Types of Hybrid Cars

The Honda Freed Hybrid starring in an episode of our Vroom Channel

When most people think about hybrid cars, one of the cars that they will mention is the Toyota Prius. While it was one of the first hybrid cars available and also very popular, almost every car manufacturer has at least one hybrid model in their line-up of cars now.

Simply put, a hybrid car uses a combination of petrol and electricity to power its various systems and most importantly, for propulsion, i.e. to move. The petrol is used by the engine while the electric-side comprises batteries, electric motors and generators.
Compared to similar cars with petrol engines only, hybrid cars will typically have greatly improved fuel economy and lower exhaust emissions, especially in city driving.

Let?s look at the types of hybrid cars available today.


Mild Hybrid

Mercedes-Benz's EQ Boost features a 48-volt system
Mercedes-Benz’s EQ Boost features a 48-volt system


A mild hybrid car uses an electric motor (or motors) to ?boost? the performance of the engine. Most mild hybrid cars can turn off the engines or reduce the load on them when cruising, coasting or braking.

Often, when accelerating, you feel a ?shove? from the electric motor followed by smooth and strong acceleration from the combination of engine and electric motor. Their batteries are recharged with power from the engine and energy recovered when you depress the brake pedal.

Currently, most mild hybrids use a 48-volt system. Mercedes-Benz?s EQ Boost is one such mild hybrid system.


Full Hybrid

The battery pack of a third generation Toyota Prius full hybrid
The battery pack of a third generation Toyota Prius full hybrid


Most full hybrid cars have roughly the same electric components as mild hybrids, however, the electric motors and batteries are much stronger and capable of taking on a greater percentage of the propulsion work. There are quite a few full hybrid cars that can run on electricity alone for some distance.

A full hybrid car will use either the engine or electric motor and batteries, or a combination of both power sources. When accelerating, the engine will provide much of the power while the electric motor assists only. At slower speeds, the electric motor can propel the car for short distances and the engine ?helps? as and when needed.

If the level of the battery charge is low, the engine will propel the car and charge the battery concurrently. All you have to do is drive and the car?s computer automatically manages the entire system to find the optimum balance of efficiency and performance.


Plug-In Hybrid

A Mitsubishi plug-in hybrid SUV at an external charging station
A Mitsubishi plug-in hybrid SUV at an external charging station


While mild hybrid and full hybrid cars create all of the energy to charge the batteries internally, plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEV) or plug-in hybrids as they are commonly called, can be charged via external chargers. This enables them to travel further while running on electric power only and the overall fuel efficiency is greatly improved as well.

With most plug-in hybrid cars, the electric-only range can be anywhere from 20 to 50km, and you don?t have to worry about the batteries running dry and not having a charging facility nearby as the engine is there when needed.

There is one drawback ? plug-in hybrid cars are generally more expensive than other types of hybrid cars.

We Have Hybrids

Vincar carries quite a wide range of hybrid cars with full hybrids and mild hybrid models being the most popular.


The Mercedes-AMG E53 4Matic+ saloon is the brand's first-ever mild hybrid E sedan.
The Mercedes-AMG E53 4Matic+ saloon is the brand’s first-ever mild hybrid E sedan.


We do not have any plug-in hybrid cars at the moment but if there is one particular model you like, we can import it via our Special Indent Service.


The Honda Freed is available as a full hybrid vehicle.
The Honda Freed is available as a full hybrid vehicle.

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