The mild hybrid cars integrate the three major components focusing mainly on the more traditional gas engine. In this type of hybrid model the electric motor’s function is primarily to assist the gas engine. As in the case of standard cars, the gas engine is the main propulsion force in the mild hybrid car.
The electric motor only kicks in when the car needs additional power. Since the car isn’t using extra energy from the gas engine, gas mileage is cut down. In this design, the electric motor can be used to charge the car’s battery or to take electricity from the battery to help the function of the car. This design is not equipped for the electric motor to do both at the same time. Examples of mild hybrid systems in use are the Civic Hybrids and the Insight. Both of these models are manufactured by Honda.
Full hybrid cars are designed differently. The integration of the key three components is still there. However, how they can be used for the hybrid car’s benefit are more complex than the mild hybrid. Unlike the mild hybrid, the full hybrid’s electric motor can function independent of the gas engine under certain conditions. Depending on the model of hybrid car and its design the electric motor may take over when the vehicle is operating at a lower speed and only use the gas engine when acceleration is necessary.
They can also work together if the situation warrants it. Periods of high speed, like in the case of highway passing is an example of the two engines working together. Full hybrid cars are capable of both charging and using energy from the battery at the same time. A few examples of full hybrid cars are Lexus RX 400h, the Mercury Mariner Hybrid, and the Ford Escape Hybrid.
Whether the hybrid car is mild or full hybrid, these cars have been proven to better gas mileage and lower harmful emissions. Advances in this line of vehicles are happening daily and understanding how the design systems of these cars work enables consumers to see the benefit to hybrids.