MHV (mild-hybrid vehicle) is an all-new technology, introduced on the market by Audi motor company. It is often confused with an already well known hybrid powertrain. Below I’ll explain how both powertrains work so that you can understand why a mild hybrid system is so good and efficient.
So basically, the traditional hybrid system has two types of engines – an internal combustion engine (petrol, diesel, LPG etc.) and an electric motor. Both engines are working 50/50, a mostly electric motor is working at lower speeds while the gas engine is working at higher speeds. This is a good system, but it’s very simple and outdated.
Mild hybrid, from the technical point of view, is something different. You could say that MHV also has two engines, but this time the internal combustion engine plays the main role, while the electric motor is only a support. I know, support may sound like not much, but there is a way more into it.
So, the electric engine in the MHV is the starter itself. While the traditional starter has only one function, which is starting up the engine. In MHV it also plays a role of an engine which is supporting the gas engine (in most of new Audi vehicles it is an addition of approximately 40 hp), an alternator which is charging the 48v battery while coasting (when a vehicle is moving but the gas pedal is depressed). Also, the battery is supplying the electric turbocharger, which increases the power of the engine. Generally speaking, the starter is a multi-purpose device which increases the performance of many components. It is a revolutionary invention in the automotive world.
Take a look at an educational movie made by Audi: