Celebrated as a clean drive, ostracized as a climate killer, the plug-in hybrid is controversial. Now new figures raise the question: Should there really be an environmental bonus for buying such cars?
A clean, cheap ride – and at the time of purchase there’s a generous subsidy from the state: this simple formula makes the plug-in hybrid a successful model. About every tenth new car in Europe is already fueled by supposedly clean driving.
However, researchers have long proven that the plug-in hybrid is far less clean than is often claimed. Now there is a new investigation. And in this respect, the new models perform even worse than the older ones.
Real consumption up to five times higher
For the study, the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI and the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT, a non-profit research organization) looked at usage data from approximately 9,000 plug-in hybrids from all of Europe. The most important result: cars consume several times more than their manufacturers claim.
“On average, the real fuel consumption and CO2 emissions of plug-in hybrid vehicles for private owners in Germany and other European countries are about three times higher than the official test cycle, while the values for Company cars are even about five times higher, ”says Dr Patrick Ploetz of the ISI.