The Future Of PHEVs Looks Bleak In UK

NOV 13 2018 BY MARK KANE 27

UK will check whether PHEVs are attractive without the Plug-In Car Grant

UK is Europe’s biggest market for plug-in hybrid cars, but after the cut of the £2,500 Plug-In Car Grant for PHEVs (and decreasing for BEVs from £4,500 to £3,500), sales are expected to decrease.

According to JATO Dynamics global analyst Felipe Munoz, in the worst case scenario, UK will go down the path delineated set by the Netherlands, which through generous incentives for PHEVs was in 2015 the PHEV kingdom. Then incentives were withdrawn and PHEVs are not big deal there anymore.

Felipe Munoz said that “The only advantage PHEVs have is their incentive,” – there are still lower taxes for company cars, or fuel savings, but according to the article, now PHEVs will not be competitive on the market.

Plug-in hybrids account for 3/4 of plug-in car sales in the UK, so any significant decrease will have a deep impact on the overall result.

PHEVs were earlier this year already hit by WLTP emission results, which are worse than under NEDC and prevented many PHEVs from some incentives anyway (manufacturers decided to take them off the market).

“The grant loss came at a time when plug-in hybrid sales were already on the verge of being poleaxed by the switch to the new WLTP emissions testing regime. This came into force in September and was much tougher on plug-in hybrids, meaning cars recorded worse emissions figures and therefore attracted fewer incentives. The response from some manufacturers was simply to remove the car from sale – the VW Passat GTE has only just returned but the Golf GTE isn’t expected back until July 2019. Also dropped were the BMW 330e and several Mercedes.”

Well, we are not policymakers, but as emission requirements are tightening and technology improving, we believe that electrification is inevitable. There must be some room to upgrade the cars and make them £2,500 ($3,200) more affordable or more valuable at the same price in the near future anyways.

Source: Autocar

Categories: General

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27 Comments on "The Future Of PHEVs Looks Bleak In UK"

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PHEVs are utterly pointless with stop start engines when you factor in the added complexity costings etc the sums don’t add up. Save your money wait for the BEVs technology to work for you then switch over when your ready. It has to be BEV or ICE no inbetweeners 🙂

Where is the BEV alternative to the Outlander PHEV then? Especially one with a similar cost and 4WD.
Mine gets charged mostly from the sun via my PV system and that does all my local driving.
That means I have a short range BEV but can go long distances when needed AND tow a trailer.

I know that is a compromise until a decent and affordable BEV SUV that does not cost the earth comes along. It is certainly better than driving a pure ICE vehicle.

I think the problem is you don’t really have to plug it in and people could simply use the ice all day. Would like to know how many PHEVs are plugged in every night?

I wonder if you think that BEV buyers only plug them in because they have to?

PHEVs get plugged in, BEVs get plugged in, and not all of them gets plugged in exactly all the time no matter if BEV or PHEV.

I really think the vast majority of PHEVs sold to individuals (even C350es) are plugged in. There’s no point accepting the other compromises of a PHEV if you’re not going to plug it in.

I could see an argument for eliminating HOV passes for PHEVs as that is a non-efficiency incentive to buy one.

Many PHEVs have superior efficiency on ICE than their nonhybrid equivalents, so they are still an improvement.

On the i3 ReX—100%.

Of the PHEV owners I’ve come across, the vast majority plug in. I have met a couple of outliers who rarely or never do, and they owned the PHEV due to price incentives and/or HOV access that came with having the PHEV instead of an ICE or std hybrid.
They are few and far between.

Mine. I fully charged my Fusion Energi twice every workday. I sold it after 4.5 years with a lifetime average of 86% electric powered over 66k miles. I went 2-4 months without gassing up.

Car started with a 20 miles range and work was 19 miles away. I didn’t hyper mile either. I sold it because the battery’s thermal management system wasn’t great and I’d lost 1/3 of the battery capacity.

Hello Americans. In the UK electricity is cheaper and fuel is about £1.30 a liter. Thst is $6.40 per US gallon.

Hey Britons. My electricity is free (solar), but I sell it to the city for 10¢ a kWh. I don’t use gas except in the lawn mower that I buy about a litre at a time. 🙂

Not true—if they are a good PHEV—which means a BEV-first car with a ICE backup in practical use. Especially if the charged-up electric performance is better than being discharged.

Good examples: Chevrolet Volt (53 mi), BMW i3 ReX (114 mi), Honda Clarity (47 mi). They have good electric range, but often in cold or outlying areas it is very inconvenient to charge. The range extender lets people take the car where they wouldn’t take a BEV (and use (L)ICE instead).

