EV Purists Take Note: A Ton Of Plug-in Hybrids Are Coming

Toyota Prius Prime PHEV


If plug-in hybrids mean more electric miles, then why not?

General Motors announced this week that it’s done with plug-in hybrids. This news comes after The General’s decision to kill the Chevy Volt, which for years the company said was far superior to any EV. So now it appears that three companies – Tesla, General Motors, and Nissan – are the EV purists.

Battery-electrics will continue to get all the buzz (because they’re better). But don’t think for a second that plug-in hybrids are going the way of the dodo.

The BMW 5-Series plug-in hybrid outsold the brand’s all-electric i3.

We can argue ad nauseam about the pros and cons of EVs versus PHEVs. And we could analyze the business reasons for why GM changed its tune.

Regardless, the vast majority of automakers are locked and loaded with big plans for plug-in hybrids. They’re coming folks. And because these plug-in hybrids will have increasingly longer all-electric ranges, more and more of our miles will be electric. Isn’t that the point?

Some facts to consider:

  • The current U.S market has 30 plug-in hybrids compared to 14 pure EVs.
  • The second biggest electric seller in 2018 was the Toyota Prius Prime. Its starting price is about $27,000.
  • The only version of the Honda Clarity that sells across the country is the plug-in hybrid.
  • The Volkswagen group plans to offer 20 new plug-in hybrids in the next couple years – in addition to about 25 pure EVs. The all-electric range of these EVs will grow to about 40 miles.
  • Ford promises 40 electrified vehicles by 2022. Only a few will be purely electric.
  • The BMW 530e plug-in hybrid outsold the BMW i3 in 2018. BMW sold twice as many plug-in hybrids as pure EVs in 2018. By 2025, the BMW showroom will have 25 electrified models, and most of them will be plug-in hybrids. BMW’s next X5 plug-in hybrid will offer 50 miles of electric range.
  • Mercedes-Benz says that its new third-generation plug-in hybrid system, with expanded all-electric range, will be offered across its entire lineup.
  • Jeep will introduce four new EVs by about 2022 – but the brand will add 10 plug-in hybrids.
  • Plug-in hybrids are coming to luxury sports car brands as well. Maserati plans to make four pure EVs by about 2022. But it will also offer eight plug-in hybrids.

Categories: BMW, Chevrolet, Ford, Honda, Mercedes, Volkswagen

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239 Comments on "EV Purists Take Note: A Ton Of Plug-in Hybrids Are Coming"

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Time for a separate list for PHEV’s, and a separate list for BEV’s (because the number of Plug-In models will increase substantially)?

Perhaps as from 2020?

@Benz said: “Time for a separate list for PHEV…”

Keep PHEV on same list as all-electric to keep in context PHEV sales agaist all-electric. Let victor rise to the top.

The primary EV choice basically breaks down to:

#1 -PHEV ICE range extender.

#2- All-electric with access to a often not convenient and often not reliable fast charge network.

#3- All-electric with access to a robust convenient and reliable fast charge network.

Seems for a few years more only Tesla will be offering #3 so will be interesting to see how that shakes out sales wise with with the many new #1 & #2 EV models coming online.

The hybrids will not sell well when the TCO comparisons come in.

Guess a dual list like that would make it more easily to spot that Model 3 singlehandedly outsold all PHEVs combined in the US last year.

A BEV-bigot asserting it is “Time for a separate list …” might take their own advice. A Prius Prime and BMW i3-REx owner, we share the “plug-in problem” which brought me to InSideEVs. The difference, I do something about it.

Visit PlugShare.com sites: https://www.plugshare.com/location/101391 (Propst Drugs) and 17847 (The Tennessean Truck Stop.) I negotiated the circuit and donated the EVSE at Propst. I also demonstrated the ShorePowerConnect stations mid-way between Huntsville AL and Nashville, a previously unknown charging network.

I’ve also done early testing of unreliable 152884 (VW’s Electrify America, Manchester TN) where the second attempt failed and I drove home on the REx. Furthermore, I reported the broken station at 11080, Shelbyville TN knowing I had a way home.

Finally, I ran two benchmark tests that showed gas is 1/4th the cost of electricity on long distance trips. In town, electricity is 1/2 the cost of gas. That is the flex-fuel capability of a plug-in that BEV-bigots fail to address.

Former Huntsville resident, current Nashville resident. Thanks for your work to build out and test infrastructure.

“gas is 1/4th the cost of electricity on long distance trips.”

I purchased a Model 3 LR about 8 months ago. In that time, I’ve covered about 6000 miles on the Supercharger network and 12000 miles with home charging. Average cost is about 5 cents a mile with Superchargers (total $312.46) and < 3 cents a mile at home.

EIA lists 2018 US average retail price for regular at $2.70/gal and premium at $3.29/gal.

Prius Prime charge-sustaining highway is rated at 53 mpg regular = 5.1 cents/mile.
BMW 330e charge-sustaining & BMW 330i highway is rated at 34 mpg premium = 9.7 cents/mile.

So in my experience, the Model 3 for long distance travel costs about as much as a Prius and about half as much a BMW 3 series .. and halve the Model 3 costs again for local travel.

First I appreciate sharing you experience. A TSLA stock holder, the SuperCharger network was an element in my choice to buy TSLA. However, non-Tesla owner, here are my benchmarks:



I can’t change my metrics but I can and do appreciate the advantages of Tesla.

