iBird plug-in cars record emissions above homologation data with high environmental impact according to T&E survey
THE plug-in hybrid caralso called PHEV, represent one of the “instruments” reduce atmospheric emissions related to the four-wheel sector, at least in theory. The possibility of also operating in zero emission mode represents, in fact, an important resource for this type of vehicle which can operate in a similar way to that of electric cars and, if necessary, switch to “traditional” mobility with gasoline or diesel. Determining emissions from plug-in hybrid cars it is therefore a issue. This figure is in fact closely linked to the way in which the vehicle is used. A new Transport & Environment (T&E) survey confirm that PHEV cars still have very high real world emissions and often higher than approved values. Therefore, the environmental impact of these cars is much higher than the tests estimated. Here are the data from the study.
PLUG-IN HYBRID EMISSIONS ARE HIGHER THAN HOMOLOGATION DATA
The problem of emissions from plug-in hybrid cars is not new. Indeed, for some time now, independent tests have been analyzing the actual behavior of these vehicles, highlighting some very specific critical points. In particular, there is a serious problem with the actual emissions of PHEV cars. Plug-in hybrids have emissions higher than homologation data (based on standard test cycles and not actual use). A survey commissioned by T&E in 2020 has already highlighted the problem. After about two and a half years, data in hand, it becomes clear that the problems are not yet solved. Emissions peak at 70% higher than reported data.
THE EMISSIONS TEST OF PLUG-IN HYBRID CARS
The T&E test, carried out by the University of Graz, put it to the test three PHEV models:
– BMW 3 Series
According to the data collected, in urban driving, in real conditions of use, only the Renault megane registered a range in zero emission mode in accordance with the declared data. There Peugeot 308 she stopped at 53% while the BMW 3 Series At 74%. In two out of three cases, therefore, the range in electric mode is significantly lower than the figure declared by the manufacturer and confirmed by the approval tests. It should be noted that theuse in hybrid mode (an operation that alternates internal combustion engine and electric motor according to the needs and the state of the battery), actual emissions are significantly higher than declared data, even starting with a 100% charged battery. This figure is highlighted in the attached graph. Anna Krajinska, Head of Vehicle Emissions at T&E, commented: “Plug-in hybrids are sold as the perfect combination of a battery for all local needs and a motor for long distances. But real-world tests show this to be a myth. In city testing, only one of the PHEVs advertised electric range, while all three emit more than advertised in suburban driving. Regulators should treat PHEVs based on their actual emissions.”
ACTUAL EMISSIONS ARE UP TO 7 TIMES HIGHER FOR PLUG-IN HYBRID CARS
Then there is another “problem” that emerges from the texts. When used with low batteryIn fact, plug-in hybrid cars gift CO2 emissions between 5 and 7 times higher than declared data. It’s a huge gap. The actual conditions of use, at least for the hybrid models, are strongly conditioned by the time of use of the electric motor compared to the gasoline one, which makes them very different from those established by the WLTP homologation tests. According to T&E, these data should encourage governments to stop subsidizing PHEV carsstill available in Italy with the 2023 car incentives. Last year alone, around 350 million euros were spent in Europe to support the spread of PHEV models.
WITH ELECTRIC CARS IT IS POSSIBLE TO SAVE COMPARED TO PLUG-IN HYBRIDS
According to the study authors, the transition from a plug-in hybrid car to an electric car (comparing two models with similar characteristics) would guarantee net savings for motorists. This saving is linked to the lower running costs guaranteed by electric cars. Indeed, the reduced range in electric mode of hybrids leads to higher costs. In the three cases considered, it is evident that:
– who passed from a Peugeot 308 PHEV to an electric Citroën eC4 it would save 4,800 euros per year
– who passed from a Renault Megane PHEV to an electric Renault Megane they would save 1,300 euros per year
– who passed from a BMW 3 Series PHEV to a Tesla Model 3 they would save 2,600 euros per year
Savings data refer to an ‘average EU motorist’.
Source : Sicur Auto