Brussels is considering penalizing the rechargeable hybrid that drinks too much
The legislator has become convinced: it is high time to stop believing that the user of a plug-in hybrid vehicle takes the trouble to charge the battery every time the opportunity arises, to drive more often possible in electric mode. Consequently, on July 5, 2022, the European Union decided to edit WLTP rules measurement of fuel consumption and CO2 emissions of plug-in hybrids.
“The homologation protocol for plug-in hybrids was drafted in 2014, at a time when authorities, manufacturers and consumers had very little perspective on this type of vehicle,” explains activists from The International Council on Clean Transportation ( ICCT).
Plug-in hybrids too rarely drive in electric mode
But since then, several studies have demonstrated that the actual conditions of use have only a distant relationship with the conditions of the consumption measurements carried out in the laboratory. This had to change, because these official values depend not only on the payment of an ecological bonus on the purchase, but also the calculation of the manufacturer’s annual average emissions. Which receives a heavy fine in Brussels, if it exceeds its individual objective.
In September 2020, this same ICCT calculated that the actual emissions of plug-in hybrids (these cars capable of covering 40 to 60 km in electric mode with a full battery) are “two to four times the official homologation values” as printed in advertisements and trade catalogs. Hardly surprising, when we know that a good part of these vehicles are financed by companies for the needs of their employees – who are not out of pocket and do not care about reducing expenditure on fuel from their employer by charging the battery.
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