Have Plug-in Hybrids Already Had Their Day?
The UK has been the biggest market in Europe for PHEVs, but it turns out that people are failing to use them as intended!
It was only a few years ago that the ‘Holy Trinity’ of hypercars burst onto the scene showcasing a fusion of exotic engines and trick electronics.
The McLaren P1, LA Ferrari and Porsche 918 made hybrid power trains cool.
However, recent research by the Miles Consultancy for the BBC, has found that many owners of more mainstream plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) haven’t even unwrapped the charging cables.
The 'Holy Trinity' made electrification cool © - McLaren Automotive – mclarenautomotive.com
This is despite the UK being the biggest market for PHEVs in Europe – and means that owners are missing out on the biggest selling point of the vehicles. This being the possibility to run on electric power alone and save a load of fuel!
The report suggests that such vehicles in corporate fleets could be averaging 130 mpg, but instead they’re returning a shockingly low average of 40mpg.
It is revealed that many companies bought PHEVs because the £4,500 government grant made them cheaper to buy than normal cars.
Admittedly a rare sight! © - BMW Group – bmwgroup.com
Could it be that many owners who ended up with PHEVs in these situations simply weren’t bothered about the electric capabilities of their fancy new car?
Or perhaps they don't have access to a charging point, leaving them with little choice but to use their plug-in on engine power alone?
Undeniably, silently cruising to your local supermarket in a Mitsubishi Outlander doesn’t come with the same gravitas as prowling the sun-bleached streets of Monaco in a hypercar. However, you’d still have thought that owners of these vehicles would be keen to save some cash!
The Outlander PHEV has been extremely popular with over 40,000 sold in the UK over the last 5 years © - Mitsubishi Motors – Mitsubishi-media.co.uk
Unfortunately, the recent scrapping of the government grant isn’t going to suddenly make PHEVs cool. It’s more likely that we could be about to witness a massive decline in the number of PHEVs being sold.
With that being said, it might not be bad thing as it could encourage more people into increasingly capable fully electric cars.
WHAT DO YOU THINK WILL HAPPEN TO PLUG-IN HYBRIDS? COMMENT BELOW AND LET ME KNOW!
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Im Blee, an aspiring car journalist. Subscribe to follow my journey into the world of cars!