The Different Types of Hybrid Vehicles Explained for Students in Hybrid and Electrical Mechanic Training
It’s important for a skilled mechanic to be knowledgeable about a wide range of auto technologies. Hybrid and electric vehicles are becoming increasingly common, making it a practical inevitability that today’s mechanic trainees will work with them at some point in their future careers.
A robust education in hybrid and electric vehicles will educate aspiring mechanics in caring for these specialized car designs. Through your education, you’ll learn how to perform basic mechanical repairs on them, how to interpret their computer-based repair information, and how to safely work with high-voltage components and circuitry.
It’s important to understand that not all hybrid vehicles are built the same way. Though they all contain some combination of a gasoline-powered internal combustion engine and an electric motor, the way these components work together differs depending on the hybrid type. In all, there are three different kinds of hybrid vehicles. Read on to learn more.
A Look at Full Hybrids
Full hybrids represent the most flexible class of this car type. Renowned for their fuel efficiency and versatility, these vehicles can be powered either just by using the battery, the gas engine, or a combination of the two. Even when using both sources of power, there are different ways this hybrid type can run that students of hybrid and electrical mechanic training should know of.
When in series mode, the electric motor is used to drive the wheels, while the gas engine provides power to the battery—much like an in-car generator. In parallel mode, both the battery and the gas engine work together to drive the wheels.
The Mild Hybrid Explained for the Hybrid and Electric Vehicle Mechanic
A mild hybrid is a vehicle that isn’t as versatile as a full hybrid. It’s only capable of operating in the parallel hybrid mode, where both the gas engine and the battery operate simultaneously to drive the wheels.
In a mild hybrid, the battery and the electric motor are not powerful enough to move the car without operating alongside the gas engine. The hybrid and electric vehicle mechanic should know that mild hybrids still utilize a lot of the same technology as full hybrids. They can still use regenerative braking, in which the kinetic energy created by braking is harnessed to charge the battery. They can also still take advantage of stop-start, in which the engine is shut off every time the vehicle stops moving.
Plug-In Hybrids May Be the Technology of the Future
Even as the hybrid niche evolves, the plug-in hybrid continues to be much rarer than the other two hybrid types. The plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, or PHEV, carries all the capabilities of the full hybrid, with a bonus. This vehicle can work in series mode, parallel mode, or just using the engine or battery. PHEVs also have much larger batteries, that can be charged directly using a plug.
These vehicles have a drastically increased supply of onboard energy, allowing them to run in all-electric mode for a much longer period. When the battery is low, the gas engine will take over, ensuring that drivers are never left stranded with an unpowered vehicle.
Do you want to learn more by enrolling in a hybrid and electrical mechanic course?
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