Mild hybrid

A mild hybrid is a vehicle that combines an internal combustion engine (ICE) system with a small electric motor or generator. The electric part usually assists the car’s engine during hard acceleration and also allows the stop-start system to start the engine more smoothly. Some mild hybrids turn the engine off while coasting and then back on once acceleration is needed. Most mild hybrid technologies use regenerative braking to recharge their batteries.

The main advantages of mild hybrids over conventional cars are lower emissions and improved fuel efficiency. In terms of driving experience, there are only the tiniest differences since the ICE still powers the car.

In comparison to fully hybrid cars, mild hybrids can’t use the electric motor to power the whole car. Because of this, fully hybrid cars offer better fuel efficiency and lower emissions than mild hybrids. But mild hybrids are less complex and therefore cheaper than fully hybrid cars. 

With the strict EU regulations on CO2 emissions of vehicles, the mild hybrid has quickly taken over the market and become the default engine type for many models. It is one of the steps that many manufacturers have taken to meet the targets of EU regulations. But replacing petrol cars with mild hybrids won’t be enough. Because of this, many manufacturers have already added or are planning to add fully hybrid and electric cars to their lineup.

Synonym(s):
  • Power-assist hybrid
  • Battery-assisted hybrid vehicle
  • BAHV
  • Mild hybrid electric vehicle
  • MHEV