Car shopping for a more environmentally friendly alternative to a conventional gas powered vehicle?

Major manufacturers are coming out with more and more electric vehicles each model year.  However, if you’re not ready to commit to a fully electric ride, you’ll be pleased to know that most manufacturers also offer hybrid versions of their regular models.

What is a Hybrid car?

Hybrids are powered by both a gasoline engine and an electric motor. They are designed so that they run on either the gas engine, the electric motor, or both simultaneously.  A hybrid car is a lot more fuel efficient, meaning it is much better for the environment.    

There are three main types of hybrid vehicles, all of which differ widely when it comes to range and charging speeds. Today’s blog post will take you through the main types of hybrid vehicles, and their respective pros and cons.  

1.  Mild Hybrid

2. Full Hybrid

3. Plug-in Hybrid

Mild Hybrid Vehicles (MHEV)

Ina MHEV, the electric motor assists the gas engine when accelerating, for example from a dead stop, as well as powering the vehicle’s accessories, such as the air conditioning.  Normally found in the form of 48-volt electric systems, mild hybrids do not need to be plugged in. Instead, the battery is recharged through regenerative braking (regenerative braking captures energy that is otherwise lost during braking and then uses this power to help recharge the vehicle's battery).

While an MHEV is generally more fuel efficient than a regular gas-powered vehicle, it has little or no electric-only range.

Examples of mild hybrid systems include Volvos with its ISG system, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, and BMW X3.

Full Hybrid

Most full hybrid vehicles can operate for some distance solely on electric power, but generally this is only at low-city speeds, and for a few miles or less.  

While a full hybrid offers the consumer a vehicle that produces fewer carbon emissions and better fuel economy than a mild hybrid, the reliance on the gas engine for mileage means that it is still a producer of emissions, and not the greenest of vehicles compared to a plug-in hybrid or full electric.  

Examples of full hybrids include the BMW i8, Toyota Avalon Hybrid, and Honda CR-V hybrid.

Plug-in Hybrid(PHEV)

A PHEV is similar to a full hybrid in that it has a battery and a gas-fueled engine, but the battery needs to be plugged into a house powerline or a 120 or 240-voltcharging station to recharge. A PHEV can travel longer distances by battery than a full hybrid due to its larger battery.  With a full charge, some PHEVs can go up to 25 miles or more, significantly better than traditional hybrids.

A PHEV is a great option for you if you only drive a few miles every day.  A PHEV greatly reduces your carbon footprint, is much cheaper to run than other hybrids, and you could also benefit from a significant tax credit.  On the downside, they do take a long time to charge, and access to a charging station will be a consideration if you don’t have the ability to charge the car at work or home.

Some examples of PHEVs are the Toyota RAV4 Prime, Mitsubishi Outlander, BMW 330e iPerformance, and Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid


Hybrids are a more practical alternative for eco-minded car buyers who want a vehicle that produces less carbon emissions but without the worry of running out of battery power.

Another benefit of plug-in hybrid cars is their eligibility for tax credits.  Depending on battery power, these can be worth anywhere from $2,500 to $7,500.


Interested in going hybrid but looking for advice?  Schedule a free call with one of our Pros.  They can help identify the best hybrid for your needs and get you a great deal!