HV Battery vs MCU Hybrid – Which is Bad?

HV Battery vs MCU Hybrid – Which is Bad? – In this article, we will discuss the difference between MCU and HV batteries in hybrid cars. Which is worse if there is a problem with a hybrid car. In this case, we will conclude related to the costs we employ if both experience problems.

Hybrid Car High Voltage Battery (HV Battery)

A hybrid car is a car that uses two or more power sources. Most are a combination of a high-voltage battery (HV) and a gasoline engine (ICE). For the HV battery itself, we can recharge it and provide enough power to move a large vehicle.

The Basics about Hybrid Batteries or HV Batteries


Although hybrid vehicles are growing rapidly, especially in developing countries, hybrid vehicles are still lagging behind in availability and affordability. Hybrid cars are able to replace ICE cars (gasoline and diesel) very well. In addition, hybrid vehicles are also capable of transitioning from ICE to pure electric cars.

HV Battery vs MCU Hybrid
HV battery in hybrid car.

The world’s automotive manufacturers who issue hybrid cars are really smart in making them. Hybrid cars have obvious perks like compact electronic gauges. Apart from that it clearly has the capability for incredible fuel economy. The problem is that not all consumers understand the workings of a hybrid car. If they know, a hybrid car is a car that is currently able to save the environment due to its ability to work that is so environmentally friendly.

In a hybrid car, there is a motor that is able to work well and efficiently but still able to produce maximum power. The problem is in the HV battery. Batteries have to be large and they are expensive if you want to have a long range. Even today, some cars still only have a range of 200 miles.

When hybrid cars work in combination, they are much more powerful.
Most manufacturers will include a small, efficient ICE engine. Of course, this aims to increase the power of its electrical counterpart. With the backup power available from the internal combustion engine, it is possible to use a smaller and more affordable electric motor. The combination of these two systems offers the best efficiency and reliability.

The downside of this setup is that the overall design is still expensive due to the dual motors. Although each motor is smaller, both add weight to the vehicle and take up a lot of space. However, it is still much more efficient in terms of power consumption than a pure ICE engine.

How Do HV Batteries Work in Hybrid Cars?

HV batteries have two electrodes that are in an electrolyte solution. These electrodes are separated by a polymer film which prevents short-circuiting. The electrodes are bridged when the device, in this case, a hybrid vehicle, is turned on. It should be noted that the battery in a hybrid vehicle is actually a battery pack containing several cells that work together to create the large charge required to power the car.

Each battery cell has a positive electrode and a negative electrode. Ions from the positively charged electrode move towards the negative electrode. There, the positive ion accepts the electrons given off by the negative electrode. This complex process creates an electric charge.

The energy produced by the hybrid battery determines the electric range that the vehicle is capable of achieving. The power available from the battery at any given moment determines the acceleration of the vehicle.

Advantages of Hybrid Vehicles

Hybrid vehicles combine electric car technology with traditional cars that use a gas engine (internal combustion engine). In a hybrid car, there is a 12-volt lead-acid battery and gasoline (possibly ahead of a diesel engine) like a traditional vehicle. In addition to the 12-volt battery, there is a high voltage battery. The HV (high voltage) battery will provide power to the electric motor so that the vehicle can move smoothly even if the driver is not aware of the transitions that occur in the vehicle.

Electric batteries or HV batteries get recharged through a regenerative braking process. This energy comes from when the driver presses the brake pedal and then recharges the electric battery. The combination of electric and gas power is the key to the outstanding energy efficiency of hybrid vehicles. Hybrid vehicles mostly only use gas fuel about 75% of normal vehicles. So that several studies and manufacturers state that hybrid vehicles are about 20 to 35 percent more efficient than normal fuel consumption. In addition to energy efficiency, the combination of battery and gas also reduces vehicle emissions. And we can conclude that hybrid cars are much more environmentally friendly than cars with ICE engines.

Even so, the advantages of the combination of these energy sources are special, hybrid vehicles leave weaknesses. One of the downsides of hybrid vehicles is the limited battery life of the HV. For now, most HV batteries have an average eight-year or 100,000-mile warranty. But from the information of many parties, the HV battery warranty failed prematurely. Unfortunately, hybrid vehicles cannot run without HV batteries. Therefore, vehicle owners should invest in the purchase of new HV batteries on a regular basis. This has an impact on the maintenance costs of hybrid vehicles to appear more expensive.

But wait, hybrid technology is always evolving even today. Modern HV batteries are tougher than older batteries. Not only vehicle manufacturers, but third-party manufacturers have also stepped into the scene, giving drivers more options when it’s time to replace the battery. In fact, some dare to give a much cheaper price and provide a guarantee that is not inferior to the battery from the original manufacturer.

Motor Control Unit (MCU)

HV Battery vs MCU Hybrid
MCU Toyota Prius Hybrid II.

The MCU configures the motor speed and torque after receiving comments from the VCU (vehicle control unit). As usual, the two communicate via CAN-bus communication. The MCU converts the battery pack’s DC power source into an AC power supply to drive the drive motor. This is the main work of the MCU on hybrid vehicles. However, there are others that are no less important, namely the process of charging the HV battery through regenerative braking.

During vehicle braking, the MCU can regenerate DC power back to the battery for charging. How did it happen? It actually uses the basic principle of physics that energy can neither be created nor destroyed. We can only change energy from one form to another. In the case of regenerative braking, we manage the mechanical energy from the rotation of the wheels during braking to electrical energy through a device that we call the MCU. With this MCU hybrid cars can have a longer range with frequent braking.

The system on a hybrid vehicle always has a good cooling system and is much better than in an ICE vehicle. This cooling system includes the ICE engine cooling system and the HV battery cooling system. An efficient cooling system enables high power density and performance. Protection includes against overcurrent, overvoltage, and overtemperature. Various electrical and environmental tests have been passed to meet international standards so that all are safely protected.

HV Battery vs MCU Hybrid – Which is Bad?

So far we have discussed the HV battery and MCU in hybrid cars. From this, it is clear that we also have a complete picture of both. Both also have an important role in a hybrid car. Although, in fact, partial battery cell damage will only reduce the range of the car when using full battery power. Does not make the engine stop (ICE) or even make the car unable to move at all.

On the other hand, the MCU on the hybrid has a very central role. MCU damage can clearly interfere with and reduce the range of hybrid cars. But that’s not all. A faulty MCU can interfere with the ICE engine not working properly. In some cases, a faulty MCU can make the engine completely dead and of course, the battery system also fails to work.

Thus, the MCU is more vital than the HV battery in terms of the above view. However, in fact, if the HV battery is damaged, the repair and of course the replacement is more expensive than the MCU. If we fix it together, repairing the MCU is more expensive than repairing the battery HV. So we can conclude that the question “HV Battery vs MCU Hybrid – Which is Bad?” The answer is HV Battery.

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