Volt and i3 owners drive on 90% to 99% electric in real world—but the remainder is important. Yes, there’s a downside to complexity, but basic non-turbo ordinary ICE engines can be made reliable after 100 years of development. And in an EV they will be used infrequently.

I do not agree. A hybrid like Prius or Niro that has the possibility of regenerating brake energy is a better option than ICE in my opinion.

Plugin hybrid can be a great option for 1 car families. Especially with a Volt like range.

But they have a bad rep for sucking up subsidies with no real MPG gains. The PHE Vehicles that failed the WLTP, are part of the reason the phase out took place in the Netherlands. The battery was just an afterthought to get some tax money, did not add value at all.

These PHEVs grants were going toward reducing the cost of very expensive 4x4s and sports cars most only doing 10miles electric. The people who spend this much on a car are not going to plug it in every night to save a few quid or help the environment . This grant should of been removed years ago and set aside for full EV.

Poeple who spend this much??? The PHEVs are cheaper then the BEVs for the same size.


Many companies were buying the cars because of the grant because it saved them money. The cars were NEVER plugged in. Totally ludicrous – they would have saved even more money if they had!

Glad the grant is gone. BEV’s are the way forward. Shame the government did not increase that grant!

While grants and tax writeoffs can speed up the interest in new technologies, once those technologies are developed, they should be able to sell themselves. I think governments should end subsidies for all products and industries once they seem established.

In this case there is a major environmental problem. When we have greenhouse gases back close to pre-industrial levels, maybe 400 years from now, we can take off the government activities.

I don’t understand why the PHEV hate, other than the short range on electric. I would consider a 50-60 mile PHEV equal or superior to most BEVs right now. The Chevy Volt for example is a great car and most owners very rarely use gas. If we replaced most of the cars on the road today with 50+ mile plug-ins and had charging at apartments it would curb most of our emissions problems. Once the magic of Solid State batteries gets here, everything will be plug-in or BEV.

Exactly.. Can you imagine what our oil consumption would be if people were filling up every 4 to 6 months instead of once or twice a week?

Do Not Read Between The Lines

The problem is that it won’t happen without cheap batteries and power.
And if there are cheap batteries, why not instead buy a BEV that’s quicker, more efficient, has no scheduled maintenance, has more interior space, does 99% of your trips within range, and costs you no more or less than the PHEV?

Battery supply is constricted. You can build on average 7 PHEVs for one BEV using same number of cells. If each of these PHEVs can achieve 70% of the fuel savings (which they can if plugged in) but there are 7 times as many on the road then this would be a much better use of the batteries. There is a strong argument that BEVs will hamper decarbonisation in the short term as they all use up vast quantities of redundant batteries that get dragged around all the time but rarely utilised. Better to drag around a redundant ICE which doesn’t use up precious batteries and weighs less. At least that’s what an engineer would say…

Your answer is theoretically sound but in practice most PHEVs are crap EVs, especially in non-mild climates.

You cant compare the Volt to Outlander PHEV. Volt was a major undertaking for GM in both monetary and man hour terms whereas Outlander PHEV version is a mostly outsourced afterthought with a still a lot of bugs despite 5 years of customer feedback.
I mean I am happy that there has been a (PH)EV SUV in Europe for those years but I do wish there was more effort than just the minimum to comply with market rules. Volts European vesion Opel Ampera is a great PHEV but since its actually an imported GM, it was also very expensive and not very common.

(I mentioned Outlander PHEV specifically because thats UKs most popular PHEV by a very wide margin)

In the UK PHEVs are cheaper to buy then the EV equivalent just look at the three forms of Hyundai ioniq as a price comparison.
Also most people I know rightly or not simply don’t believe that pure EV can be rolled out to everyone.

I have IONIQ PHEV and it runs 90% electric.

I always believed that PHEV’s were a transition technology. They are good for some people today, maybe the next years, but the end of any ICE engine, is coming. Yesterday the spanish govern, said that 2040 is the limit for to registrate any ICE car in Spain. In 2050, nobody could use combustion cars. And Spain is not the most ambition country in UE. Europe will be ban all combustion cars. In 2-3 decads, we will not can driver a petrol car, never more. So, I think today a PHEV is a expensive way to wait for that momento. I own a 15 years petrol car. My intention is wait until the electric cars become more affordable and technologically improved, the offer available in the market more interesting, and the charging infraestructures will not be a problem.