Plug-in hybrids are more than ever in the sights of the European Union, and Germany in particular. A study marks a line that will prevent PHEV SUVs from accessing aid, the true objective that Germany has been pursuing for a long time, and that costs billions.
Manufacturers say that the previous step to electric cars are plug-in hybrids, although a large percentage of the population have taken the leap directly without going through the intermediate and have no regrets at all. In countries like Germany, the government offers an aid package to replace traditional combustion cars with plug-in and electric hybrids. Subsidies that are renewed year after year dedicating multimillion-dollar items, which become unbearable for any government.
Last year, Germany polished 4,600 million euros in aid for the purchase of sustainable mobility vehiclesa very high amount, and in which they are studying to dedicate exclusively to electrical, much more after accessing the conclusions of the study carried out by the prestigious Fraunhofer Institute and the ICCT that has determined that the efficiency that PHEVs boast is not so real and is not a reason to subsidize their purchase.
Plug-in hybrid sports SUVs are the target to be removed from aid
The aid in Germany is divided according to the type of propulsion with 6,000 Euros for the purchase of electric vehicles and 4,500 Euros for PHEVs, which is assumed by the government, although other tax advantages can also be added, such as discounts on annual mechanical traction taxes, among others. But the minimum autonomy in electric mode that they have to offer to access aid has already been increased for PHEVs, trying to eliminate SUVs, which manufacturers have solved by increasing battery capacity.
Supported by the independents of the ICCT (International Council on Clean Transport), a comparative study has been carried out taking nine PHEVs and another nine battery-powered pure electrics that all militate between the compact and D segment, also including SUVs. Average emissions were directly compared to equivalent gasoline models.
With only 1,000 Euros of purchase assistance, an electric saves 22 g/km of CO2, while a PHEV only 14 g/km
Dr. Patrick Plötz, one of those responsible for the study from the Fraunhofer Institute, has pointed out that “On average, fully electric battery vehicles purchased in Germany produce approx. 63 percent less CO2 over its lifetime than a comparable gasoline vehicle. For plug-in hybrid vehicles, the average savings is only 34 percent, but with a wide range from 10 to 52 percent.”
Georg Bieker of the ICCT and co-author of the study notes that “PHEVs tend to have a much poorer relationship between government funding and CO2 savings achieved. Since they will continue to rely on fossil fuels in the future, the long-term climate benefit of promoting plug-in hybrids is also much smaller than with fully electric cars.”
Both parties agree that it is necessary to correct the imbalance produced by PHEVs in aid, which would mean reduce the aid to 2,000 euros. In such a case, many customers would no longer consider this option as a possibility of purchase and an electric one. But given the catastrophe that it would cause among the population, the experts advocate a solution that is difficult to implement but, at the same time, the most desired, that of remove SUVs from these aidspromoting only certain modelsand with one condition, that of demonstrate the highest electric range. Something they can do thanks to the fuel consumption register, which stores the data of the average fuel consumption and the distance traveled in electric mode.