How to Charge a Hybrid Battery

Whether you just bought a hybrid car or are using someone else’s for the first time, you may wonder how to charge its battery. Whether it’s a traditional or plug-in hybrid car or fully electric, you typically have some or all of the following charging options:

You can charge a hybrid battery by plugging the portable charging cable into an ordinary 120-volt home outlet, using a faster 240-volt charging station at home, or using a public charging station.

Besides revealing how to charge a hybrid battery, I’ve also explained how the batteries used in them work and more relevant information about hybrid cars below.

Charging a Hybrid Battery

Charging a hybrid car battery is easier than you might think.

You can charge a hybrid car battery by adopting either of the following three methods:

Portable Charging

Your vehicle came with a portable charging cord for convenience.

It can be plugged into any ordinary household 120-volt outlet, but it is the slowest of the three methods.

Home Fast Charging

Many drivers opt for a home installation of a 240-volt fast charging station for greater charging efficiency.

It speeds up your charging time significantly. Although you’ll have to pay extra to have one installed, the convenience of an at-home fast charging station is well worth the cost for most drivers who need to charge frequently.

Public Charging

Public charging stations are available if you’re out and about, where you can quickly charge on the go.

While they aren’t as common as gas stations, public charging stations are becoming more common as the EV market booms.

Getting to Know Your Hybrid Car’s Battery

A hybrid vehicle allows you to drive entirely by power from an electric storage battery or using its internal combustion engine as in a conventional car.

A low-voltage auxiliary battery provides sufficient current to start the car when cranking the engine, which is a typical 12-volt lead-acid battery before the additional main traction battery is engaged for powering the vehicle’s accessories.

But unlike in a combustion-only powered car, the battery in a hybrid car is powerful enough to move even a large vehicle.

You can switch seamlessly between the two power sources. Doing so is the key to a hybrid vehicle’s outstanding energy efficiency.

Since hybrid vehicles are only gas-powered part of the time while driving, it makes them about 20 to 40 percent more fuel-efficient than a conventional (combustion-engine only) vehicle.

It also reduces the vehicle’s emissions, making a hybrid car more environmentally friendly.

How Hybrid Batteries Work

Hybrid batteries have two electrodes in an electrolyte solution.

A polymer film separates the electrodes to prevent short-circuiting. Turning the hybrid vehicle on bridges them. Multiple cells inside work together to create the required charge to operate the car.


The electric battery in a hybrid car recharges through the “regenerative braking” process.

It’s called that because the energy is generated when pressing the brake pedal, i.e., pressing it recharges the battery. The alternator can recharge the battery when connected directly to a standard electrical outlet, which typically requires 3 to 12 hours.

components of a hybrid car with battery
Components of a hybrid car with Battery [Pinterest]

Lifespan, Mileage, and Cost

The main drawbacks of a hybrid battery are their limited life span, mileage too low for traveling long distances, bulky size, and high cost.

Hybrid batteries usually come with an eight-year or 100,000-mile warranty, but they can fail sooner. So, hybrid vehicle owners will have to invest in new hybrid batteries every 8 years, a maintenance expense.

Also, they have a limited range of around 70 to 250 miles, but a hybrid battery can combine with a gas motor, so you don’t have to rely entirely on it.

However, hybrid battery technology is always improving. Newer batteries are more resilient than their older counterparts. Drivers also have more options now with more battery makers than before. Some third-party hybrid batteries may be cheaper than the dealer’s version.

More About Hybrid Cars

Hybrid vehicles bridge the gap between gasoline and fully electric vehicles (EVs).

They are becoming more advanced, offering sleek electronic gauges and better fuel economy. They also accelerate more efficiently and produce maximum power from a stationary position. But, many drivers are unaware of how they work because they’re still not as widely available and affordable as conventional combustion-engine vehicles.

When combined with a combustion engine, electric engines become even more functional. A gas-driven motor supplements the power from the electrical battery. The backup power makes using a smaller electric motor possible and provides greater efficiency and reliability.

However, the dual motors make the hybrid design expensive. Each motor can be made smaller, but together they add weight to the vehicle while also taking up a significant amount of space.

Types of Hybrid Cars

Let’s compare a standard hybrid, a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV), and a fully electric vehicle (EV).

Standard Hybrids

Standard hybrids use an electric motor and internal combustion engine.

They include options like the Accord Hybrid or the CR-V Hybrid. The battery charges itself as you drive, so there’s no need to change your everyday driving routine!

Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV)

PHEV models use an electric motor and an internal combustion engine like a standard hybrid but can also run solely on electric power.

This means they cannot self-charge, and you’ll need to plug it into an external power source at a public charging station, a 120-volt household outlet, or a fast-charging home station.

Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid battery
Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid battery

Electric Vehicles

EVs are technically not hybrids, as they’re entirely electric, but they share features in common with the other two types.

They have no gas engine, only an electric motor and battery. Like a PHEV, a fully-electric car must be charged by plugging into an external outlet for power.


Carriere, W. M. The future potential of electric and hybrid vehicles. Congress of the United States, Office of Technology Assessment. 1982

Charging electric car.

Components of a hybrid car with battery.

Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid battery.

Video Reference

Daily Automotive

How helpful was this article?

Were Sorry This Was Not Helpful!

Let us improve this post!

Please Tell Us How We Can Improve This Article.

About Alex Robertson

c3c9d43f1f0d14c4b73cb686f2c81c4e?s=90&d=mm&r=gCertifications: B.M.E.
Education: University Of Denver - Mechanical Engineering
Lives In: Denver Colorado

Hi, I’m Alex! I’m a co-founder, content strategist, and writer and a close friend of our co-owner, Sam Orlovsky. I received my Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering (B.M.E.) degree from Denver, where we studied together. My passion for technical and creative writing has led me to help Sam with this project.

| Reach Me