The great technological advancement in hybrid cars is their regenerative braking, and the battery recharging that is possible as a result. Braking in a hybrid vehicle allows for some of the energy to be recaptured, and charged back into the electric batteries for cars like the Honda Insight and Civic hybrids. Because of this technology, hybrids are great for the environment. Even though the production of their batteries puts out more contaminants and greenhouse gases than traditional vehicles, the reduction in emissions over the life of the vehicle more than makes up for it.
Because hybrids use far less fuel than traditional vehicles, they are very attractive to anyone looking to be more environmentally responsible. Consider that the Honda Civic hybrid averages about 44 mpg, and the very first Insight in 2000 averaged a combined 53 MPG for city and highway driving! In 2013, the average MPG for traditional vehicles was only 24.6 MPG, nearly half that of a hybrid. However, hybrid vehicles are not always as green as they appear to be.
What happens when the hybrid battery has reached the end of its life? If hybrid owners throw away their hybrid car batteries, then all of that environmental responsibility goes right in the trash with the battery. Most hybrid batteries contain both lead and nickel. Lead, as we all know, is very toxic, and can do a lot of damage to people and the environment if it gets into water systems. Nickel can cause cancer, and is also not good to introduce into landfills.
The unfortunate truth is that many hybrid battery packs will not last as long as the hybrid cars that they power, meaning that they may need to be replaced before the hybrid has lived its full life. What happens to that battery after it is no longer usable should be of a great concern to hybrid owners, due to the environmental and health implications of improperly discarded electric car batteries. Fortunately, these batteries can be recycled in one of several ways:
- Standard recycling centers.
- Third parties that refurbish electric batteries for cars.
- AAA battery collection events.
- Auto parts stores.
The only problem with choosing a recycling event, center, or auto parts store, is that you can’t be sure what will happen to the hybrid battery. It might simply be stripped of its parts and discarded. The best option may be to hand the battery over to a company that is going to make the battery usable again, thereby saving most of the materials and making less of an impact on the environment. The batteries in hybrid cars are incredible advancements in technology, but as Voltaire once declared, “With great power, comes great responsibility.” Please remember to recycle the electric batteries for cars. Helpful sites.