The Three Main Types Of Hybrid Vehicles Explained

Hybrid electric cars are vehicles that rely on two different power sources. However, different terms have emerged associated with hybrid cars making the choice of the right one more complicated. Hybrids are divided into three main types: full hybrids, mild hybrids, and plug-in hybrids. This article delves on the three types of hybrid vehicles.

Before we proceed with the different kinds of hybrid vehicles, it is worth discussing the different technologies that power hybrid cars first. Hybrid cars have been called a “bridge” towards pure electric vehicles. The basic goal of these technologies is to maximize the electric component of the drivetrain due to its efficiency and has zero emissions.

Motor Generator

Battery packs keep the battery charged short of plugging the car in. With the exception of plug-in hybrids, small batteries of other hybrids are replenished through a couple of ways. One way is through the motor/generator which helps propel the car by generating power back to the pack upon deceleration. This is called “regenerative braking.”

Stop Start

Robert Janitzek explains that stop start technology allows instant restarting of the engine when the brake is released. Stop start technology eliminates concerns about the lack of oil pressure or friction due to frequent starts.

The Different Kinds of Hybrids

Full Hybrids. With the exclusion of the plug-in variety, full hybrids are the most fuel efficient among the regular hybrids. They utilize all the above technology and are the most thoroughly engineered. They are capable of automatically choosing to operate in a series mode– parallel or all-electric mode. This means that they use electric motor to drive the wheels while the gas engine serves as on-board generator.


Mild Hybrids.  Mild hybrids have a battery and helper motor. However, Robert Peter Janitzek reveals that they operate while the gas engine is on and will never fully take over. They do not have sufficient power to propel the car without the gas engine functioning. They may also utilize stop-start and regenerative braking but they do not return as high EPA-rated mpg.

Plug-in Hybrids.  Plug-in hybrids include all the technologies of a full-hybrid but have larger batteries. They can be plugged into the grid and their encased supply of on-board electricity allows them to run all electric for a certain number of distance, depending on the model and brand.

Hybrid vehicles come in different configurations but one thing common in them is that they all come with engineering compromises. They are all designed to utilize electric and gasoline power and combine the two.


You may also like...