It and millions of other hybrids now are well past their warranty periods, which means they will be needing replacement batteries, creating a nice business for companies like GreenTec Autos.

Toyota reports that it has some 7 million of its hybrid-electric cars on the streets, roads, motorways, autobahns, and interstates of the world. By my calculation, that means there are at least some 196 million Panasonic-made NiMH modules out there helping people save gas and cut emissions in Toyota cars alone.

That also means there are a lot of battery modules - not just from Panasonic, but Sanyo and others - that will need to someday work their way through the 3 Rs: reuse, repurpose or recycle. One of the companies positioning itself to be a player in this growing industry is GreenTec Auto. A family-run business where pretty much all of the senior managers have the same Russian last name, Razumovsky, it has aggressively expanded from its original base of operation in Sacramento, California to now include a total of eleven locations across America, from the West Coast to the Northeast. There's even an service center in Kansas City. Anywhere there's a concentration of hybrid cars is a candidate for a GreenTec Auto mobile operation, which is what sets them apart from companies like Dorman Products, who focuses on supplying the aftermarket service sector with refurbished hybrid batteries.

Like Safelite AutoGlass, GreenTec Autos will come your location to replace a failing battery pack on virtually any production hybrid, from the original Prius and Lexus, to the Honda Insight and Civic, the Ford Escape, and the Nissan Altima Hybrid. If the battery is out of warranty -- the shortest period of time being 8 years or 80,000 miles (California requires carmakers to warranty hybrids sold in these state to be 10 years or 150,000 miles, whichever comes first) -- then the car is a candidate for a new or refurbished pack.

In EV World's interview with Daniel Razumovsky from their facility in Dallas, Texas, we learn about their 3R business that begins with retrieving and refurbishing replacement battery packs from customer cars and salvage yards. Razumovsky explains what to look for in a failing pack. The interview is in two segments, so be sure to watch both, especially if you own a Gen. III Prius.

If you own any hybrid - as my wife and I do - at some point, the battery will need replacement, but fortunately the cost isn't as daunting as was first thought back in the early days of EV World. For the price of a Macbook laptop, you can have a refurbished battery with an 18 month warranty.

For Gen III Prius drivers, you're likely not yet in the market for a replacement pack, but you might want to consider safeguarding that battery under the backseat, especially since it's becoming a target for thieves out to make a quick $1000US for a few minutes work and a posting on eBay.

Video Part 1

Video Part 2

Times Article Viewed: 13060
Originally published: 19 Aug 2015

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