Or just the same list divided with sub totals for each section(EV/PHEV), and combined total at the bottom.

I hope that the future EV shoppers in 2019-20, who aspire to drive among the Plug-in Hybrid faithful, are able to get the Honda Clarity PHEV over the Prius Prime. The Honda is the longer range (47mi.) all electric PHEV champion, beating the Prius Prime (25 mi.) by close to 2X EV only miles.


Second that William. I am surprised by the number of people on this site who go to great pains to diss this vehicle

The Clarity PHEV section of the InsideEVs forum is by far the most active section.

There are a lot of Clarity PHEV drivers out there who are very happy with their cars, and that number is only going to grow! Unlike GM and the Chevy Volt, I don’t see Honda taking the Clarity PHEV out of production anytime soon.

I really don’t understand the attitude of EV “purists” who treat PHEVs, even those with a good range like the Clarity PHEV and the Chevy Volt, as red-headed stepchildren. The EV revolution will benefit with the widest possible range of PEVs on the market… and that is going to include PHEVs for at least several more years. The time will come when BEVs have enough range and can be ultra-fast charged so rapidly that PHEVs won’t be in demand anymore. But that time won’t come this year, or the next, and most likely not the year after that either.

As an EV purist, I welcome decent electric range PHEVs. I think people are upset at Honda on how pathetic their BEV offering is and take the frustration out on the PHEV which shares the same platform.

Yes! I absolutely agree.

Clarity is too big for me and gets significantly lower mpg when runningis gasoline mode.

Well then buy a smaller car then. But many, many people need a mid-sized vehicle, and you could do worse than buying a Clarity PHEV- a car which has excellent MPGe for its size, and also great gas mileage after 47-48 miles when the battery is dead. Running the car in eco mode, and using a light foot, ensures that the engine will not run until necessary.

I could displace 80-90% of my gas-only miles in my ICE car with a Prius Prime. 25 miles is nothing to sneeze at.


I’d sooner take hits, for being vein, than drive around a Honda with Buick Roadmaster flaring. Maybe there’s an aero argument, but that’s not what onlookers are thinking.

As a Clarity owner I really don’t care what the bystanders think. I think the rear wheel openings give it a nice French flair.

Economic argument before any lofty arguments of green or better car. Model 3 is far away in price from Honda Clarity PHEV when you account for all the rebates. The model 3 is nearly twice the price of a Honda Clarity PHEV….Green enough for me and easy on the wallet and no range anxiety. There will be a time for electric in the future.. it is not now except for Tesla fanboys!

Model 3 it’s a like a spacious $25k car with performance (acceleration) of a super car and a terrible range compared with most ICE cars… and it’s electric.

Cool story grandpa…

I’m getting ~350 miles of range in my Model 3… seems like ICE vehicles typically range from 300-400 miles per tank of gas, so it’s right in the middle of the pack.

You’re all cherry picking. Diesel cars half of the price of model 3 it’s typically go over 600 miles with one tank… And they’re slower from 0 to 60, top speed is just fine.
Hybrids also present huge range, even gasoline.
Model 3 is the best (or close) EV regarding range.
EVs car have good range in the city, were mostly short distances are required, ICE non hybrid cars are poor in the city but are a lot more efficient at highway speeds when long distances are more the case. EVs range goes down with speed.

In long distance, cold, age and other external factors have no influence or very small with ICE cars, EV range goes down with age and temp – model 3 range is no longer 310 miles but a lot less.

Plus range of ICE cars it’s not relevant as they need 5 minutes to get a full tank.

I’m pro EVs, but let’s not present arguments that are distorted. Plus it’s silly to download votes just because you don’t fit your agenda.

If you’re driving 100+ miles a day, you should consider moving and/or change jobs instead of gas car. But for rare times you need over 200 miles, there’s supercharger. Heck, even 82 miles rated SparkEV can travel 650 miles in a day, 1000 miles a day if you really push it.

And you left out when the particulate matter enters your bloodstream through the burning of your diesel, it causes asthma and cancer, so there is the added cost of that.

Many people like him, don’t care. Unless it’s cheaper more convenience, it doesn’t tickle their interest. It’s like a forgotten factor nobody wants to talk about. Educated people with kids get it. The rest, not so much ….

Well said. Current EVs have limitations. Sweeping them under the rug doesn’t help EV adoption. I think we can all agree that EVs are the future, but current EV owners are all early adopters and get to deal with both the good (great acceleration, helping the environment) and the bad (congestion at limited charge stations, major range hit in the winter).

Nobody intelligent is sweeping anything under a rug …. only stupid people who have agenda do. If what you wrote is 100% true, why would many of us keep driving EV’s with zero interest to go back to anything with spark plugs? You think we are dumb, or perhaps we figured that this is the most fitting mode of propulsion to our usage and wallet? Could it be just that simple?

Another Euro point of view

Where do you guys live and with what ICE retarded technology that average range of ICE there is 300-400 miles per tank of gas.

Our ICE is a 2010 Toyota Yaris (bare-bones, 5 speed). Does just under 40 MPG so 400 miles, summer and winter in New England. Not everyone drives large SUVs.

Useless debate, if you don’t qualify type of driving and size of the tank …. it sounds like people who buy a car and then come back month later, complaining, I have to fill up more than once a week, what gives??? No concept of consumption per liters in a particular driving mode.

You do realize a BMW M3 has 316 miles range right? The M5 has even less at 306 miles range.


