Self-charging hybrid v mild hybrid – what is the difference?

Over the last few months there has been a lot of noise in the motor industry about mild hybrid cars, which is adding to confusion for some new car buyers, according to Toyota Ireland.

A leader in self-charging hybrid (full hybrid ), Toyota Ireland says there are 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.

"Put simply, 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 62 per cent of the time on average (due to its powerful battery ), a mild hybrid cannot drive on pure battery alone and therefore delivers considerably fewer benefits than a full hybrid."

Toyota Ireland says the following are the main differences.

• Toyota hybrid drives in zero emissions mode up to 62 per cent of travel time; mild hybrids are not capable of zero emissions driving.

• The battery power in a full hybrid is up to 600 volts versus the limited 48 volts mild hybrid battery, giving a full hybrid 12 times more power.

• Toyota hybrid has lower fuel consumption; up to 13 per cent better than mild hybrid.

• Toyota hybrid produces up to 12 times lower NOx emissions than a mild hybrid.

• Mild hybrids emit up to 30 per cent more CO2 than a Toyota hybrid.

• Toyota hybrid is 100 per cent petrol with automatic transmission, while many mild hybrids are still diesel and manual transmission.

Toyota says its self-charging hybrid batteries are powerful enough to drive at moderate speeds (60km per hour ) in pure EV mode, while a mild hybrid does not have a dedicated EV mode. This, in turn, 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, it also adds considerable weight so there is no perceptible gain in power versus a conventional car. Most mild hybrids have a manual transmission, and the driving experience is identical to that of a conventional car.

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

Test drive Toyota’s full range of 201 hybrid vehicles at Tony Burke Motors, local Toyota dealer in Ballybrit, Galway. Telephone Tony Burke Motors on 091 480123.


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