Differences between Mild hybrid, Strong hybrid and Plug-in hybrid

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Hybrid vehicles are getting popular, as hybrid vehicles are a better option over ICE and Electric vehicles for some. Though for some they believe hybrids are not green tech, as they rely on ICE (Internal Combustion Engine). I believe Hybrid tech is a better option in India until we get a good infrastructure for charging EVs and get better-range EVs in the market. But that doesn’t mean a mild hybrid is good, you need a strong hybrid or a plugin hybrid model to get that EV-only range. Wait you might think are there types of Hybrid tech? Yes, there are 3 types of Hybrid Vehicles, Mild Hybrid, Strong or Full hybrid, and Plug-in Hybrid. Let’s see each one in detail and what are the advantages and disadvantages of Hybrid.

Types of Hybrid Vehicles

1. Mild Hybrid

This is like the most basic Hybrid tech, you get a small electric motor, which will assist your Engine in getting extra torque. You cannot drive your vehicle on this electric motor. You might have seen the engine start/stop feature to save fuel, which is using a mild hybrid tech. A mild hybrid vehicle would have a 48V system with a small Lithium-ion battery that is charged while the engine is running or when you are braking (i.e the regenerative braking).

In India, we have a few vehicles with mild hybrid tech. Like MG Hector and Hector Plus, Maruti Suzuki Grand Vitara and Toyota Hyryder, Maruti Suzuki Ciaz, Maruti Suzuki Ertiga and XL6, Maruti Suzuki Brezza. You might have heard of Intelli-hybrid in Scorpio and XUV 500, they are also the mild hybrid.

Advantages of Mild Hybrid

  • No added cost over Normal petrol or Diesel vehicle
  • No additional infrastructure is required to charge
  • Slight improvement in fuel efficiency and emission

Disadvantages of Mild Hybrid

  • No EV-only drive mode
  • Not much significant change in emission or efficiency over a normal petrol or diesel vehicle

2. Strong Hybrid or Full Hybrid

Strong hybrids have a bigger battery and a stronger electric motor. You would have an EV-only range, that will help you drive in towns. The EV-only mode will be active when you drive at city speeds, as soon as you push hard on the accelerator, the engine will turn on. Also when you are cruising on the highway, you will be driving your vehicle on the engine.

The major use of Strong hybrid is, it has an EV-only range that will help you drive in town easily, and the batteries would be charged when you drive because the engine would act as a generator, or braking would charge the battery just like an EV (Regenerative braking).

We have cars like Honda City eHEV, Maruti Grand Vitara Hybrid, Toyota Hyryder Hybrid, and Toyota Camry Hybrid. These cars are expensive, but you would save the cost on fuel. The fuel efficiency is higher and emissions are significantly lower than normal ICE vehicles.

Advantages of Strong Hybrid

  • EV-only drive mode
  • Significant improvement in efficiency and emissions
  • Increased power output
  • Increased driving range
  • No additional infrastructure is required to charge

Disadvantages of Strong Hybrid

  • Higher cost of the vehicle
  • Complicated system

3. Plugin Hybrid

As the name suggests, you can charge this vehicle like a normal EV. Though this has an internal combustion engine, the battery and electric motor are big in capacity. The batteries will not only be charged using the engine but you can also plug in the car and charge with an external source. This kind of hybrid vehicle has an approx Ev-only range of 40-60 Km. Unlike Strong hybrid, you can switch from EV-only mode, Hybrid mode or Engine-only mode.

We have plug-in hybrid vehicles like Volvo XC90, Ferrari sf90 Stradale, Porsche Panamera, and Porsche Cayenne.

Advantages of Plugin Hybrid

  • Has large EV-only Range
  • Significantly more improvement in efficiency and emissions
  • Increased power output
  • Increased driving range

Disadvantages of Plugin Hybrid

  • Higher cost of the vehicle
  • Complicated system
  • You have to plug in to charge, additional infrastructure is required to charge

Difference between mild hybrid and strong hybrid and plug-in hybrid

Mild Hybrid Strong Hybrid Plug-in Hybrid
EV-only Range NA Limited Around 40-60
Power Assist Very low Strong Strong
Efficiency & Emission 8-10% better 20-40% better 30-60% better
Charging Self-Charging using Engine Self-Charging using Engine & Regenerative Braking Self Charging & Plug-in Charging
Cost Similar to Normal ICE vehicles Slightly expensive than ICE vehicles Expensive but cheaper than EVs

Conclusion

I believe a Strong hybrid is a good solution, until we get the infrastructure for EVs, and improve the battery technology. Current battery tech for EVs is not going to be a good option as far as I think. We need to innovate more so that we have sustainable and good battery tech for EVs.

What do you think about types of Hybrid vehicles, did we miss any point, please let us know in the comment.

About Post Author

Girish

Hello Guys
I am a website developer by profession but is always keen on learning new things. I have been investing in Mutual funds, stock market for the past few years because of which I have gained good knowledge. I started my entrepreneur journey in 2019 which lead me to learn more things as I am moving forward. I always love to share whatever I learn. Always had a craze for cars from my childhood, which inspired me to start this website.

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