Aka, the Model 3’s range is comparable to other cars in its class. Educate yourself before spouting nonsense next time.

@TheWay, do you realize how little M3’s & M5’s sell relative to the entire US car market (no SUV’s, trucks, etc).


Like I’ve said, it’s extreme cherry picking.
There are hundreds car models, how to justify a generic argument?, let’s pick 2 models (one that has still limited worldwide availability) and compare…
Rest assure though, I don’t down vote polite comments even when I don’t agree with them ;), I’m more elevated than that.

ICE’s need to go somewhere to refuel every few hundred miles. Electric cars will often go thousands of miles without having to go to a changing station. Leaving every morning with a full tank of electrons isn’t a convenience people are going to be willing to give up. My BEV also saves me $300 in gas every month which kind of makes it cost about as much as an ecobox would.

Those are very good arguments, are they enough to make EVs more convenient in majority of cases?
I’m sure it’s not.
But congratulations, you were the first that instead of whining about it could actually say something smart… and there are plenty more advantages for EVs… and easy obvious ones.

Well I guess in the end it will the buyers who decide. Tesla keeps expanding and keeps selling so they must be doing something right. Everyone needs to stop being so tribal and divided. Stop being conned by Putin and the FF industry. Buy what works for you. In the end batteries will keep getting better and eventually will replace gas. Unfortunately it will be too late to undo the environment damage and half the population might be dead or relocated by then but at least it’s something.

Electric cars CAN NOT go thousands of miles without charging… that’s just plain ignorance,

That’s not what he said. Read it again.

LOL…ok…you think Clarity phev is an electric?! I have one and i can tell you it’s a sad compromise Honda made. When they say that the electric range is between 0 and 47 miles believe them….because the ICE can kick in at any moment and for no good reason. One day i had a full battery and the car still run on gas….WTF??? You need to drive real ev to realize what you don’t know about them.

It is a PHEV and not a pure BEV. You are missing the basic premise of my argument…The 5 person Honda Clarity PHEV sedan is a full family vehicle that balances economics and respect for the environment. I am not missing anything (except for the hole in my pocket to but an electric car). Clarity PHEV starts in electric and transitions to ICE when it runs out of battery. So, I think there is some Trumpian falsehood in your statement above.

For future reference: pretty much any reference to politics will get a down vote from me.

Even though I own only BEVs now I find the BEV Puristas a net negative for EV adoption and they bring to mind one of my favorite quotes: The perfect is the enemy of the good. I need 300 miles of highway range which means if I want to drive at least most of my miles on electricity I either pony up for a model 3 LR (which is now 5K more than I paid since they eliminated the RWD version) or get a Clarity or Volt for less than 1/2 the (net actual sales) price . I can already hear the Puristas saying “no one needs 300 miles of highway range when SuperChargers are only 150 miles apart”. Well some of us like to venture off interstates and go to parks, wildlife refuges etc that are 100 to 150 miles away each way with no charging infrastructure or in some cases no electricity. I think strong PHEVs like the Volt and Clarity are a great option until BEVs with comparable range and prices for a comparable form factor come out. Looking at the top 10 selling vehicles in the US I think PHEV versions would be a great option… Read more »

This is the main drawback of the Clarity. This never happens with a Volt. Honda could fix this with a simple software change. The car’s electric motor is certainly powerful enough.

The other drawback is the awful straight panels on top of the rear tires. Since Chevy is prematurely abandoning the Volt, I would seriously consider the Clarity PHEV if it didn’t have those eyesore panels.

Looks are subjective, and for me, those things are a show stopper.

1 Tesal lifetime = 2 ICE lifetimes. 1 ICE lifetime cost = new purchase price x 2. Cost of ownership comparison – 1 Tesla purchase price compared to 4 ICE purchase prices.

When battery prices fall, it will make more sense to increase the range than add another power plant

But when batteries become denser and smaller, it will be very cheap to convert ICE cars to compelling PHEVs. So both segments will grow in parallel.

The problem there is ICE cars by design are flawed and have to make compromises due to the gas engine. So if a car company is serious about EVs, they would design the car from scratch to make the most efficient EV.

Conversions are always going to be compromises.

Agree. PHEVs will be short lived IMHO. Who wants the complexity?

Looks like a lot of people, market share of BEVs and PHEVs are similar. Complexity is not a problem as long as there are advantages to a system. Batteries are not exactly environmentally friendly to produce, also when tax credits go away PHEVs are more economical to develop than pure EVs.

“Market share of BEVs and PHEVs are similar.” Have you looked at the Plug-in Scorecard? The average PHEV model sold 4,375 cars last year and the average BEV model sold 15,960 cars. Is that considered similar?

Incorrect math if you are using averages!

“Batteries are not exactly environmentally friendly to produce…”

Making one single battery pack for a plug-in EV is certainly far, far more environmentally friendly than making the hundreds (or perhaps even thousands) of tanks full of gasoline that a gasmobile uses over its lifespan!

But is it more environmentally friendly than tens of gallons that a good PHEV will use? A good PHEV like Volt or Honda Clarity will reduce gas consumption by 90%, using 1/4 of the battery.

Batteries made in the US don’t produce that much pollution. Most US made EVs break even vs gas cars in the first year.

Since plugin hybrids require extra parts, the difference between manufacturing a BEV and PHEV is not that much.

The “complexity” is invisible to the user. The transition from EV mode to ICE mode is seamless. When you run out of charge, having a backup source of fuel is a “complexity” you come to really appreciate.

