The Best Battery for Your Hybrid or EV

Advantages of Lithium-Ion Batteries

These are the electric drive components of the Honda FCX Clarity. The lithium-ion battery is pictured on the left.
These are the electric drive components of the Honda FCX Clarity. The lithium-ion battery, pictured on the left, looks and works much different than a common lead acid battery.

If you’ve ever read anything about hybrids or fully electric vehicles, you’ve probably come across the term “lithium-ion battery.” If you’ve been reading the Benson Honda blog, you would know that this is the battery that serves as a power source in the majority of Honda hybrid and electric-only models. Out of the available car batteries, it’s the lithium-ion which tops the list benefit-wise, so let’s take a look at the advantages of lithium-ion batteries.

Lithium-ion batteries are ideal for cars because they are able to store a large amount of energy in a small space. If you’ve seen hybrid models that utilize a nickel metal hydride battery, you’ll notice that they often take up some room in the cargo area. That’s not the case with lithium-ion. They typically fit comfortably under the back seat and don’t sacrifice storage space that is already limited in a compact vehicle.

The downside to lithium-ion batteries is that they are more expensive; generally because you get what you pay for. Nickel metal hydride batteries are capable of about the same amount of energy, but they’re much heavier, so they can cut into the fuel-economy as the car must do more work to move. The weight difference is what makes lithium-ion batteries cost competitive. Another upside to the cost increase is that once a lithium-ion battery is installed, it doesn’t have to be touched for quite a while. They are maintenance free. On the contrary, nickel metal hydride batteries require a full discharge regularly to avoid problems with memory which can severely shorten the battery’s life.

There is a downside to owning a car packed with a lithium-ion battery, especially in San Antonio. They do not work well in extreme temperatures, so to get the maximum life out of the battery, it must be heated and cooled accordingly. However, most manufacturers have realized this and have added the required systems to keep the battery temperature consistent.

2014-honda-fcx-clarity
The FCX Clarity is a fully electric car from Honda which utilizes a lithium-ion battery.

Currently the lithium-ion and nickel metal hydride are the only batteries available other than the typical lead acid batteries that are found in the vast majority of cars on the market. New batteries are being designed, but those take a while to test and implement so in the near future, the three that are currently available, will probably be the only ones powering cars. To see the hybrid and electric-powered Honda models that we have available, check out our new car inventory. If you want to stick to the old school lead acid battery there are plenty of cars which house them in our new inventory as well as our used car inventory. If you have any questions, feel free to get a hold of us at Benson Honda, the best Honda dealership in San Antonio, TX!

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