What is the difference between PHEV and MHEV?

The main difference between PHEV and MHEV vehicles is that the latter can run electrically and without gasoline, unlike the former. However, there are other variations between these two car models as well. Keep reading to know more.

Being a car lover, hobbyist or mildly interested driver can be extremely exciting. Today’s market has many hybrid and electric cars. Among these motor vehicles, PHEVs and MHEVs stand out as the most popular group. So what makes the difference between the two?

Regardless of your choice – a mild hybrid, full hybrid, full EV, or plug-in hybrid, the guideline remains the same: These cars emit all or some built by the usual combustion engine towards a battery engine.

The use of battery-powered vehicles instead of combustion engines is increasingly on the rise. This post delves into various PHEV and MHEV terminologies that revolve around the EV market.

MHEV car models

An MHEV (mild hybrid electric vehicle) is a combination of a full hybrid and a traditional gas. In essence, the hybrid model is powered by a much smaller battery assisted motor generator with the ability to generate power to support the performance of the gasoline engine. However, MHEV cars are not electrically capable of running.

Every time the car calls for more power, the engine’s motor generator uses the reserve electricity to apply torque to the engine; therefore, it improves production without spending additional fuel.

When cruising or drifting, the fuel motor spins the motor-generator to generate power to reactivate the battery. In simple terms, you can easily stop the gasoline engine and get spare fuel.

PHEV Car Models

Traveling in a PHEV is interesting as it is pretty much the same as full hybrid and EV models. In a real sense, the PHEV works more or less like an ordinary hybrid, albeit with notable battery modifications.

By comparison, the PHEV battery is more powerful than that of an ordinary hybrid. Also, the on-board generator cannot fully charge the battery and therefore you will need to set it up at the charging station or via a power outlet.

The most perplexing terminology about PHEV vehicle models is Partial Zero Emission Vehicle (PZEV).

Still in the same, though similar to a hybrid model, PHEV comes with an additional battery power cap for extended all-electric driving.

A PHEV vehicle can typically drive, say, 25 to 50 kilometers on backup battery power with a fully charged battery. And by going back to fuel use, you can go an additional 80 km. The car works similar to an ordinary hybrid from the time this range is used until you recharge it.

When you take a short trip, you will find that the performance of your PHEV is more or less the same as that of an EV, without burning any fuel. Unlike the electric car model, a PHEV vehicle can revert to its original hybrid by exhausting its EV range. At this point, it uses self-generated power and gas to cover a few extra miles of distance.

PHEV drivers take advantage of all-electric functionality on shorter trips and excursions and a full hybrid range after that. Regardless of whether you are unable to fully recharge your PHEV car’s battery, the car will still perform similar to a normal hybrid. While not required, charging a PHEV reduces its fuel consumption.

Once your PHEV is fully charged and the fuel tank is full, its driving range is the same as a conventional car model.

The difference between MHEV and PHEV

To come to a solid conclusion when considering MHEV or PHEV model options, you first need to make a difference. PHEVs (plug-in hybrids) are powered exclusively by a large battery system and do not contain a gasoline engine. Electric motor-assisted MHEVs (mild hybrids) add a certain level of speed, recover under braking, and provide lubrication for long-range EV or start-stop components and a large battery.

The Kia Sportage 2.0 CRDi 48V is a good example of an MHEV vehicle model. It uses a 2.0L capacity diesel engine along with a 48-volt MHEV system to generate a variety of electrification. By contrast, Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV accounts for fifty percent of UK PHEV sales. With the ability to cover approximately 30 miles using just its electric power, the PHEV model comes with a 2.4L gasoline engine connected to the electric motors and a large battery that includes a charging system.

The list below includes several tips to keep in mind before choosing your PHEV or MHEV.

Advantages and disadvantages of MHEV models


  • It can power various electrical systems in the car.

  • The stop-start system helps save fuel when you are not moving

  • less complexity

  • You can decrease turbo lag by filling in torque until the engine is boosted.

