How Do Mild Hybrids Work?

Hybrid cars were first introduced in 1899.

However, in recent years, they have grown more popular, as everyone has become more concerned of the amount of gas they are using.

For a long time, hybrid meant a car that used two different power sources to run it.

photo of the inside of a hybrid electric car, showing steering wheel and dashboard

In this article, we will be discussing what a mild hybrid is and how they work.

The Different Hybrid Cars

The first hybrid car was introduced back in 1997 with the first Toyota Prius.

A normal hybrid car uses a combination of an electric battery and motor and a gas powered combustion engine to power the vehicle.

Hence, this car is seen as much more environmentally friendly as this car reduces the amount of emissions that it produces, and it has an improved fuel economy.

In more recent years, the hybrid car has evolved and there are now plug-in hybrid cars, which you can drive for much further distances on just electric power.

While you still have the backup gas engine in case of an emergency. The latest upgrade of the hybrid car is the mild hybrid.

A wide range of car makers like BMW, Volvo, Audi, Kia, and Ford are now offering mild hybrid cars as part of their collections.

If you’re seriously mulling over a hybrid car, my in-depth article is a must-read, providing you with the knowledge to make an informed decision about hybrid cars.

What Makes A Mild Hybrid Different From Other Hybrid Cars?

The mild hybrid car is a very simple car that is considered to be quite affordable as well.

Especially when compared to plug-in hybrid cars which are considered the most expensive variation of hybrid vehicles.

A mild hybrid aims to reduce C02 emissions and fuel consumption of diesel and petrol engine cars.

Commonly, mild hybrid vehicles are installed with a small electric generator.

This generator is installed in replacement of the alternator which is used to keep the battery charged and the traditional starter motor.

In addition to that, a mild hybrid car is fitted with a small lithium-ion battery. For the majority of mild hybrids, they run off a 48-volt electrical system.

This is a much higher voltage that is used in normal hybrids, which is usually only 12 volts.

However, with a larger electrical system, it means that elements of the car that used to be run using the gas powered engine, can now be powered with electricity.

Therefore, making the mild hybrid a more efficient car to own.

How Does A Mild Hybrid Work?

line of hybrid cars in car showroom

The system of a mild hybrid works slightly differently from brand to brand.

However, as the name suggests, the mild hybrid car only runs off a small percentage of electricity to power the engine.

This amount of power isn’t enough to run the car on electricity alone.

Generally, these cars will use the power that is created by the generator to help support the engine during hard acceleration and help to restart the vehicle once it has been switched off while stationary.

For a smoother and more seamless restart. In addition to this, a mild hybrid also generates energy while the brakes are in use.

This energy is stored in the battery. It is believed that a mild hybrid is around 15% more efficient than other hybrid vehicles.

There are various mild hybrid cars out there that you choose from. Some are much more efficient than others.

It is best to do your research, and spend on the type of mild hybrid car that you want.

Are Mild Hybrid Cars Environmentally Friendly?

Mild hybrid cars may sound great, but unfortunately, they aren’t seen as that environmentally friendly compared to plug-in or full hybrid cars.

In addition to that, the mild hybrid also does not benefit from the lowest company car tax rates.

A full hybrid or a plug-in hybrid are seen as a much more eco-friendly option as they should have lower emissions than a mild hybrid, and in some cases, a lot lower.

Therefore, a mild hybrid may be a more eco-friendly option than a traditional gas powered car, yet when compared to other hybrids, they are the worst on the list when it comes to emission outputs.

Should You Consider A Mild Hybrid?

With this all being said, you may still not be sure whether you should consider investing in a mild hybrid.

The benefit of mild hybrids is that they are less complex vehicles compared to full hybrids. As a result, these cars are cheaper to purchase.

Alongside that, they are easier to use and deal with. For example, with a plug-in hybrid, you need access to charging points.

However, these hybrids are very pricey.

Thus, if the plug-in hybrid is out of your price range, or you don’t have access to a charger or charging station, then a mild hybrid is seen as a more convenient and cleaner car to consider compared to traditional diesel or petrol powered cars.

Final Thoughts

Mild hybrids are the latest hybrid variation that people are driving at the moment. These cars work differently from a normal hybrid.

This is because the gas powered engine drives the car, while the electrical battery helps with acceleration and braking.

When it comes to braking, it may feel slightly different because mild hybrid cars use regenerative brakes, which means you gain power while you are applying the brakes.

Yet elements that used to run off the engine, are now powered using electricity, which helps make this car so efficient.

Mild hybrid cars don’t work too differently from normal hybrids.

They are also much more efficient to use than a traditional gas powered car, and cheaper than a plug-in hybrid.

If you fancy a more eco-friendly car, but can’t afford a plug-in hybrid, then you may want to consider a mild hybrid car.

Jonathan Rice

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