Early skeptics of gas-electric hybrid vehicles often imagined owners would simply abandon their vehicles after a few years because of the assumed high replacement cost for batteries. But that’s hardly been the reality. The typical hybrid battery, it turns out, enjoys a usable lifespan between seven and ten years and typically returns about 150,000 miles before the storage capacity and energy transfer properties of individual modules decay, causing the system to fall out of balance.
These same skeptics may have also underestimated the automotive aftermarket, which has risen to the challenge of offering affordable reman hybrid battery pack options to keep these vehicles on the road longer and for less money. NAPA, in fact, has offered its own replacement hybrid battery program since 2014.
Starting the reman process
Utilizing a core exchange process, customers’ expired hybrid batteries are swapped for thoroughly remanufactured units. The program covers the most popular hybrid models in the market and all remanufactured batteries are backed by a 12-month warranty from the date of installation. To ensure quality and consistency, all battery remanufacturing takes place at a single state-of-the-art facility dedicated exclusively to this unique process.
Cores arrive at this 53,000-square-foot factory in North Carolina, where they undergo a meticulous dismantling procedure. Old battery cells are removed and recycled, and the cases are inspected for corrosion and other damage.
New or remanufactured battery cells will eventually be installed in these refurbished assemblies, but first they must be tested and matched with compatible mates for optimum performance. Between roughly 200 and 300 individual cells, arranged in modules of six cells each, make up a complete battery pack depending on the vehicle.
It’s critical that each of these modules charging and discharging performance be closely aligned to each other to ensure reliable operation. A fully automated robotic racking system charges, stores, and catalogs their performance data to ensure maximum congruity between the various cells.
Optimized cells are chosen for each order and assembled into modules by trained specialists in the factory. These modules are installed in a fully reconditioned and resealed housing for final assembly and testing.
Each remanufactured battery is dyno-tested on an actual vehicle before it goes out the door. These same dynos are also used to check every incoming return to confirm and identify the nature of failures and log data for future use.
This thoroughly overhauled process results in the most advanced reman hybrid battery pack operation in the aftermarket.
Check out all the batteries available on NAPA Online or trust one of our 17,000 NAPA AutoCare locations for routine maintenance and repairs. For more information on reman hybrid battery pack options, chat with a knowledgeable expert at your local NAPA AUTO PARTS store.
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Source: NAPA Know How