  • lowest cost

  • It is lighter than other electric vehicles.


  • Full EV mode is absent

  • High complexity and cost compared to internal combustion car engine models only.

Advantages and disadvantages of PHEV models


  • Lower purchase costs than BEVs

  • They come with improved range over BEVs (Battery Electric Vehicles) attributed to their extended-range gasoline engines.

  • Operating costs are lower than those of the hybrid series.


  • High complexity compared to mild hybrids

  • More expensive than mild or series hybrids

  • They are heavy, attributed to their massive battery pack.

The economic impact between MHEV and PHEV

PHEVs operate as part-time electric vehicles, assuming their daily movements remain wholly or mostly within the e-zone. Its electric activities are zero-emissions, unlike its competitors, which are rarely zero-emissions car models.

With their 48-volt battery systems, PHEVs can do at least a mile at reduced speeds of all-electric driving. However, they run in medium EV mode assisted by their gasoline engines.

Furthermore, a PHEV vehicle can revert to ordinary hybrid once its electrical reserves are depleted. Therefore, you should compare and contrast your estimated daily range to determine if the vehicle is right for you. PHEVs are known for their extreme fuel economy and emissions capabilities when fully loaded.

By contrast, MHEVs (mild hybrids) combined with their electric motors pack some speed, pick up during rest time, and offer some lube for stop-start devices, or long-range EVs, and large batteries. Although it is not a huge saving, it is a positive step.

The cost of operation for both models

While the plugin runs on both electricity and gas, the plugins run primarily on less expensive electricity and ignore a charged battery. They are available with an EPA-estimated key metric; likewise, its efficiency is kWh/100 miles or “MPGe”, and various ways of evaluating the EPA.

In particular, plug-in cars operate on two aspects: gas prices and electricity costs. Electricity can vary from free for employer-provided or certain public charging, essentially free for home solar installation paid for over the years, or the amount you remit to your local utility.

Still, relying on electric power for your daily commutes pays off, regardless of high utility costs. The moment the PHEV’s battery power runs out, it reverts to normal hybrid mode, except for the ELR and Volt, which begins to hold a charge.

For plug-in varieties like the Toyota Prius, your EPA mileage is about the same as the non-hybrid plug-in. On the other hand, the Honda Accord model drops 1 mpg once the reserve power from the grid is depleted. For its part, the Ford Fusion reduces by 4 mpg.

The trickiest part about MHEVs is their daily gas mileage. Taking your daily commute into account, you can save more, especially in urban areas with heavy traffic, thanks to electric motors and regenerative braking.


The maintenance cost of PHEVs is quite low due to the minimal use of the engine. Patience is required to understand the basics of this car model, but when you get used to it, you will discover its profitable nature.

To be precise, hybrids combine two powertrains – some have performed poorly or better, but the story is quite compelling and PHEVs should perform better too.

PHEVs are only two or three years on the market, there is no case sample of the high-mileage models, and their large lithium-ion battery system is non-existent. However, car manufacturers are more cautious when it comes to reliability and battery life.

While mild hybrids work like regular combustion cars, they are more efficient, though not like plug-in hybrids or standard hybrids.


For an ordinary hybrid, you are only required to refuel at the gas station. Toyota has made a name for itself just by articulating that it has support crosses. They don’t need you to learn new ideas, and has released a variety of plug-in electric vehicles for undelivered power components, which are also “filled up” at the station.

However, EV and PHEV customers find the opportunity to hook up their car during the night hours decently and easily, flaunting an assigned parking area or carport. Furthermore, they can be easily connected at the workplace or on the road to expand and maximize electronic benefits.

Speaking of the 11-mile Volt and Prius PHEV, or the 19-mile goEnergikin, drivers can also steer clear of the gas station. Also, the fact that electric car models do not require charging at the station is a plus.

By taking all of the above comparisons, you can now choose which type of vehicle model fits your lifestyle. You can go for MHEVs or PHEVs, as long as you live up to your life dreams.

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November 18, 2022