3 Types of Hybrid Cars Those in Hybrid Technology Training Should Know About
Hybrid vehicles have been growing in popularity, with their sales rising 142% in the first half of 2021. Because hybrid vehicles utilize two different sources of energy, both gasoline and electricity via an internal combustion engine and electric motor, they produce lower fuel consumption and emission rates while also providing dynamic drivability. As more consumers gravitate towards hybrid vehicles, professionals with hybrid technology training can capitalize on lucrative opportunities.
Students interested in pursuing hybrid and electric vehicle mechanic careers can gain the knowledge and skills they need to succeed through their training. Before learning how to make effective repairs, it’s important to understand the different types of hybrid vehicles. See below for a quick overview of the three different hybrid cars you may encounter in your professional career.
[Infographic] 3 Types of Hybrid Cars Those in Hybrid Technology Training Should Know About
1. Mild Hybrids: A Simple Powertrain with Notable Gains
In this hybrid model, the engine and motor operate together to boost acceleration and improve performance. Key factors include:
- An initial energy burst from the electric motor
- An electric motor that helps with cruising, coasting, or braking
- A 48-volt electric system
- No need to plug in for charging
- Batteries recharged via gasoline engine power and regenerative braking
- A model that powers ancillary electrical systems instead of helping the engine
Did you know? Mild hybrid systems are also referred to as eAssist, eTorque, and EQ Boost by different car manufacturers.
2. Full Hybrids: Stronger Motors and Batteries
The motors and batteries of a full hybrid are more powerful than those of a mild hybrid system, lessening the load on the car’s internal combustion engine. Typically, full hybrids:
- Cannot be externally charged
- Are recharged via engine power and regenerative breaking
- Can operate in electric-only mode, often at low speed for limited distances
- Come in two main powertrains: parallel and series
- Parallel hybrids can be powered in 3 ways:
- by the engine
- by the electrical motor
- by both systems simultaneously
- Series hybrids powered only by an electric motor
- Are more fuel efficient than mild hybrids but less than plug-ins
Did you know? Advanced hybrid technology enables some vehicles to function as series-parallel hybrids, which use the onboard computer to determine the best mode for performance.
3. Plug-In Hybrids: The Addition of External Chargers
Plug-in hybrids can be viewed as the middle ground between fully hybrid vehicles and fully electric vehicles. Notably, plug-in hybrids:
- Have bigger onboard batteries for better electric-only range and fuel economy
- Can be recharged internally and via external chargers
- Can cover short trips in electric-only mode
- Offer gasoline reserves for longer drives
Did you know? If used as a regular vehicle without being recharged, plug-in hybrids can produce a worse fuel economy than petrol or diesel cars due to the extra weight of the hybrid system.