How to Charge a Hybrid Car Battery

2022 Kia Niro Plug-in Hybrid

Hybrid cars are more affordable and available than ever in the Federal Way area, and it’s not hard to see why! They enjoy exceptional fuel efficiency and are often equipped with the latest and greatest technology inside and outside the cabin. If you’ve just bought a hybrid like the excellent Kia Sorento or Niro PHEV, or if you’re considering buying one, you might be wondering about the process of charging a hybrid car battery. After all, they’re half-powered by electricity and need to be recharged frequently in order to run. The service team at Sunset Kia of Auburn has everything you need to know about how to charge a hybrid car battery in the guide below–check it out!

Charging a Hybrid Car Battery: Hybrid vs. Plug-in Hybrid vs. Electric

The answer to the question of how to charge a hybrid car battery depends on which kind of vehicle you’re talking about. Hybrid and electric cars generally fall into three categories: standard hybrid, plug-in hybrid (PHEV), and fully electric. The charging process is a bit different for each of these, so we’ve outlined all the details below. Here are the three types of hybrids:

  • Standard hybrid: A standard hybrid is powered simultaneously by an internal combustion engine and a small electric motor. The electric motor is, in turn, powered by a battery, but it’s small enough that it actually charges itself as you drive around Sumner! If you own a standard hybrid, you don’t have to do anything to charge the battery–it takes care of everything itself.
  • Plug-in hybrid: A plug-in hybrid, or PHEV, has a larger electric battery than a standard hybrid, too large to recharge itself on the go. If you own a PHEV, you’ll need to plug it into an external power source to charge the battery. Luckily, if your battery runs out while on the road, you still have the gasoline engine as a backup.
  • Fully-electric vehicle: EVs have no gasoline engine, only an electric motor. They also need to be plugged into Level 1, 2, or 3 chargers to recharge the battery. EVs have larger electric motors than plug-in hybrids since they lack a backup engine, so they take a bit longer to recharge.

How to Charge a Hybrid Car Battery: Three Methods

If you drive a plug-in hybrid, you have three general methods for recharging your battery:

  • Portable charging: Every one of our PHEVs comes standard equipped with a portable Level 1 charger. Level 1 chargers can be plugged into any three-pronged 120-volt outlet that you find throughout your home, but they also take the longest to charge.
  • Home fast charging: Many PHEV or EV drivers have a Level 2 240-volt charging station installed in their garage for home charging. These chargers can often get your battery up to full charge in a matter of hours or overnight at the most.
  • Public charging: More and more public fast-charging stations are appearing around Puyallup and beyond, giving you the option of topping off your battery on the go. Many of these stations are equipped with Level 3 DC fast chargers, which can get your battery up to 80% in as little as half an hour!

Find the Hybrid or PHEV for You at Sunset Kia of Auburn!

Interested in more tips about keeping your car running in top condition on the road? Check out our service FAQs! You can also contact our service center with any questions about charging a hybrid car battery or for more information about the services we offer.

If you’re ready to upgrade to a hybrid, browse our online inventory today. We offer exclusive perks such as Warranty Protection for Life, Oil Changes for Life and Sunset Auto Used Car Reconditioning!


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