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12 Volt Batteries For Electric/Hybrid Vehicles -Which Battery Type And Why?

Updated: Aug 23, 2023

The12 volt battery required for hybrid vehicles vary greatly from the the batteries found in standard or early production motor vehicles because of the extensive power demands placed on a modern vehicle with multiple ECU's and/or electric hybrid systems.


A photo of a Toyota hybrid vehicle engine bay
Modern Electric Hybrid Vehicle

There are a number of 12 volt or starter battery types found in motor vehicles


The first to mention and oldest type is a standard lead acid flooded battery these are for use in older produced motor vehicles where there is not so much power required by the vehicles 12 volt system. As vehicle technology has advanced so has the need to create more suitable power sources.

The second type to mention is EFB or enhanced flooded batteries these are used in vehicles which have start stop systems. This is not to say that the wrong battery type is totally incapable of starting more advanced technology vehicles this is why so many vehicle on the road have the wrong type as the difference in price can be a considerable amount. This is in effect false economy as the wrong battery type will not last as long and can play havoc in some cases with critical systems like the braking system when they begin to fail, causing, as a minimum, warning lights and / or OBD (on board diagnostic) fault codes.


Genuine Toyota 12 Volt Battery
Genuine Toyota 12 Volt Battery

The 3rd type is AGM or absorbent glass mat batteries (as pictured above) these batteries are perfect for modern hybrid vehicles which in some cases have in excess of 50 ECU's all requiring power to operate correctly. Hybrid vehicles also utilise power through regenerative braking system, as well as stop start systems. With full hybrid vehicle systems where you find no alternator to charge the 12 volt battery the power will be constantly drawn from the hybrid battery system through the inverter converter assembly. In some vehicles there is temperature sensors attached to the 12 volt battery where the sensors probe sits inside the battery it's self. This sensor sends signals to to the inverter converter assembly to prevent overcharging and in turn overheating. While working on certain vehicles types we constantly come across situations where the sensor is taped to the outside of the wrong battery type in an effort to save on expense. But this of course does nothing to ensure correct running of your charging system and places strain on other components throughout the vehicle.


If you are thinking of purchasing a Toyota Estima hybrid 2006 onward or a Lexus GS450H as examples, please, always check the vehicle has the correct battery with the correct sensor attached in the correct manor.


The 4th and final starter battery to mention is the lithium starter battery. These can be found in hybrid vehicles which use this battery type to operate the starter mechanism when switching from the battery system to the internal combustion engine.


Also worth a mention is the fact that having the wrong 12 volt battery fitted in your vehicle could mean major manufacturers could refuse to carry out servicing / hybrid battery health checks, which indicates the importance placed on having the correct battery..


Eutierria Ltd T/A Hybrid Repair Service can supply the correct 12 volt battery matched to your vehicle by registration or V.I.N (vehicle identification number) and have it delivered to your address throughout the UK mainland.

For more information or to place order

Contact Hybrid Repair Service on 07307893333

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