There was a study done years ago (https://www.greencarreports.com/news/1088628_chevy-volt-owners-drive-more-electric-miles-than-nissan-leaf-drivers-why) and (https://avt.inl.gov/project-type/data) that reveal that the then 38 EV mile range Volt was driven more miles in EV mode than the 84 mile Nissan Leaf EV. The reason seems to be that Volt drivers did not hesitate to run out their full EV range because they knew they had a back-up, whereas Leaf drivers would conserve their range out of fear they would run out of charge.

“The complexity is invisible to the user.” This is wrong on so many levels……especially come maintenance and repair time. And when that EV smokes you at the red light or on the highway…..

PHEVs are EVs. One would think that people commenting here would know that.

The maintenance and repair time for a range extending ICE that rarely gets used is minimal.

When a BEV smokes you at a red light or on the highway that driver is wasting energy, so shame on her for being so irresponsible.

Do Not Read Between The Lines

The 84 mile Nissan Leaf EV was released in 2011.

It’s 2019, Leafs have 150 miles of rated range and there’s a 225 mile version coming later this year. And people are saying that it will be rubbish and you should get one of the other, better BEVs with more range instead.

I think that the advances in EV powertrain cost and capability, along with the continued expansion of public charging that increases coverage will ultimately squeeze PHEV to an option you buy if you really need to drive a lot of miles in the smallest possible time.

Do Not Read Between The Lines

If a PHEV will be very cheap, so will ICEV or BEV.

The fundamental problem for PHEV is that it’s an ICEV that _adds_ components that BEVs have.
You have to pay for most of the cost of an ICE powertrain and then also a bunch of EV components.
In a PHEV if you’re willing to compromise the electric capability, you can save some costs by reducing the capability of the EV components compared to a BEV.

But if you want the PHEV to be cheap, you need the costs of all of those EV components to come down. But as those costs are reduced and the components improve, that will have a greater impact on BEV cost and capability, and the BEV doesn’t have the additional engineering and manufacturing challenges and costs associated with the ICE drivetrain development and production.

If the US market, with high annual mileage and cheap gas, is choosing long-range BEV, what’s going to happen in markets with shorter driving distances and expensive gas as an increasing number of long-range BEVs hit the market?

PHEVs also come with all the msintenance of ICE vehicles, emissions testing and pollution (the car will make you burn gas if you wast to or not) while supporting the oil industry. Why not just buy the ev with enough range on a daily basis so there is no need for an ice backup.

There are two factors that makes them cheap, first the battery is still the most expensive component, the extra 60 kWh of battery that you need for a long-range EV costs more than the entire ICE powertrain. The second factor is that PHEVs chassis and bodies are 99% based on ICE models, so development cost is low, long-range BEVs need bespoke platforms. If you are selling in large numbers like Tesla it will work, but for others the development cost will make them very expensive.

The greatest part of a BEV in cost is battery cost, if you reduce that cost by a factor of 5 and add ICE cost you save around 5.000€ and add 3.000€. So the final product is cheaper, but has higher range…. Think about that.

True – but battery prices haven’t fallen yet.. We’ll revisit this again in 10 – 20 years when $100/kwh batteries are 1/10 th the size, weight and cost.

BMW (and others) increased sales in 2018, also in the US where the model 3 was a huge success. People are not buying model 3 instead of BMWs, people are buying different BMWs – like moving to their X line of cars.

Your argument could be used to justify why only 2% of people buying a new car, bought an EV during 2018.

We don’t need to “justify” anything for serial EV bashers like you.

The growth of PEV (Plug-in EV) sales has now entered the classic “S-curve” of adoption of new tech during a disruptive tech revolution. Within 10-15 years, well over half of new cars sold will be PEVs.

Bashers like you will of course continue to move the goal posts; last year it was “only 2%”, in another couple of years it will be “only 5%”, then “only 10%”, and finally “only 25%”… By that time, nobody will be paying any attention to you because everyone who doesn’t have his head buried firmly in the sand will realize that it won’t be long until gasmobiles are virtually obsolete.

S-curve should not include PHEVs as they are just an interim stepping stone to full BEVs

Just a thought: The whole S-curve theory might not be entirely watertight. I seem to remember seeing Norwegian sales levelling off at about 50% in the last while. It might be that the curve is more complicated, and that even strong measures like the ones in Norway can only convince a certain proportion of the population to switch over easily. That will probably continue to creep upward as the cars and infrastructure improve, but the low hanging fruit may have already been picked there.

That is why it is called a S-curve. The first 10-20% are difficult and the last 10-20% are difficult.
Norway achieved 50% of Plug-in new car sales based on only about 15 available vehicles. That is rather remarkable, when other countries do the same transition in 5-10 years there will be 50+ available vehicles and the other half of the S-curve will be much more likely to happen.

You disregard inflated status of EV in Norway due to huge (up to 50%) incentives. You disregard miniscule number of electrified models available. You disregard absence of EVs in most categories of cars.
Norway is not a model country of how the rest of the world will behave when at 50% penetration. Those Will be radically different conditions. Less incentives, way more models, EVs in all shapes and roles, price advantage for EVs.

I’m sorry but you’re being silly.
The fact is that sales are now 2%.
It’s obvious that EVs will replace all or close ICE cars.
I’ve not said a word about the future in my post, so your justification it’s irrelevant and out of place.

It’s interesting that my polite post and I’m sure reasonable accurate – I’m mostly stating objective facts – has so many people down voting it.
Some people really can’t stand different opinions and reality.

I also find it funny that some of the fanboys label you as an “EV basher”. IMO, you are accurately stating the current pluses and minuses of EVs; that doesn’t constitute “EV bashing”…

The i3 and 5e may be about $10k apart on msrp on paper but in reality the i3 has some really cheap leases that even much cheaper evs can’t touch. A good lease on a 5e is at least double than what you can get on a i3.

Just because more hybrids are “coming” doesn’t mean they will sell.

This is absolutely the correct conclusion and it boggles my mind why people don’t see it. Repeat after me: Hybrids are not supply constrained! Every single person who wants a hybrid can buy one, right now, and get it tomorrow. There are hybrids stacked up by the dozens at any dealer you care to visit, in any form factor that you want (except pickup truck). Hybrids are demand constrained. Since hybrids are demand constrained, increasing the supply of hybrids does NOTHING. People aren’t going to magically want to buy more hybrids just because there are more hybrids. There is no unmet demand for hybrids.

BEVs are supply constrained. There is a ludicrous amount of unmet demand for BEVs. If you make more BEVs, people will buy them. If you make more hybrids, people won’t buy them.

This article is fundamentally flawed. “If plug-in hybrids mean more electric miles, then why not?” Because plug-in hybrids won’t mean more electric miles. Demand for plug-in hybrids is saturated. Demand for BEVs is far from saturated.

This is bloody obvious, people.

“Because plug-in hybrids won’t mean more electric miles.” You realize this statement is patently false, right? Not to mention, your post is a whole lot of mixing apples and oranges. Plug-in hybrids ARE supply constrained. The Volt is one such example. Its inventory creeped up, had a stellar month, then waned after the inventory went back to low levels. You’re intentionally conflating traditional hybrids and plug in hybrids which is silly. To claim there is no unmet demand for plug-in hybrids is equally silly. Volt and Prime prove that, sales have continuously been supply constrained. Same with several others on the list. Back to the point of the article, plug-in hybrids are great today. They get people to eliminate gas miles for their daily driving, and provide the flexibility to take a trip without any need to plan differently than they’re used to. Their merits don’t detract from BEVs, they complement BEVs and help people transition to BEVs. My hope is the silly infighting in the EV (BEV and PHEV) communities will end one day. I think once EVs have more mass market acceptance it’ll be a moot point, because the silly arguments will be the overwhelming minority of people… Read more »

It is absolutely not true to say that sales of the Volt are constrained by supply. The truth is that sales of the Volt were constrained by GM’s unwillingness to sell it.

Lots of choice quotes in this article by former GM employees: https://www.wired.com/story/chevy-volt-obituary-oral-history/

“I think the problem was that GM appears to have been completely unable to figure out how to explain the concept of a plug-in hybrid to people beyond the early adopters. They didn’t necessarily want a big market, they wanted to sell enough for regulatory compliance.”

“I would get horror stories of people going into a dealership, and the dealer would say, ‘Oh you want a Volt, you must be interested in the fuel economy. Well I have 35 Chevy Cruises in inventory on my lot. Let me try to sell you one of those.'”

“I think GM sold basically as many Volts as they wanted to. They wanted to sell just enough to be seen as a leader. The initial marketing was, I won’t say insincere, but it was a little odd and it seemed grasping.”

On the point you’re arguing right now, we’re saying the same thing. So you’re arguing against your original point about the sales not being supply constrained.

Not wanting to sell it and constrained by supply are the same thing in my eyes. I’m not discriminating between supply relative to what the company allowed versus what was physically capable of being produced.

In other words, the number of sales don’t reflect the demand for the vehicle, because just like one of the quotes you referenced, “GM sold basically as many Volts as they wanted to… to sell just enough…”

Hence, supply constrained! More would sell if they were made available. That’s the definition of supply constrained.

Yes Eric – this silly infighting regarding the BEV / PHEV camps are rather like computer geeks from 30 years ago stating “My Modem is bigger than your Modem”.. Its that ridiculous.

Seeing as the VOLT is up until now, the best selling plug-in in North America, (admittedly the 3 will soon surpass it), and the fact that OLD VOLTS have more ALL ELECTRIC RANGE than Nissan Leafs certainly prove which car has the most longstanding value.

People here who will never buy an electric car of any kind never worry about Total Cost of Operation.

Poor people will never be able to afford solar panels on their homes, nor new Teslas. But they may be able to afford used Volts and cars like them.

Bill, exactly. Agree on all points!

How many PHEV pickup trucks are available for sale right now?

You will note that I carefully and deliberately excluded pickup trucks in my original comment. But more to the point, none of the PHEVs mentioned in this article is a pickup truck.

Since Via motors is doing so little – some may think there will NEVER be a practical PHEV pickup truck. But as Bob Lutz used to say, the economics for a pickup truck PHEV are so much more compelling than even the good economics for a VOLT that it is only a matter of time until there are plenty of them.

Green Eye Shade Accountants at big companies will buy these Phev commercial trucking vehicles not because of any particular love for evs, but will buy them simply since their longevity will be longer, and their fueling cost (most of the time) will be less than for the vehicles they are currently using, such that the company can save money long-term by converting the majority of their fleets to these vehicles.

