Mild Hybrid Car

What is a mild hybrid car, and how does it differ from traditional hybrids?

A mild-hybrid integrates a small electric motor with a conventional petrol or diesel engine. In contrast to traditional hybrids or plug-in hybrids, the electric motor in a mild-hybrid is not designed to power the vehicle on its own; rather, it supplements the internal combustion engine (ICE).

The hybrid system in these cars supplements the petrol or diesel engine in the following scenarios:

  • Acceleration: The electric motor assists the engine to provide more torque, making the car more responsive and allowing it to pull away more smoothly. It also reduces the strain to the engine, making it more durable and long-lasting.
  • Fuel-Efficiency:
    • During acceleration, the hybrid system allows the engine to run more efficiently as it is less under strain, saving on fuel.
    • When the vehicle is temporarily stationary, such as at a red light, the fuel-engine can be switched off while the electric motor maintains essential functions like air conditioning or the infotainment system without draining the engines battery.
    • When braking, the battery of the electric motor regenerates, storing the energy to power the electric motor and other electrical systems. Hence, no fuel needs to be burnt to bring electricity to these systems.

While mild-hybrids are more fuel-efficient than traditional combustion engines and are often less expensive than its full-hybrid or EV counterparts. Furthermore, mild-hybrid systems do not feel much different than a normal car to drive, making it a seamless transition to sustainable driving for drivers accustomed to conventional vehicles.