Hybrid vehicles have been becoming more popular. So-called mild hybrid technologies can spur consumer demand for models with combine powertrains. Today they are actively developed by Volkswagen, Renault and others.
Mild hybrids are expected to have 18% market share by 2025. For comparison: today hybrid cars have 6% share, plug-in hybrids – 3%, electric cars – 3%.
Speaking of advantages of mild hybrid systems, carmakers first of all note their lower cost and less complexity compared to the regular hybrid transmission.
At the first stage of development of these technologies, a small 48-volt electric motor is connected to the crankshaft to provide a small increase in power, for example, during acceleration.
The Suzuki Baleno (pictured) and Suzuki Ignis have become the first models in Europe with a 48-volt mild-hybrid powerplant.
Renault offers the Scenic with a mild hybrid system from Continental. The French carmaker also introduced the first model with this technology supplied by Continental – Scenic Hybrid Assist.
Volkswagen believes the mild hybrid system eliminates the need for a smaller 1.6-liter diesel engine.
Continental AG claimed the technology was cheap enough to become a mainstream. In addition to the increase in power during acceleration, it provides considerable fuel economy and reduces the level of harmful gases exhaust.
Source: Automotive News Europe