MG’s pioneering plug-in hybrid powertrain: how does it work?

09-02-2021
MG has started deliveries of the new MG EHS Plug-in Hybrid. It’s the second MG model to be offered in mainland Europe and the first to be equipped with a plug-in hybrid powertrain. But how does it actually work and what are the benefits of this technology? Let’s take a look at it.

A plug-in hybrid is powered by a combustion engine and an electric motor, just like a regular hybrid car. The electric motor provides optimal support for the combustion engine to minimize fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

However, the main difference compared to a regular hybrid, is the much larger battery of a plug-in hybrid. Therefore, the car can drive fully electric for a much longer distance and at higher speeds. You also need to charge the battery with a plug, like a 100% electric vehicle.

MG’s Electric Hybrid System

Various configurations of a plug-in hybrid drive system are possible. In case of the MG EHS Plug-in Hybrid, the in-house developed powertrain uses a proven 1.5-liter turbo petrol engine (119 kW/162 hp and 250 Nm) which is connected to a powerful electric motor (90 kW/122 hp and 230 Nm). The driving forces are sent to the front wheels.

One of the special features of this advanced powertrain is the transmission. The petrol engine transmits its drive torque by a 6-speed automatic gearbox. Meanwhile, the electric motor transmits its power through an electronic drive unit with four gears. Together, they form a 10-speed automatic gearbox. This technology enables the vehicle to select the ideal gear and change gear smoothly and rapidly, ensuring above-average efficiency in all conditions.

Driving fun

The MG EHS Plug-in Hybrid is also equipped with a brand new, intelligent Hybrid Control Unit (HCU). This unit recognizes different terrain conditions. It’s also able to learn the driving behavior in order to distribute the power of both power units as efficiently as possible. And the more you drive, the more intelligent the system becomes.

The operation of the drive system is also determined by the selected driving mode (Eco, Normal, Sport, Super Sport). In the most sporty mode, both power units deliver a maximum, combined output of 190 kW (258 hp) and 370 Nm of torque to the front wheels. This allows the spacious SUV to acceleration from 0-100 km/h in just 6.9 seconds. It’s clear that MG’s advanced drive system not only achieves excellent fuel consumption figures and low CO2 emissions. It also guarantees optimum driving fun.

Purely electric

In EV mode, which you simply activate at the push of a button, you instruct the drive system to use the electric motor only. With a fully charged battery, the MG EHS Plug-in Hybrid can cover a distance up to 52 kilometres purely electric and thus emission-free, according to the WLTP test method. That’s more than the approximately 40 kilometres Europeans use to drive on average per day. The top speed in EV mode is electronically limited to 130 km/h. Otherwise, the SUV accelerates up to 190 km/h.

Battery and charging

The battery of the MG EHS Plug-in Hybrid, which has been expertly concealed and takes up hardly any luggage space, has a capacity of 16.6 kWh. With its 3.7 kW on-board charger, it takes around 4,5 hours to fully charge the battery at a public (AC) charging point. The plug-in hybrid SUV is also fitted with a regenerative braking system. This stores the energy released during deceleration and re-uses it to optimize the battery range or further reduce fuel consumption.

In addition, the battery can also be charged while driving with the help of the petrol engine. This does cost extra fuel. But it does offer a solution if you want to drive purely electric later on the route. For example, if you need to entre a low-emission zone of want to drive silently through your residential area.

You decide

In a plug-in hybrid vehicle, with a filled fuel tank and a charged battery, you benefit from two power sources that work together or independently of each other. But keep in mind: the operation of the plug-in hybrid system depends on the selected driving mode you choose for yourself. It’s like an energy management system on wheels you operate yourself, with the help of the intelligent HCU.

You decide whether you want to use the maximum power in the most sporty driving mode. Or choose to drive fully electric. All this effects the actual fuel consumption in practice. And to achieve the lowest possible fuel consumption, it is wise to always charge the battery when you’re able to. Only then, you’ll put as little strain as possible on the petrol engine. And therefore get the most out of the plug-in hybrid technology.

All in all, the MG EHS Plug-in Hybrid offers an average fuel consumption of 1.9 l/100 km, according to the mandatory WLTP test. This corresponds to an average CO2 emission of just 43 g/km.

Best of both worlds

With its advanced powertrain, the spacious and progressive MG EHS Plug-in Hybrid offers the best of both worlds. It offers 100% emission-free mobility, without having to worry too much about the range. And without compromising on interior space, driving pleasure, safety and functionality. And don’t forget, the MG EHS Plug-in Hybrid can tow a trailer of up to 1,500 kg.

The new MG EHS Plug-in Hybrid is for sale in an increasing number of countries. Like Norway, Iceland, Denmark, The Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Austria and Germany. And soon in Italy, Spain and Portugal as well.

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