Dj, repeat after me “Tesla Model 3 is not the only EV out there”. Suggesting that demand for BEVs is “unconstrained’ ignores 2 things:
– for years now we’ve had pure BEVs, including long range ones and demand for those has been actually worse than PHEVs
– demand only exists relative to price. It is safe to say that demand for a 30K model 3 would be huge (again there is no such thing as ‘unconstrained’) but such vehicle doesn’t even exist and likely never will

The Bolt is the ONLY non-Tesla long-range BEV currently available for immediate purchase. The Bolt outsells every PHEV except the Honda Clarity and Prius Prime.

“Hybrids are demand constrained. Since hybrids are demand constrained, increasing the supply of hybrids does NOTHING.”

There is a hole in your argument at least as big as the Tesla Semi Truck.

There are literally hundreds of different models of gasmobiles on the market, so demand is very well supplied. Contrariwise, there are only 2 or 3 PHEV models with EV range better than 40 miles on the market, and one of those is being taken out of production!

We won’t know what the demand is for PHEVs with moderate or better range until there are a lot more models on the market. We know there is at least some demand for a PHEV pickup; witness the excitement over announcements from Rivian, Bollinger, and Workhorse. That demand is currently not being met at all!

You contradict yourself. The reason why high electric range PHEVs are being taken out of production is because they cannot be made profitably. PHEVs have all the complexity and price tag of ICE+BEV, and none of the advantages of BEV in terms of performance, handling, or layout.

Also, Rivian and Bollinger make BEV pickups, not PHEV.

Workhorse and Via make only PHEV models. Haven’t seen many Rivian, Bollinger, nor Atlis pickup trucks in my neighborhood yet.

Smith Electric might be a more practical company to prove your point since they’ve actually successfully sold a few BEV trucks.

hybrid are avalible, PHEVs not.

If you leave trucks out, you can begin to make an argument but not finish it. Charging infrastructure and winter conditions are still compromising. The PHEV problem is makers denying the ideal 40-mile real-world range formula, and sticking with anemic 5-15KWh solutions that are designed to fail. I get that dual drive-trains cost a lot, but functionally, a “BEV with a bail-out” ICE make more sense. Maybe it doesn’t sell, because not enough people understand why, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t the most functional design, or FTM the most net-positive for the environment. Last weekend, I learned if the speed of traffic is 80+ and you’re late, you might find yourself running an 85KWh battery down to 39 miles of range, in 130 miles of driving. I know “wind resistance increases at the square of velocity”, cold, yada, yada but like Joe Schmoe I want to go like everyone else. BEVs are far from out of the woods, if “gotta find a plug” can be the thought bubble in so few miles. Car was range-charged, and heated, before departure. -More Joe Schmoe-rejecting inconvenience. No matter how their spun, range-extended PHEVs still make sense.
DJ. Your comments make it obvious you did not read the title of this article. “PLUG IN” hybrids coming. There is little or no comparison to a regular hybrid. They operate on an entirely different premise. Regular hybrids have very small batteries and small electric motors that are designed to function only at low speeds and for very very short distances. The driver has little or no control over which drive works at any given timeI and has no control at all in regard to battery charging. I do not know where you live, but I seriously doubt you can find a plug in hybrid for sale on a lot in your town or city, let alone stacked up by the dozens. To say so, is simply a statement in Donald Trump style facts. You say it and that makes it correct. I have not owned a full electric EV and if they start coming out with lots of them in a 300 plus mile range that can be recharged in less than 30 minutes at charging stations as plentiful as gas pumps, I would like one. Meanwhile I don’t put down what is out there now. You obviously have… Read more »

Wanna bet?

Also, the PHEV version of a ICE car still looks like the ICE car. Whereas the all electric models look completely different. The kind of person who buys a 5 series BMW wouldn’t buy an i3 on looks alone…

The Clarity PHEV doesn’t look like an ICE car. Neither does the i3 REx or the Gen1 Volt.
If anything, one of Tesla’s initial advantages was that the Model S did not look like a spacemobile (the pre-facelift Model S looked very similar to a Jaguar XF).

ICE cars have came in some pretty interesting shapes over the years. So why you may prefer the looks of a Tesla, I don’t agree that the Clarity, Volt or I3 don’t look like ICE vehicles.

It has already been shown that an EV that looks like an ICE won’t sell. The EV must be designed from the ground up as an EV to be an elegant, desirable product.

The Leaf, odd looks and all, has sold much better internationally than very nearly every other plug-in EV.

One size does not fit all.

You are mixing visual design with engineering design. An EV needs to be designed from the ground up for engineering purposes to put the battery in the best position for weight distribution. Nothing about that says the EV has to “look” different. The only design element that is constrained by an engineering element is the grille on a ICE to offer cooling for the radiator.
And yes, they will sell because of people like me who don’t want a weirdmobile EV.

At the risk of repeating myself: at launch, the Model S looked VERY similar to an (ICE) Jaguar XF. The rear, in particular, is practically identical.


Funny – I always thought the FORD FUSION looked identical to the TESLA “S” – at least from the side. But then Ford has traditionally been quite expert at making good looking, economical cars.

I drove a 530e while my i3 was in the shop. I was eager go give it a try.

I significantly prefer in the i3 in most areas. The 530e only felt natural in driving when in the full ICE sport mode. Electrical drive was weak, slow, inefficient (2.4 mi/kWh vs 4.1 in the i3)—more like a Prius mode and very much unlike the i3 driving experience. In front seat, 530e had less room, and panel ergonomics are much worse. Outward visibility is worse.

i3’s major downside is tires and consequences thereof.

