Can hybrid cars be recycled?

16th September 2020
Lanna Deamer

The increasing popularity of electric and hybrid cars in recent years is undeniable. With less fuel consumption and a decrease in CO2 emissions among its many benefits, it is evident that this vehicle type is only set to grow further in popularity.

But with more motorists than ever before opting to drive environmentally friendly, emission free cars, the experts at Scrap Car Comparison offer their insight on these popular vehicles, how they work and whether hybrid car batteries can be recycled.

What is a hybrid car?

A hybrid car is powered by a traditional petrol or diesel combustion engine alongside an electric motor run by a battery.

Thanks to the soaring advances in hybrid technology in recent years, several mainstream car manufactures have hybrid models available, including Mercedes, BMW, Nissan, Toyota, Ford and Hyundai to name a few.  

Hybrid cars offers an attractive mixture of sustainable and environmentally friendly benefits of electric driving, coupled with the reliability and flexibility of a conventional vehicle.

Parallel hybrid cars

This is the most common type of hybrid vehicle. There are three ways that the car’s wheels can be powered: either by the electric motor alone, by the engine, or by both power sources operating together.

The electric motor is used generally for low speeds and for pulling away, with the petrol engine then kicking in as speed increases, making parallel hybrid cars highly economical.

Range extender hybrid cars

This type of hybrid vehicle uses its conventional engine to produce electricity to feed into a generator that recharges the car battery. The Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) found within this type of hybrid vehicle drives an electric generator, which charges the battery and supplies the car’s electric motor with electricity.

Unlike the two other hybrid types, the range extender is only ever driven by the electric motor, so it consistently feels the same from behind the wheel by the driver.

Plug-in hybrids

This type of hybrid vehicle can be plugged into an electric outlet to recharge its batteries. A plug-in hybrid can also be charged whilst on the move.

Plug-in hybrids have a conventional engine, with larger batteries than regular hybrids and can drive long distances using electric power alone.

What are the benefits of a hybrid car?

There are several advantages of choosing a hybrid car, these include:

  • Less fuel consumption
  • Emits less CO2 emissions
  • Many mainstream car manufacturers offer hybrid models
  • There are three types of hybrid vehicle to choose from
  • Additional benefits of lower first year road tax
  • Lower first year company car tax
  • The potential to avoid congestion charges

Can hybrid cars be recycled?

Modern electric and hybrid cars use different variations of lithium-ion batteries and nickel metal hydride batteries. These battery types can last several years, and in some cases, as long as a decade.

However, the car batteries located in hybrid cars can be recycled when the vehicle is scrapped. Hybrid batteries containing nickel can be completely dismantled and recycled, while 90% of hybrid batteries made from lithium-ion can be recovered.

Hybrid car batteries

As the demand for hybrid vehicles continues to grow across the UK and beyond, car scrappage companies are adopting environmentally friendly practices to manage the safe recycling of batteries.

Currently, the Battery Directive includes lithium-ion batteries, which stipulates that at least 50% of the entire battery must be recycled. After manual dismantling, battery packs and any accompanying plastics and wiring can also be recycled.

What does the future of hybrid car batteries look like?

Sodium-ion batteries for use in hybrid vehicles are likely to pave the way for a cheaper and more readily available solution in the future. Not only will the shift to sodium-ion from lithium mean performance will not be compromised, but this type of hybrid and electric car battery can be recycled more easily.

It is hoped that the automotive industry will begin to move towards a sodium-ion battery solution and steer away from lithium batteries as hybrid cars continue to grow in popularity across the world.

Whether you have a hybrid car, electric car, or traditional vehicle, at Scrap Car Comparison you are sure to receive the best quotes from trusted and reliable buyers for your scrap hybrid vehicle.

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