Full hybrid, mild hybrid, and plug-in hybrid: An overview of the different types of hybrid cars

Alyson - October 16, 2023

An overview of hybrid cars

At a time when sustainability is playing an ever greater role in vehicle selection, hybrid cars are becoming increasingly popular. However, it is not always easy to find the right solution from the large range on offer.

As the largest Swiss car subscription provider, CARIFY strives to offer its customers the best solutions for ecological mobility and in this article you will learn what types of hybrid cars are available and what advantages they offer compared to electric cars or conventional gasoline cars.

The different types of hybrid cars

A hybrid car is a vehicle equipped with two or more different drive systems, usually an internal combustion engine (gasoline or diesel) and an electric motor. The combination of these two drive systems allows for optimized efficiency and performance. There are several types of hybrid cars, including:

Plug-in hybrid

Similar to electric cars, plug-in hybrids can be charged from external power sources. Most plug-in hybrids can be connected to conventional power outlets as well as public charging stations. After charging, you can then travel a certain distance purely electrically. When the battery is empty, you continue driving with the combustion engine. The advantage of plug-in hybrids is that they combine the best of both worlds: For example, you can make your short commute to work purely electrically and save money on gasoline, but for road trips you can fill up conventionally. One disadvantage of these hybrids is that they are very heavy due to the battery, so gasoline consumption is higher.


Mild-hybrids have a smaller electric motor that assists the internal combustion engine by providing additional power during acceleration and recovering energy during braking. Mild-hybrids cannot run exclusively on electricity because the electric motor only assists the internal combustion engine. The advantage of mild hybrids is therefore that they can be used in virtually the same way as a conventional gasoline-powered vehicle, so there is no need to adapt and they are not dependent on charging stations. However, the savings in pollutants are also lower, since gasoline or diesel still have to be refueled.


A Full-Hybrid works like a mild-hybrid - with one difference: the battery is larger, allowing the car to drive short distances in full electric mode, especially at low speeds. The electric motor and the combustion engine work seamlessly together and can share drive power depending on demand and the driving situation. However, you shouldn't expect too much from a full-hybrid, as the electric motor primarily supports the combustion engine only during start-up. At higher speeds in the low rev range, the combustion engine takes over the main load. This drive concept is suitable for short-distance journeys and frequent stop-and-go traffic in urban areas. It is precisely in such situations that considerable fuel savings can be achieved. For long-distance journeys and high speeds, on the other hand, the mild-hybrid shows its limitations, as its heavier vehicle weight can affect its performance.

All three types of hybrid cars are therefore most likely to be worthwhile for people who mostly travel short distances, for example because they live in urban areas, but who nevertheless do not have to rely solely on their own power socket or charging stations.

Test a hybrid car with a car subscription

If you are not yet sure whether a hybrid vehicle suits your lifestyle, you should not miss the CARIFY offer: CARIFY car subscriptions are the flexible all-inclusive alternative to leasing or buying: you choose a specific car and a term, between 1 and 48 months, in which you want to use it and specify how many kilometers you want to drive per month at most (750 - 3000 kilometers). Then the car is registered to you and is available to you as long as the subscription is active. The best thing is that a single monthly fee covers all costs related to your dream car, including repairs, maintenance, tires, motor vehicle tax and registration in your canton of residence. Naturally, comprehensive insurance is also included in the subscription price. You only have to pay for the fuel. And for hybrid or electric cars, the appropriate charging cable is of course included. The CARIFY car subscription gives you the chance to test a hybrid car for a few weeks and find out whether a hybrid fits your lifestyle. Here you can find our hybrid cars that we offer in the car subscription.

The most popular hybrid cars in car subscription

If your curiosity about hybrid cars has been piqued, below is an overview of some of the most popular hybrid cars in Switzerland:


In summary, it can be said that hybrid cars are primarily suitable for people who often travel shorter distances by car. Mild hybrids are ideal for short trips and city driving, while full hybrids offer the possibility of covering short distances purely electrically. Plug-in hybrids offer even more electric range, ideal for commuting to work.

If you'd like to drive a hybrid car for shorter or longer periods of time, don't miss the offer from CARIFY, Switzerland's largest car subscription provider.

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