We’ve created a simple guide to help understand the different types of Hybrids you will find on the road today.
Mild Hybrid cars have a small electrical system made up of a motor and a battery pack, which is charged by the internal combustion engine during normal driving.
The motor provides a boost to the powertrain, but it is not capable of moving the vehicle significantly on its own.
Full Hybrids have more powerful electric motors. These are capable of moving the vehicle up to a certain speed or until the battery is discharged.
The battery that supplies energy to the motor is larger than that of a mild hybrid. It provides a significant electric-only range, making it ideal for urban driving. The battery is recharged by the engine when it operates, and in some systems can also be recharged by energy recovery systems such as regenerative braking.
Plug-in Hybrids are similar to full Hybrids, with a powerful electric motor or multiple motors, but also have a large battery that can be charged without using the engine.
The motors are capable of moving the vehicle on their own up to a certain speed or until the batteries are discharged. The batteries that supply energy to the motor provide a significant electric-only range, making a plug-in hybrid ideal for urban driving.
Re-charging the battery by plugging into domestic or commercial electricity supplies delivers additional range without consuming fuel, further improving fuel economy.
Range-extended electric cars have a large electrical system, where the motor or motors are the only means of moving the vehicle. Primary battery charging is provided by plugging into domestic or commercial electricity supplies.
Extended vehicle range is provided by the addition of a small internal combustion engine. The engine alone has no ability to drive the wheels. Instead, it powers a generator to maintain the charge level of the battery.