I’m also a happy i3 owner and totally agree with your assessment of the tires. The carbon fiber body is so solid; unfortunately it seems as though BMW are moving away from this technology in the future, I assume due to price.

I don’t just want an i3 for the same money as a 5 series e, I acted on my desire and bought an i3 with absolutely no regrets. You see, some of us don’t want a large, overweight, rust-prone steel land barge sedan like a 5 series e or a Model 3 when a compact, lightweight, corrosion-resistant CFRP/aluminum/thermoplastic hatchback BEV is available regardless of the price difference. Different strokes for different folks…

I have two Volts and a Bolt. I find the Bolt completely adequate for about 95% of my driving. For the other 5% the Volt wins. Major parts of the US are still an EV desert unless you drive a Tesla and the fast charging rate of the Bolt and Leaf are too slow to really be practical road trip cars. The big problem I see for the new PHEV cars is that by the time they are released the charging rates and infrastructure is going to be good enough for the remaining 5% of most people’s needs. At that point I think the PHEV is just too complicated and expensive to sell worth beans.

I don’t have a good feeling for the 95/5 split you mentioned, as it applies o the driving public at large. Might be 90/10 or even 98/2. But your basic premise is accurate, especially regarding the timing. The state of public charging in the US right now is, how shall I put this, a flaming, toxic, visible-from-low-orbit train wreck. But it can improve a lot in just a year or so, and I expect it will. And the PHEVs will, for the most part, look like pretty silly vehicles.

(I’ve been predicting for years that we’d see businesses respond to an increase in public charging, e.g. chargers outside casual dining establishments, like Appleby’s, so people can get a decent amount of charge while they grab lunch or dinner. Same for gyms and anywhere else that people can be expected to stay for between 30 and 60 minutes. I still think that will happen, even if I was off on the timing.)

It will be difficult to rely on public charging for mass adoption in near future. Imagine 50% of the cars are electric, they are travelling from SF to LA the day before thanksgiving. Everybody needs to charge around halfway, and it takes massive infrastructure to meet demand. This infrastructure will be useless for the other 360 days of the year. With gas it is much easier because it is 10 times faster, and people will refuel at different locations rather than half way because it is not a big deal.

Now if range increases by 50% and charging becomes 3 times faster, then this problem is solved, but we are not there yet.

Remember that it takes somewhere in the neighborhood of 6-8 kWh of electricity to refine a gallon of gas, EVs get about 4 miles/kWh, and average US fleet fuel economy is around 24 MPG. So the electricity to refine a gallon of gas would propel an EV for the same 24 miles. Basically you could switch from gas to electricity with essentially no increase in total electricity assumption. Yes timing and location are factors, but it isn’t really the issue people would like to make it out to be.

That is an oft-repeated myth. It takes roughly 4.5 kWh to 7 kWh of energy to refine a gallon of gasoline (newer refineries are more energy efficient than older ones), but the overwhelming majority of that energy comes in the form of heat used to warm the fractional distillation stack. Typically, only a small portion of that energy is electricity.

Let us please leave myths and falsehoods to the EV haters… who desperately need them. We EV advocates can do just fine with sticking to the truth!

I am not talking about energy usage, my point is you need many many chargers at concentrated locations to meet peak demand. With gas it is easier, because filling up is much faster and is not concentrated geographically.

An interesting thing about that 95/5 split is even an ICE isn’t 100%. If it was 100%, people with cars wouldn’t ever take planes or any other form of transportation. Neither car will get you across the ocean. My Tesla is probably good for about 99.8% of my trips and an ICE would be good for 99.9%, so I’m good until my next drive to Alaska, and maybe they’ll have chargers by then.

Yes, with a robust national system of fast chargers on the Interstate highway system, PHEVs will no longer be needed. We aren’t there yet.

BTW, Volt users spend about 20% on average of their mileage in gas mode. So it depends on whether you think of 95%/5% in terms of number of trips taken, days when gas/EV only is used, or total mileage. I drive about 3,000 miles a year in long highway trips, and that accounts for the roughly 20% of total miles in gas mode, but it only constitutes 3 or 4 trips over 10-15 days throughout the year.

BTW, Volt is no longer offered….

Oh its offered for another 6 months or so. Please don’t bury it prematurely.

Burning through the 200,000 tax credit threshold with mostly PHEVs is repeating the same mistake GM made. That’ll set them back when they finally have to build BEVs.

I think it was more that GM just didn’t give a crap if the Volt sold or not. They only offered it in key markets and didn’t put a drop into marketing. Plus they lost money on each one (hardly any scheduled maintenance, expensive components).

Shame really, it was doomed as a compliance vehicle from the start (cars designed to meet minimum emission standards).

Funny thing however – is it’s a great freakin’ car that you can treat as an EV during the week but still drive up to the slopes on the weekend.

You are misinformed. The Volt was sold nationwide. The 2016 Volt was sold in 11 states for the first few months of its rollout only.

Selling is different than offering. The Focus Electric was offered in all 50 states. But that doesn’t mean it was kept in inventory or marketed in all states. Trying to find a Volt in OK or ND or any number of middle states was an exercise in futility.

“…GM just didn’t give a crap if the Volt sold or not. They only offered it in key markets and didn’t put a drop into marketing.”

I don’t understand why this falsehood keeps getting repeated. When the Volt was new, GM certainly did advertise it, including two Superbowl commercials, the most expensive ads anywhere.

