- Published 19/06/2023
Hybrid and Mild Hybrid Vehicles Explained
With the growing concern for environmental sustainability and fuel efficiency, hybrid and mild hybrid vehicles have become increasingly popular choices among car buyers. These innovative technologies combine the benefits of internal combustion engines with electric power to provide improved fuel economy and reduced emissions. In this blog post, we will explore how hybrid and mild hybrid systems work and the advantages they offer over traditional vehicles.
Hybrid vehicles utilise two power sources: an internal combustion engine (ICE) and an electric motor. There are different types of hybrid systems, but the most common one is the parallel hybrid system. Here's how it works:
Power Generation and Storage
The internal combustion engine generates power to propel the vehicle and recharge the battery. Additionally, energy is recovered through regenerative braking, which converts kinetic energy into electrical energy and stores it in the battery for later use.
The hybrid system intelligently manages power distribution between the engine and the electric motor. It automatically switches between the two depending on driving conditions, such as acceleration, cruising, or low-speed manoeuvring.
Advantages of Hybrid Vehicles
a. Improved Fuel Economy:The electric motor assists the engine during acceleration, reducing the workload and improving overall fuel efficiency. The energy captured during braking further enhances efficiency.
b. Reduced Emissions:Hybrid vehicles produce fewer exhaust emissions due to the use of the electric motor and energy recovery mechanisms.
c. Regenerative Braking:The ability to convert kinetic energy into electrical energy through regenerative braking reduces wear on traditional braking systems and extends brake life.
d. Smooth Driving Experience:The electric motor's instantaneous torque provides a smooth and responsive driving experience, especially during low-speed manoeuvres.
Mild Hybrid Vehicles
Mild hybrid vehicles, also known as power-assist hybrids or micro-hybrids, employ a smaller electric motor compared to full hybrids. While they cannot operate solely on electric power, they offer several advantages over conventional vehicles:
Engine Start/Stop Functionality
Mild hybrid systems incorporate start/stop technology, which automatically shuts down the engine when the vehicle is stationary, such as at traffic lights. The electric motor assists in restarting the engine seamlessly when needed. This feature reduces fuel consumption and emissions during idle times.
Energy Recovery and Assistance
Similar to hybrid vehicles, mild hybrids use regenerative braking to recover energy during deceleration. The stored energy is used to power electrical components and provides a power boost to the engine during acceleration, enhancing fuel efficiency.
Advantages of Mild Hybrid Vehicles
a. Fuel Efficiency:
The engine start/stop feature and energy recovery mechanisms result in improved fuel economy, especially in urban driving conditions.
Mild hybrid systems are generally less expensive to implement compared to full hybrid systems, making them a more affordable option for consumers.
c. Reduced Emissions:
The electric motor assists the engine, reducing fuel consumption and emissions and contributing to a greener driving experience.
Hybrid and mild hybrid vehicles offer significant advantages over traditional vehicles, providing improved fuel economy, reduced emissions, and a smoother driving experience. Hybrid systems intelligently combine the power of internal combustion engines with electric motors, while mild hybrids incorporate start/stop functionality and energy recovery mechanisms.
Whether you opt for a full hybrid or a mild hybrid, these technologies represent a step towards a more sustainable and efficient future in the automotive industry. By considering these options, you can make a positive impact on the environment while enjoying the benefits of advanced hybrid technology.