Hybrid cars: What differences are there between them? Which one suits me best? | Companies

The supply of low-emission vehicles has grown exponentially in recent years. Electric cars, called to banish combustion vehicles, offer the advantage of having the zero emissions label, but their high price, despite the aid, and the scarce public recharging infrastructure mean that their sales in Spain are still far behind compared to the rest of Europe.

An intermediate option that many customers opt for while they wait for the electric car to develop further in our country, are hybrid cars. However, when talking about “hybrids”, it is not a question of a single type of vehicle, but there are several hybridizations depending on the size of the battery, the emissions and the distance that the vehicle can travel on electric power. These are the types of hybrids that exist:

mild-hybrid or mild hybrid car

These cars are characterized by having a small electric motor that can have a power of up to 48 volts. Although it helps the engine to start when the car is stopped, the battery does not offer electric traction, that is, it does not help it to move, so this type of vehicle does not have electric travel.

The main function of the battery is to provide support so that different electrical systems of the car, such as the air conditioning, work more efficiently. This helps the vehicle to emit less than its purely combustion version in the global calculation of emissions, as explained by Mazda, a brand that has opted for this technology. Mild hybridization cars have the DGT ECO label.


The one known simply as a hybrid car is a vehicle that has a battery greater than that of the mild hybrid. Unlike mild hybrids, this type of vehicle does have a battery that offers electric traction, so the car moves, at times, without consuming fuel.

This type of car recharges itself when the driver slows down or brakes. It is an option widely used by taxi drivers and VTC drivers who are constantly braking and decelerating in urban environments, allowing them to significantly reduce their fuel consumption. These cars, like mild hybrid cars, have an ECO label.

plug-in hybrids

Finally, there are plug-in hybrids, a car that needs to be plugged in (although it also recharges itself when decelerating and braking) to charge. It is the step prior to making the definitive leap to the electric vehicle, since its battery, much larger than that of the hybrid and the mild hybrid, offers several kilometers of electric travel. Specifically, these cars offer a minimum of 40 kilometers on electric. Plug-in hybrids have the DGT zero label.

These cars are very helpful in reducing emissions as long as they are used in electric mode. However, if this is not the case, these cars, since they weigh more than the combustion ones (because they have two engines: one combustion engine and the other electric), emit more than their counterparts that only have a gasoline version, since the latter weigh less .

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