PHEV models found to be 61% less efficient in real-world use

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  • #141526 Reply

    The fuel consumption of plug-in hybrid (PHEV) models was found to be 61% lower, on average, than official figures suggest, in a new independent test.

    Which? put 22 PHEV models through a laboratory test, which it claims is “more stringent” than the official WLTP cycle that manufacturers must use.

    The cars were tested on the road, including on the motorway, with their batteries in varying states of charge. Which? claims each model was driven 62 miles.

    “A fuel-efficient plug-in hybrid vehicle is an attractive feature for prospective buyers, as many will expect to spend less on fuel and reduce their carbon footprint. Yet our research shows many popular hybrid models are not as efficient as the manufacturer’s claim, which means motorists could be spending more on fuel than they anticipated,” said Natalie Hitchins, head of home products and services at Which?.

    “It is clear that the standard set for calculating fuel efficiency rates is flawed and should be reviewed to reflect real-life driving conditions. This would ensure manufacturers advertise more accurate rates and consumers have an accurate understanding of how much they should expect to spend on fuel,” she added.

    More than 66,000 PHEVs were sold in 2020, an increase of 91% on the previous year. Company car drivers can benefit from the lower CO2 emission figures when compared to equivalent petrol or diesel models, making them a deisreable choice.

    A previous study by Fleet Logistics found that the average PHEV returned 37.2mpg and 193g/km of CO2, as a result of many business drivers not charging them regularly.

    The best performing vehicle in the Which? test was the Toyota Prius, which achieved 114mpg versus the official 188.3mpg claimed figure. A difference of 39%.

    BMW’s X5 plug-in hybrid was the furthest from its official figure of 188.3mpg, returning 52.8mpg in the Which? test.

    By law, manufacturers are required to test all vehicles to the same WLTP standard, which is independently verified by government authorities. It is these results that manufacturers must publish within any advertising communications.

    Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “There will, however, always be a difference between lab tests and real-world use. Fuel use will vary greatly depending on the type of journey made, the conditions, driving stye, load and other factors which is why the WLTP test is a standardised test designed to overcome these variables and provide consumers with accurate and comparable results across all vehicles.

    “The WLTP tests consistently demonstrate that plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) offer comparable range to pure petrol or diesel equivalents but deliver substantial emission reductions, with zero emission range typically 25-40 miles, which is more than ample given that 94% of UK car journeys are less than 25 miles. PHEV range and performance will continue to improve meaning that, for many drivers, they are the essential stepping-stone to a fully electric vehicle.”

Viewing 9 replies - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
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  • #141529 Reply
    Clipped wings

    Hi Brydo,

    No surprise there, as discussed before on here. If charged fully overnight and used primarily for shorter and urban trips, I can see the point. Especially tail pipe emissions on the school run. Sadly, most of the super expensive monsters are bought on business for the huge tax benefits and rarely charged. Reports of charging cables never used over a lease. They achieve the exact opposite of their green image. Overweight and emitting far more CO2 than the pure ice equivalent. Mining of lithium and rare earth minerals highly polluting. Taxation policy is idiotic but again, no surprise.
    Harrys garage on YouTube has a test and six month report of real world use of a BMW X5 45e. 52.8 mpg is very impressive for a 2.5 ton 6 cylinder 3 litre and better than the ICE. But as he says, you have to plug it in.

    #141565 Reply

    @Clipped wings

    Your spot on there and of course its we the person in the street who lose out as were the ones who would make PHEV’s work.

    Not withstanding I couldn’t get my fully assembled scooter in the boot but I considered the Outlander PHEW back 3 years ago and worked out I could really make it pay cost-wise and environmentally wise as most of my journeys are well within the electric range of the car but need the ability to drive several hundred miles once or twice a year where stopping for recharging could be a nightmare for a disabled driver.

    Where on the other hand your sales rep going up and down the motorways, hundreds of miles everyday is not going to give a hoot, after all, its all out of pocket reclaimed expenses.

    This is why the government changed the tax relief on these cars but like I said, its us who lose out.

    #141572 Reply

    The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is based on the older 2.0 engine and 10kWh battery rather than the later 2.4 engine with variable valve timing and a larger 13.2kWH battery.

    The VW Passat PHEV again is based on the older 2015 model with the smaller battery, what is the point of performing a NEW independent test, when some of the data being used is OLD ?

    Having said al that the new Volvo XC40 PHEV is near the bottom at 49.6mpg

    And to be honest does anyone really fall for these inflated manufactures fuel consumption claims.

    In 2005 I suffered a brain injury which has left me with mental and physical disabilities.
    Unfortunately I do get confused and get things wrong, so I apologise in advance.

    #141575 Reply

    Shock. Scandal. Revelation. Car manufacturers conceal true MPG. As Monty Python used to say, ‘That’s stating the bleedin’ obvious’

    #141584 Reply

    I have been keeping tabs on my travel distances for a while now and I very rarely go over 27 mile in a day. Most days say around 5-6 are around 6-12 miles a day and pre lock down I may do around 20-30 days over of 100+ miles.

    Due to the long summertime drives in very rural places I’ve ruled out full electric. I can charge my car over night in my drive and could top up most days as I’m at home, so believe a PHEV would suit me, but the APs are to high

    #141586 Reply

    Sorry meant to add. The only suitable PHEV ie boot space on the scheme now is a kuga and the cheapest one is £3345

    #141588 Reply

    Des it sounds like a PHEV would do you nicely, remember to take into account your fuel savings into your calculation. You could save a large amount of dosh over the three years. I like the kuga, inside and out, maybe a wee bit cheap “plasticy” inside, but on the whole a very decent car.

    #141620 Reply

    Yeah Brydo I agree. Just ain’t got a few grand at the moment. Just moved house, and well I’m skint now as we gutted it and started from scratch. Mind got an extension till October so may be able to save some money in that time,

    it’s just that I hate the Peugeot. Still 27.9mpg and sitting on a towel and want rid ASAP

    #141770 Reply

    best reviewed phev on the scheme is the pug 3008 funny enough from what I have seen lol and its only just been added but very pricey.

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