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The Key Differences Between Different Hybrid Technologies

It is history when the cars in the major international market were equipped with the latest gadgets and gizmos, latest technologies. But now, these technologies, features, and engineering have started creeping into the Indian car market. One such technology is Hybrid technology. Now, we have heard about hybrid cars, but there are various terms associated with them. These include micro-hybrid, mind hybrid, plug-in hybrid, strong hybrid, and others. Well, these are just different names, or do they differ from each other?

Maruti Suzuki's Smart Hybrid
Maruti Suzuki’s Smart Hybrid

In simple terms, there is a night and day difference between terms. Let me explain.

Hybrid Vehicle

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Hybrid Vehicle

The name hybrid vehicle is given to cars that are equipped with different technologies in order to save fuel and increase mileage. That said, in the majority of situations hybrid cars come with a larger auxiliary battery or an additional battery altogether. And depending upon the degree of hybridisation, the hybrid components may vary.

But now you may ask, what has the degree of hybridisation? As said earlier, cars with hybrid tags get some sort of technology to reduce fuel consumption. Now, this fuel consumption depends upon the advancements in the components of hybrid tech. The more advanced the system, the less is fuel consumption. This is where these cars are awarded different names. Let’s look at each of them in detail. But the primary similarity is that all hybrid cars come with an internal combustion engine (which can be different from a conventional internal combustion engine).

  • Micro-Hybrid Vehicle

    Nissan Kicks
    Nissan Kicks

    The first kind with basic fuel-saving technology is the micro-hybrid. Cars that fall into this category have engine start-stop functions. This is where the engine shuts off if it idles for 10-15 seconds, say when standing at a traffic light. Cars/SUVs like the Mahindra ScorpioN, Scorpio Classic, Nissan Kicks, Volkswagen Taigun and others come under this category. This is something that is fairly easy to integrate into a vehicle, as it doesn’t require much research and development. Also, cars that come with micro-hybrid technology rely on the auxiliary battery.

  • Mild-Hybrid Vehicle

    Maruti Suzuki Ciaz instrument Cluster
    Maruti Suzuki Ciaz instrument Cluster

    The cars that are a notch above are the mild hybrid vehicles. cars come with an additional battery (apart from the auxiliary battery) to power a little powerful starter motor. It is the starter motor that also provides an additional boost to the engine performance. Although this boost is not that significant.

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    Nevertheless, it helps in reducing the load on the engine, enabling so save fuel. Cars that come under this category include, Maruti Suzuki Ciaz, Maruti Suzuki Brezza, MG Hector Hybrid and others. And not to forget, these also feature the conventional start-stop function.

  • Hybrid Vehicle

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    Now, things start getting serious when with Hybrid vehicles. These cars come with an even bigger battery than what mild-hybrid vehicles come with. In addition, the electric motor is also more powerful. This means, that cars with this tech, can also run in EV-only mode. Although hybrid cars come with an internal combustion engine, they do not run on the otto cycle.

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    Otto cycle is the principle on which most petrol engines function of a car. Rather they run on the more efficient but less powerful Atkinson cycle. But, the loss of power is compensated by the installation of an electric motor. The engine also charges the battery. It is the function of the control unit to control the power delivery of the vehicle. Cars that are Hybrid in India are the new Honda City eHEV, Maruti Suzuki Grand Vitara and Toyota Land Cruiser Hyryder.

  • Plug-in Hybrid Vehicle

    Volvo XC 40 PHEV
    Volvo XC 40 PHEV

    The vehicles that come equipped with the PHEV or Plug-in Hybrid tech are similar to that Hybrid Vehicles but have a larger battery. This allows the PHEVs to run in EV-only mode for longer. This comes at a cost that they have to plug in to charge the battery as the charging from the engine is not enough to fully charge the batteries. Cars from Volo in India are among the examples of PHEVs.

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So, this was all about the types of hybrid vehicles and the cars that are sold in the country. Let us know in the comment section below, what you think, will this technology last long in this era of electric cars?

Utkarsh Bhardwaj
Utkarsh Bhardwaj
Technical Content Strategist at GoMechanic | Big Time Petrolhead with the passion for building cars and driving those beauties.


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