Impressive Battery Durability - 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid Long-Term Road Test

2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid Long Term Road Test

2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid: Impressive Battery Durability

November 11, 2011


One of the most common questions I hear about hybrids concerns the batteries. Not the 12-volt one that starts the engine, but the large (and expensive) battery pack that does the heavy lifting for the hybrid system from behind the rear seat.

Our 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid has had no such problems, but that shouldn't be a surprise. Ford and other hybrid makers couldn't make any money or headway in the segment if they were constantly dealing with the bad PR and high warranty costs of replacing failed batteries.

But how reliable are they? What is the failure rate?

Ford has been producing hybrids with Nickel Metal-Hydrid (Ni-MH) battery packs since 2004, when the Ford Escape hybrid hit the streets. Each battery pack contains something like 220 or so individual cells made for Ford by Sanyo.

Between the Fusion hybrid and the Escape hybrid, about 190,000 Ford hybrids are in circulation, comprised of 43 million cells.

Five have failed.

Not five battery packs out of 190,000, five cells out of 43 million. And those failures were put down to a cell manufacturing issue since corrected, not an in-use drop in performance.

Those are damn good odds.

As for the electric motors, Ford reports that there have been zero failures among the 190,000 Ford hybrids in operation.

It would seem the only thing a hybrid owner need worry about is the usual stuff: changing the oil, looking after the tires, not leaving a light on so the regular 12-volt battery goes dead.

In fact we had a 12-volt battery failure in our Fusion hybrid about a year ago, but after that was corrected in the usual way the main hybrid battery pack turned out to be just fine, and continues to be to this day. 

Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing

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