Different Types of Hybrid Vehicles and How They Operate


The rise of hybrid vehicles has been one of the most notable advancements in the automotive industry in recent years. Automakers nowadays are under pressure to develop more fuel-efficient vehicles that are more environmentally friendly, and hybrid vehicles offer the best solution. 

Hybrid vehicles use two different sources of power; an internal combustion engine and an electric motor. The electric motor makes the vehicle run more efficiently, and the engine provides extra power and mileage. 

Typically, hybrid vehicles blend the efficiency of electric vehicles and the range and power of gas-powered ones. However, did you know that there are four types of hybrid vehicles? 

In this article, we dive into the four types of hybrid vehicles, their features, and how they operate.

Mild hybrids

A mild hybrid is a vehicle that has an internal combustion engine, a battery pack, and an electric motor. The electric motor cannot power the vehicle alone—it only assists the engine. The battery pack is used to start the vehicle and provides extra power during acceleration. It also powers the vehicle’s accessories such as the air conditioning and radio. The electric motor recaptures energy through regenerative braking and deceleration and stores it in a battery pack.

Full hybrids

A full hybrid vehicle, like the Mild hybrid, has a gasoline engine, a battery pack, and an electric motor. However, unlike the Mild hybrid type, its electric motor has enough power to move the vehicle on its own albeit at lower speeds. 

The battery pack is used to start the vehicle and power the motor, which also provides extra power during acceleration. It also powers accessories such as air conditioning and the radio when the vehicle has stopped. The electric motor recaptures energy through regenerative braking and deceleration and stores it in the battery.

Plug-in hybrids (PHEVs)

A plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) quite differs from Mild hybrid and Full hybrid types. Unlike the two, it has a battery that can either be charged via an external power source, by the engine, or through regenerative braking

PHEVs have a larger battery pack and an electric motor that is more powerful and can move the vehicle on its own. They can run on electric power alone for longer distances than Mild hybrids and Full hybrids.

Electric Vehicles with Range Extender Hybrids (EVREs)

Electric vehicles with range extenders, or EVREs, are a type of hybrid vehicle with a range extender, usually a small gasoline engine. They lean more towards electric than gasoline-powered vehicles. The gasoline engine generates electricity, which powers an electric motor that drives the wheels—it does not power the wheels directly. 

EVREs have a larger battery pack that can travel farther on a single charge and a much more powerful motor than the other hybrid vehicles. The engine only provides extra range when the battery pack runs out of power.



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