How to Properly Recycle Used Hybrid Car Batteries

October 31, 2013

At the end of their useful lives, hybrid car batteries need to be recycled just like any other type of battery. Recycling helps our environment by reducing manufacturer-caused carbon emissions and also helps to keep toxic substances like cadmium and lead from entering our soil and drinking water supply.

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Find a Recycling Center in Your Area
Look in your local yellow pages under "Recycling" or "Waste Management" and look for companies that offer recycling services in your area. Some companies may pick up your old hybrid battery for free or may charge a small fee. Alternatively, you could take the battery to the company so they can properly recycle it.

Search for Recycling Centers on the Internet
Visit websites like Earth911.com to search for recycling centers and battery drop-off points in your area. To find centers or locations near you, simply enter your local area zip code, and you will be shown a list of local area businesses that can accept your old hybrid car batteries. These companies will then make sure the batteries are sent to companies that recycle them or refurbishing companies that rebuild the batteries for resale and reuse.

Take the Battery to an Auto Parts Store
Most places that sell batteries accept them for recycling as well. So, take your old hybrid car battery to a local auto parts store. Some auto parts stores offer store credit for valuable hybrid car batteries. Contact a couple of auto parts stores in your area and find out who is offering the best store credit deals when taking in used hybrid car batteries.

Use the AAA Great Battery Round Up
Every year AAA puts on the AAA Great Battery Round Up to coincide with Earth Day. AAA sets up collection points for all types of batteries to be recycled--even hybrid car batteries. Earth Day is in April and the Great Battery Round Up usually lasts for a few days in order to give people time to bring in their old hybrid car batteries for recycling. You can contact your local AAA office for more details about scheduled dates and locations for the Great Battery Round Up.

Try Metal Recyclers and Earn a Few Bucks
Some metal recyclers or battery refurbishing companies will offer you cash for your old hybrid car batteries. Since hybrid car batteries are relatively new to the recycling process, they are already in demand as a recycled or refurbished product. Recyclers and refurbishing companies may offer as much as $200 for certain types of hybrid car batteries, but you will most likely be offered somewhere between $10 and $20 for most batteries. A few bucks for helping to protect the environment is not a bad deal.

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Hybrid Car Battery Lifespan

Since hybrids have only been out since the beginning of the century, there is no exact time frame for how long the batteries will last.

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Many cars from 2000 and 2001, like the Prius, still have their original batteries, running at great capacity. Most hybrid batteries consist of six different cells between 1 to 1.5 volts each. Although there is no exact life, one can assume that car companies estimate that they should last for at least 10 years.

Most warranties for new hybrids include the battery and they are covered for eight to ten years. It would not be unlikely for batteries to go for 15 or even 20 years. Some 2001 Prius models have over 200,000 miles on them and are still on their first battery. There isn't enough information on the batteries that have failed to make a good representation of when the batteries should die out. It is safe to say they will last at least 8 to 10 years, for if they fail, you are covered under the warranty.