From mild hybrid to recuperation: an overview of important e-mobility terms


"Are you already using electricity or do you still have a combustion engine?” More and more drivers are switching to e-vehicles – and the topic of e-mobility is on everyone's lips. And, of course, we at HELLA are talking about it too! From the Dual Voltage Battery Management System for recuperation in electric vehicles to the Power Pack 48 Volt for mild hybrid vehicles, we offer customised electronics to accompany your customers on the road to the future.

In the mini-series "Do you speak electric?", which will be launched in the coming days, we explain some terms relating to the new technologies and present suitable HELLA solutions. Dive with us into the exciting world of new mobility!

Mild hybrid

Mild hybrid vehicles are perfect for beginners. Although mild hybrids cannot drive purely electrically, they act as a starting aid for the combustion engine at crucial moments. This saves fuel, also optimising the vehicle’s carbon footprint. With the Dual Voltage Battery Management System or the PowerPack 48V from HELLA, any conventional vehicle can be turned into a mild hybrid in no time.

Intelligent battery sensor (IBS)

An intelligent battery sensor (IBS) is the key to smart energy management, whether in a car or truck. As the market leader, HELLA offers the right sensors for both applications. The IBS records all parameters, such as the age or state of charge of the battery. This reduces the risk of a vehicle failure due to a weakening battery. Sensors from HELLA are particularly compact as well as powerful and are compatible with all platforms, regardless of manufacturer.

PowerPack 48V

Maximum power for clean mobility! Developed by HELLA, the PowerPack 48V stands for a smart, compact system solution aimed at vehicles in high performance classes. The power pack consists of a lithium-ion battery block, battery management system and voltage converter in one. It can be used, for example, to achieve emission-free drive support in the short term. In addition, the PowerPack supports hybrid functions, such as active coasting or recuperation. HELLA is one of the most important suppliers globally in this performance class.

In our e-mobility glossary, we explain what our PowerPack 48V has to do with recuperation.

In our e-mobility glossary, we explain what our PowerPack 48V has to do with recuperation. Source: HELLA

Dual Voltage Battery Management System

Mild hybrid vehicles (combustion engine with electric assistance) are an important bridging technology. HELLA has developed the Dual Voltage Battery Management System for this application purpose. With this dual-voltage concept, both 12-volt and 48-volt applications can be supplied simultaneously. There is no need for an external DC/DC converter or a separate lithium-ion battery. And so this technology takes up no more space in the engine compartment than a conventional lead-acid battery.

DC-DC converters

Different electronic applications in cars require different operating voltages. The DC/DC converter converts electrical energy between two vehicle electrical systems with different operating voltages to ensure a reliable and stable power supply at all times. Solutions from HELLA offer the tailor-made option for every model. A DC/DC converter for high-voltage vehicles (electric and mild hybrid vehicles) is already under development.

Battery electric vehicle (BEV)

The most consistent stage of electrification is a battery electric vehicle, also called a pure electric vehicle or all electric vehicle. These vehicles consistently do without a combustion engine and rely on a purely electric drive train. The segment is still small, but it has great potential for growth. HELLA is working on advancing electrification with technologies that save space and increase efficiency.

OBC (onboard charger)

An onboard charger (OBC) allows the vehicle battery to be charged at a normal socket or e-charging station. The charging time heavily depends on the power class of the OBC. With a peak efficiency of over 98 % and a compact, flexible design, HELLA fulfils all the requirements for optimum integration into the vehicle and for driver-friendly, fast charging times.

Passive coasting

Just like → recuperation, passive coasting is also one of the forms of fuel saving used in hybrid vehicles. ‎ It means using existing kinetic energy when the combustion engine is switched off. Many components from HELLA support this function with the highest efficiency currently available on the market.

State of health (SOH)

This relates to the state of health (SOH) of a battery. Overall, the SOH is determined from a number of values, including the remaining capacity and the range estimate for the electric vehicle. It is important to regularly check the state of health, for which there are battery management systems and, in hybrids, there is also the → Intelligent Battery Sensor (IBS) from HELLA.


Anything that helps save electricity is good, because it gives electric vehicles more range. The term recuperation comes under this umbrella. In the world of e-mobility, it means feeding the energy generated in the braking process back into the vehicle battery. HELLA facilitates this valuable energy recovery method with the → Dual Voltage Battery Management System or the → PowerPack 48 Volt.