Unlocking the Power of Hybrids & EVs: Your Ultimate 5-Step Beginner’s Guide

Are you curious about hybrids and all-electric cars? If you are, buckle up, because we’re about to take you on a thrilling ride through the fascinating history and advancements in hybrid technology. From the world’s first hybrid car to the latest mild, traditional, and all-electric systems, we’ll cover it all. By the end of this guide, you’ll not only understand how these eco-friendly wonders work but also discover which one suits your needs best.

The Lohner-Porsche Mixed Hybrid (The OG)

But first… Let’s hop into our hybrid time machine and travel back to 1900, where we’ll meet a man named Ferdinand Porsche – the OG hybrid hero. Yes, that’s right, Porsche was ahead of his time (literally) when he developed the Lohner-Porsche Mixed Hybrid, considered the world’s first hybrid car.

At its core, this bad boy started as a two-wheeled, battery-powered electric car with two hub-mounted motors at the front axle. But Porsche didn’t stop there. As technology advanced, he continued to tinker with his creation, eventually developing cars that used hub-mounted electric motors at each wheel, powered by batteries and a petrol-engine generator. This revolutionary innovation allowed for reduced emissions and improved efficiency – something we still strive for today.

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Fast forward 110 years to 2010, and Porsche launches the Cayenne S Hybrid. While it may have taken over a century to get there, Porsche’s commitment to hybrid technology never waned. The Cayenne S Hybrid was a game-changer, combining the power of a V8 engine with the fuel efficiency of a hybrid.

But What Is A Hybrid Car?

Basically, a hybrid car is like a superhero with dual powers. It’s equipped with both a petrol or diesel engine and an electric motor. Think of it like a fancy dance duo – the petrol engine and electric motor work together in perfect harmony to create a seamless, efficient ride.

The real magic happens when the car decides which power source to use – it can drive on the electric motor, the ICE engine, or both simultaneously. It’s like having a personal assistant who knows exactly what you need before you even ask for it.

There are three main types of hybrid automobiles:

  1. Mild hybrids
  2. Traditional hybrids
  3. Plug-in (PHEV) hybrids

Mild Hybrids – The Little Helpers

Picture a regular petrol-powered car, now imagine it with an extra battery to power some of the more energy-consuming systems. That’s essentially what a mild hybrid is – a regular car with some electric assistance.

The cool thing about mild hybrids is that they can come in different voltage levels. Some start at 12 volts and go up to 48 volts. However, it’s important to note that none of these vehicles have batteries large enough or motors powerful enough to truly propel the car on their own. But don’t let that discourage you – the point of a mild hybrid is to reduce the load on the petrol engine and make the driving experience smoother and more efficient. Plus, it’s a great way to dip your toes into hybrid technology without committing to a fully electric car.

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Examples of Mild Hybrids

  1. Mazda MX-30 and CX-30 They both have a G20e-badged engine that uses a 12-volt mild hybrid system. This system allows for longer stop-start intervals, so the engine doesn’t need to kick in as quickly when using energy-draining systems like air conditioning. This results in fuel savings of about 0.2 liters per 100 kilometres.
  2. Audi Q5 45 TFSI MHEV This Audi is packed with more advanced mild hybrid technology. It can “sail,” meaning it can run accessories like the brake booster and power steering with the engine switched off at highway speeds. This leads to smoother, more fuel-efficient driving.