It is well known in the automotive world that hybrid cars are those with a combined operation between a combustion engine and an electric one. We will not go into details on the proportion of shared work or plug-in hybrids, but the concept of a hybrid car is understood.
Hybrid vehicles were initially created with the sole purpose of reducing fuel consumption. Integrating an electric motor has always had the objective of improving fuel efficiency. Then, as care for the environment became more important and this type of combined engines became more relevant since they emitted fewer greenhouse particles.
The development of technology has made it possible for hybrid cars to travel medium distances at low speed using only the energy from their batteries. This results in the emission of 0 polluting waste, at least while the battery power is used.
History of hybrid cars
In 1997, Toyota presented the Prius, considered the first mass-produced hybrid vehicle and which was widely accepted in the world market. However, engine hybridization is much, much older.
Before 1900, the Pieper Petroleum Electric was manufactured, the first hybrid vehicle in history made by the Pieper brothers in the city of Liege, Belgium. In addition to its combustion engine, this vehicle integrated mechanical propulsion based on an electric motor.
Porsche also manufactured the Lohner-Porsche Mixte Hybrid at that time. The great advantage of this model was a dynamo, which charged the electric batteries. The energy from the batteries supported the combustion engine in its ignition and propulsion of the car.
To propel the vehicle with the electrical energy generated by the dynamo, it was sent to 2 electric motors located in the front tires.
Microhybrid Vehicle or MHEV
It is in this context that vehicles called micro hybrids or MHEVs became fashionable again. But what are they and how do they work? We will explain it to you.
These types of vehicles primarily operate on their combustion engine, which can be gasoline or diesel. The big difference is that they have an electrical system, which supports the combustion engine in situations of high energy demand.
For example, when a vehicle stops on a slope and must resume its path, it is common to accelerate more to move forward without the car going backward. This acceleration requires more power from the combustion engine and that is where in MHEV vehicles the electrical system supports the combustion engine.
We should not confuse it with the hill start assistant system because unlike this, the MHEV’s electrical system reduces the emission of polluting gases by 10%.
See also: How do Hybrid Cars Work
Differences between a microhybrid and a hybrid
Both hybrid and microhybrid vehicles have an electric motor but they have certain differences to highlight.
The main difference between these 2 types of vehicles is that MHEVs cannot run exclusively on their electric motor. Let us remember that a hybrid is capable of propelling the vehicle exclusively with energy from its electric motor, at least at low speeds.
In essence, the electrical system of an MHEV is an assistance to the combustion engine. This dynamic also provides more agile driving and greater comfort.
The electric range and balanced use of both engines is much greater in hybrid vehicles, but microhybrids focus on efficient fuel consumption.
What about plug-in hybrids?
PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle) vehicles, that is, plug-in hybrids, have more powerful batteries that allow them to propel the vehicle for more kilometers and at higher speeds than non-plug-in hybrids.
Its autonomy compared to MHEVs is much greater since in several models you can travel up to over 100 km/h using only the battery and with the benefit of having 0 emissions.
Without a doubt, micro-hybrid vehicles are an alternative for the automotive industry by offering more ecological models. They have certain advantages to consider, which when taking into account the cost can be efficient.