Activation of hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) is an integral component of the wound-healing process in liver injury/inflammation. However, uncontrolled activation of HSCs leads to constant secretion of collagen-rich extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins, resulting in liver fibrosis. The enhanced ECM synthesis/secretion demands an uninterrupted supply of intracellular energy; however, there is a paucity of data on the bioenergetics, particularly the mitochondrial (mito) metabolism of fibrogenic HSCs. Here, using human and rat HSCs in vitro, we show that the mito-respiration, mito-membrane potential (??m) and cellular 'bioenergetic signature' distinguish fibrogenic HSCs from normal, less-active HSCs. Ex vivo, HSCs from mouse and rat models of liver fibrosis further confirmed the altered 'bioenergetic signature' of fibrogenic HSCs. Importantly, the distinctive elevation in mito-??m sensitized fibrogenic HSCs for selective inhibition by mitotropic doxorubicin while normal, less-active HSCs and healthy human primary hepatocytes remained minimally affected if not, unaffected. Thus, the increased mito-??m may provide an opportunity to selectively target fibrogenic HSCs in liver fibrosis.