What is a mild hybrid?

How does a mild hybrid car work?

A mild hybrid car works in a very similar way to a self-charging hybrid, but it has a smaller battery. Because the battery is smaller, a mild hybrid cannot drive on battery power alone - unlike a self-charging hybrid in which the motor can take over at low speed or when cruising.

Instead, the petrol or diesel engine does the majority of the work and the electric motor is there to provide assistance. This means the engine doesn’t have to work as hard, which means lower emissions and increased fuel economy. The battery is charged by recovering energy that would otherwise be wasted – when slowing down for example. There is no need to plug-in a mild hybrid, simply keep it topped up with petrol or diesel as you would with a conventional car.

What are the benefits of a mild hybrid car?

Lower emissions - there is less strain on the engine due to the electric motor assisting with acceleration.

Reduced running costs - improved fuel economy means that less money is spent on fuel. Lower emissions could also mean a reduced VED rate and lower BiK tax.

Relaxing drive - the engine doesn't have to work as hard due to the assistance of the electric motor. This means that the car is quieter. Pair this with the added torque, for effortless acceleration and the result is a more relaxing driving experience.

You don't need to make any changes - you don't need to do anything different than you would do in a conventional car. The car's electronics take care of how the energy is recovered and used.

Lower initial cost - the smaller battery means that the initial purchase cost is lower.

What is it like to drive a mild hybrid car?

Driving a mild hybrid car is almost the same as driving a conventional car. You will just notice a few subtle differences. Thanks to the assistance from the electric motor the engine stops more often. Fuel economy is improved and acceleration is more immediate thanks to the added torque from the electric motor.

Kia Sportage Mild Hybrid

The New Sportage line-up now includes Kia's new 'EcoDynamics+' mild-hybrid powertrain options. EcoDynamics+ supplements acceleration with power from a 48-volt battery, extends engine 'off time' and can help reduce CO2 emissions by up to 4% on the Worldwide harmonized Light vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP).