With more and more electric and hybrid vehicles to choose from, we know it can be a bit overwhelming to understand the difference. So, below we’ve simplified these into three types for you to explore.
There are two types of regular hybrid vehicles: Mild hybrids and Full hybrids.
Full hybrids have an electric motor and a combustion engine which work together to power the vehicle, either together or independently. The batteries that power the motor are constantly being charged by the combustion engine and regenerative breaking and can hold small amounts of charge. This can be used not only to support the combustion engine but to power the car solely on electric energy. When switched into electric-only mode they can run for a few miles on electric before the batteries need recharging.
Full hybrids are sometimes referred to as 'Self Charging' hybrids because of the way the batteries are powered. They're generally considered the best option for drivers regularly undertaking long journeys and are a great stepping stone towards other forms of electric vehicle ownership.
Mild hybrids have a small electric motor that sits alongside a combustion engine. The electric motor can't be used independently of the combustion engine and instead assists the combustion engine to provide more power and greater driving efficiency. The electric motor is powered by a small battery which is charged up by the combustion engine and energy converted through braking.
Mild hybrids sits between a regular vehicle and a full hybrid vehicle. They are typically the cheapest way to enter into hybrid vehicle ownership and offer moderate power and efficiency gains.
Plug-in hybrids, also known as PHEVs, sit between regular hybrids and a fully electric vehicle. They have a combustion engine and an electric motor which are both capable of powering the car independently. The electric motor is powered by much larger batteries than a regular hybrid which can be charged by plugging into external power source, hence the term plug-in hybrid. We've outlined 3 main features of plug-in hybrid vehicles below:
Fully electric vehicles, or EVs, are powered by 100% electric energy from their rechargeable battery. They have much larger batteries than hybrid vehicles since it's their only source of power.