On paper, the PHEV (for plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, rechargeable hybrid vehicle) have everything to please, except that their price is perhaps much higher than the thermal models from which they descend.
But they enable 100% electric driving for 40 to 100 km, which covers most daily journeys. Then, in hybrid operation, the thermals take back their rights, which allows not to fear a breakdown and to free oneself from the fears related to autonomy and the fact of finding charging stations that require 100% electric models, for weekends or long vacation trips .
Another advantage and last but not least a very favorable calculation in terms of CO2 emissions, which means that the ecological disadvantage can be avoided. And mostly you can even benefit from the small bonus of €1,000 (extended until the end of the year) if the 100% electric range is greater than 50 km and the price does not exceed €50,000.
However, Sales have plummeted since the beginning of the year, both in Europe and in France. In the first case yes a -9.6% decline that affected the market in the first half of 2022. with a market share of less than 9%. France is even worse with a -12.5% drop in H1 (ie 62,811 registrations versus 71,789) and a month of July showing a decrease -31.7% (7,349 copies against 10,761)!
A reality that is less favorable for PHEV
Because the reality when using battery hybrids does not look so rosy. Because so that they consume as little as the manufacturers claim and emit little CO2, they have to be recharged as often as possible. Otherwise, the excess weight generated by the dual engine and the battery will increase average consumption and therefore CO2 emissions…
However, various studies point to a very poor use of PHEVs. One of them, carried out by the American NGO ICCT (International Council on Clean Transportation), analyzed the usage of 8,000 PHEVs in Europe and concluded that the theory that PHEVs drive electrically 70 to 85% of the time is only correct is real for 47% of private vehicles, but above all only for 13% of company vehicles. However, they are the main buyers of these vehicles, which are very attractive from a tax point of view.
Indeed, commercial users are little encouraged to charge when the business is paying for the fuel anyway.
The study concludes that plug-in hybrids actually emit 3 to 5 times more CO2 than manufacturers claim and consume three times more than approved.
Could this explain the drop in sales? Businesses and individuals finding that the savings are not as significant as expected given the additional upfront costs?
Is this the end of the plug-in hybrid? Maybe not immediately, but obviously manufacturers are now investing heavily in 100% electric vehicles. They are also encouraged to do so by the prospect of new standards for 2025 and 2027. In 2025, the share of electric driving in the certification cycle will be reduced, and in 2027, CO2 emissions will be calculated based on actual emissions and actual use of the battery, easily accessible data , because then all cars are connected and communicate with each other.