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Mild Hybrid Electric Vehicles (MHEVs)

An MHEV, Mild Hybrid Electric Vehicle, have both an electric and combustion engine however, unlike the FHEVs, they must be used in conjunction with each other. Read on to find out more about MHEVs.

What is a mild hybrid electric vehicle?

Mild hybrids, broadly speaking, are cars that have both a traditional internal combustion engine alongside an electric machine/generator. This means that the petrol/diesel part of the engine can be turned off at various points during a journey, such as when a car is stationary, but it can then restart really quickly. 

A mild hybrid takes the principles of a hybrid, but utilises them in the mildest of ways. They typically have a small battery and an electric motor that can take over running the car’s ancillaries, such as the headlights and air conditioning.

This is particularly useful, because it means the engine can be turned off to save fuel at times when it is not needed, such as when decelerating or when stopped. The important distinction here, too, is that the wheels cannot be powered by the electric motor.

While it tends to mean the engine isn’t being used at times when it’s not being particularly inefficient anyway, the economy gains are fairly small. However, on the plus side, it’s the batteries that tend to add cost to hybrids, meaning mild hybrids tend to be less expensive to buy than other models.

The benefits of driving an MHEV

Many drivers find that mild hybrid electric vehicles offer the best way to start the transition towards greener driving, not least because they are often more affordable than full hybrids and EVs. This is because the technology is less complex, creating a less expensive manufacturing process.

While purchase costs are the first and most obvious appeal, several additional factors have persuaded a growing number of car owners to choose MHEV models, including but not limited to;

  • Emissions are significantly reduced, even if not to the same level as full hybrids or Electric Vehicles.
  • Using assistive tech rather than replacing the engine at key moments can aid the performance, notable creating smoother starts.
  • While full hybrids and EVs can handle and perform differently to traditional engine vehicles, an MHEV feels almost identical.
  • They require less frequent charging, which makes them a convenient option while the plug-in tech becomes more available.
  • The assistance offered by the electric motor will still reduce running costs due to increased fuel economy.
  • The vehicle will be lighter, which further enhances the ‘natural’ handling while the cabin itself is as comfortable as a standard car.
  • Car part replacements can be cheaper due to the cheaper manufacturing processes too, aiding long-term affordability.

MHEVs are the ideal way to enjoy the benefits of greener driving without sacrificing the benefits of a standard vehicle. Performance, convenience, and comfort can all benefit from this solution. The fact that it is also the kindest on the pocket should not be overlooked either.

What to look for in a mild hybrid electric vehicle

MHEVs have changed the landscape of hybrid driving, making it more accessible and appealing to a far wider audience. Nonetheless, you need to be sure that the vehicle selected is perfect for your needs and preferences.

Whilst looking for an MHEV it may help to think about:

  • What size of vehicle is needed to satisfy your driving habits and size of family?
  • Are additional features like easy access via sliding doors required?
  • Is the engine size element enough for your needs without causing unnecessarily high emissions?
  • Does the chosen vehicle provide the comfort, safety, and performance you deserve?
  • Is the price of the chosen MHEV model within your price range?
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