Difference between self-charging and mild hybrids

Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

Toyota Ireland has noted in recent times the ongoing reference within the motor industry pertaining to mild hybrid cars, which is adding to the overall confusion that new car buyers are facing.

So now as the leader in self-charging hybrid (full hybrid ), Toyota is setting out to dispel the myths and provide clarity for new car buyers regarding the differences between full self-charging hybrids and mild hybrids.

In essence, a mild hybrid is simply a conventional petrol or diesel engine with a low voltage (48V ) battery and an electric motor which is typically used to power electric components such as air conditioning and the radio. At low engine speeds, they can supplement the engine with a small electric boost during acceleration, but unlike full hybrids, the electric motor cannot power the car on its own, and they cannot drive in zero-emissions mode.

Toyota Ireland says that for those who want to experience electrified driving without having to plug-in their car, a full hybrid is the only option. While a full hybrid can drive on battery power alone and operate in fuel efficient, zero emissions mode up to a claimed 62 per cent of the time on average (due to its powerful battery ), a mild hybrid cannot drive on pure battery alone. Toyota say that therefore that it delivers considerably fewer benefits than a full hybrid.

So what are the main differences?

Toyota claims their hybrid drives in zero emissions mode up to 62 percent of travel time, mild hybrids are not capable of zero emissions driving, while the battery power in a full hybrid is up to 600 volts when compared to the limited 48 volts mild hybrid battery, giving a full hybrid twelve times more power.

Toyota also claims their hybrids have lower fuel consumption, claiming up to thirteen percent better than mild hybrid adding that hybrid produces up to twelve times lower NOx emissions than a mild hybrid. In their press release, Toyota claims that mild hybrids emit up to 30 percent more CO2 than their hybrid.

Finally, Toyota says that their hybrid is 100 percent petrol with automatic transmission, whilst it claims that many (obviously not all ) mild hybrids are still diesel and manual transmission

Toyota further claims that their self-charging hybrid batteries are powerful enough to drive at moderate speeds (60 KM per hour ) in pure EV mode, while it says that a mild hybrid does not have a dedicated EV mode. This, in turn, it claims delivers multiple benefits around C02 and fuel savings over a mild hybrid.

In terms of impacts to customers, while the 48V battery in a mild hybrid can deliver a small torque boost at low rpm, Toyota claims that it also adds considerable weight so there is no perceptible gain in power versus a conventional car. Most (but again not all ) mild hybrids have a manual transmission, and the driving experience is identical to that of a conventional car.

In comparison, Toyota boasts that their hybrids are all automatic, making for a smoother, more relaxed drive.


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