Part of what makes working with cars so rewarding is that the technology behind them is changing all the time. Carmakers are constantly looking for new ways to improve their vehicles, which in recent years has led to an explosion in hybrid and electric vehicle (EV) technology.
One of these developments led to the creation of mild hybrids. Never heard of a mild hybrid? Don’t worry! Keep reading to learn more about this type of vehicle, and what it might mean for auto professionals in the future.
The Difference Between Mild Hybrids and Regular Hybrids
A mild hybrid is exactly what it sounds like: it’s a hybrid between a regular gas-powered car and a fully electric one, but the impact of the battery is less than it would be in a regular hybrid. Or, milder. In a regular hybrid, the electric motor will run the entire time that the vehicle is on, and can propel the vehicle by itself. However, in a mild hybrid, the electric motor is not enough to power the vehicle on its own. Instead, the electric motor serves to supplement the gasoline engine, and works as a sort of power booster.
Grads of an Automotive Technology Program Know How Efficient Mild Hybrids Are
Graduates of a hybrid vehicles training program know that fuel economy is one of the top goals behind hybrid technology. By using an electric motor, hybrid vehicles can reduce fuel consumption by pretty impressive amounts. And while mild hybrids don’t reach the same numbers as plug-in hybrids, they still do help reduce how many times drivers need to refuel at the pump.
Most of the increased efficiency enjoyed by mild hybrids comes from the fact that the engine shuts off whenever the vehicle is stopped, braking, or cruising, and also that the electric motor improves the efficiency of the gas engine as it restarts each time it is shut off. There are also some mild hybrid vehicles that capture and use mechanical energy created when the vehicle is braking.
Together, all these improvements result in significant changes to fuel efficiency—generally, mild hybrid models boost fuel economy by about 10 to 15 per cent compared to their conventional gas-powered counterparts. For auto technology students who are planning to work with clients who are concerned about reducing emissions and fuel consumptions, mild hybrids might be a common sight.
Increasing Popularity Is Important to Grads of Hybrid Vehicles Training Programs
The electric vehicle and hybrid market has ebbed and flowed significantly over the years, in part due to fluctuating gas prices. When gas prices drop, consumers are less motivated to find alternatively-fuelled vehicles, and the often high price tag of regular hybrids can put off buyers. Mild hybrids may shake up this pattern by satisfying both consumers who are looking to save money on fuel as well as those who want a vehicle that is cheaper to buy in the first place. The engines used in mild hybrids are generally much cheaper than those used in regular hybrid vehicles, making them a more affordable option for the consumer who values efficiency but can’t spend as much to achieve it. Upon graduating from your automotive technology program, your knowledge of mild hybrid vehicles will be very useful as this cost-effective vehicle continues to help drivers improve fuel economy for less.
Do you want to expand your knowledge of hybrid technology?
Get in touch with us at ATC Surrey to learn more about our hybrid technology training in Vancouver!