The Volt’s sales were disappointing for GM, but that certainly wasn’t due to lack of advertising.

Great to see the production of PHEVs is growing too!

The EV revolution needs more of all types of PEVs (Plug-in EVs), not just BEVs.

Fully agree. Many are too nervous to go all EV. The PHEV will make the EVs seem less strange, and they will like the EV mode, and then next time around go for the full EV.

Buying a PHEV is like quitting smoking except for longer drives. You’re still a smoker.

Tim, I would vote up your post 100 times if cheating was possible….

Thank you for that textbook example of “The perfect driving out the good.”

Nice straw man argument, except that it doesn’t mean anything, except to a EV purist.

False comparison because there is never any benefit from smoking even a single cigarette. However there is plenty of benefit from not becoming stranded when the battery is completely drained.

Driving a car (even BEV) is still wasting resources. If you dont walk by feet you are still “smooking”. There is no need to travel more than a daywalk. And by the way you can also grow your own food in your backyard. *s*

There is always anway to hypocrite.

Pretty stupid comment! Not even a valid comparison. With my PHEV, I am not trying to “quit” anything. I just want to drive around the city every day for nearly free and then still have a car when I want to travel. You EV purists can’t seem to get that thru your heads. Not everyone wants to go out and join your “crusade” or whatever the hell it is. I just like to buy and play with new toys and my PHEV is just that, as will be any full electric I might buy next year like a Kona or Nero. When I really go wandering I still need my 395 hp Ram Laramie Longhorn to pull my 31 foot Jayco one bedroom apartment around the continent.

I don’t get it. With EV’s soon to reach cost parity with ICE, by the time new PHEV’s hit the street, it’ll a couple more years before they are obsolete. Buying a PHEV might make sense right now, but if the product pipeline isn’t going to bear fruit for a few more years, that pipeline is emptying out into a trash heap.

Perhaps we should reach the point where a single non-luxury EV exists that can sell in ICE volumes before we declare the upcoming age of EV-ICE parity a foregone conclusion.

There is no credible EV competition for the Corolla or Camry market, and there isn’t even anything in the pipeline to try to win there.

I.D. Neo? 40kWh Ioniq?

The IONIQ sold 2 dozen in December and where’s that Neo?

I.D. Neo is still a concept car. Let’s talk when it’s on a showroom floor.
The 28kWh Ioniq is already $30k, and I don’t see why the 40kWh would have any better sales than the Bolt.

The model 3 is selling similar numbers to Corolla right now, so it’s pretty competing quite well despite the price. Once demand eases up, and the price settles down, the total cost of ownership will be right in line with a Corolla or Camry, so it’s pretty damn credible.

In total cost of ownership a Tesla Model 3 beats a Corolla today. You have to count 2 Corollas….


The Model 3 is taking sales from 3 Series and C-Class, not Corolla. I doubt anyone is cross-shopping cars that cost $50k and $25k.

If you cannot finance a $35k car, there is no “high-volume” EV on the market, nor are there any credible plans to introduce such a vehicle.

A Tesla is already cheaper than nearly any ICE. 1 Tesla purchase price needs to be compared to 4 ICE purchase prices. The Tesla has twice the lifetime, and the ICE costs twice it’s purchase price during its lifetime. Maintenance, repairs and fuel really add up over time. Just fuel will save me about $2500 in a years time in my particular circumstances.

most people don’t have the money period. They think in terms of monthly payments. And their nest egg would last them 2 to 4 weeks if they lost their job. Yes, I just made up 2 to 4 weeks out of thin air, but the majority of americans are in poor financial shape.

lol, ok ….

A car lifetime is between 15-25 years. I doubt that a normal tesla will be driven 30-50 years. With the leaf compared to my other similar sized ICE i would save 300€/year. Yes only 300/year and only if charging on the road is the same price as at home.

I might save some money on repairs. Add another 200€/year. Which is half the yearly repair cost in average.

At the moment the similar sized BEV cost me 5.000-10.000€ more. So after 10-20 years it gets cheaper. Yes you might save money in the long run but not much …

Forget all the ‘Green’ arguments. In a mostly SUV & diesel truck world, nobody cares. The real problem is going to be all the ICEd brain PHEV drivers for who will believe they can use charging spaces as ‘reserved parking’.

EVs too, FWIW. I see way more EVs that seem to disregard the “while charging” part of “reserved for EVs while charging” signs posted at chargers.


IF they have greater range than a ’15 Volt they would be useful to the revolution. If they only are aboard for compliance purposes I hooe they rot on the stealership lots.

I’m an EV purist and I welcome the gateway drugs… err I mean plugin hybrids.

My only complaint is that a lot of plugin hybrids have less electric range than the average commute, leading to many people treating those plugin hybrids as they would a non-plugin hybrid. That doesn’t help one bit.

Agreed, the Prius Prime is only 25m EV range, which is the high-end for PHEVs.

Volt is the exception (RIP) which gets 53m before ICE kicks in. That’s enough for me to get to work and back, and then some.

Wrong! The Prius prime is at the low end. My Ioniq regularly gets 38 to 40 miles of all electric range. Far more than my normaldaily use but then has about 1000 kms of gas range if needed or simply drive 55 minutes in Sport Mode to fully recharge the battery pack. Why the hell don’t you guys learn more about PHEVs before you put them down so much?

Nobody is putting down PHEVs, what is being put down is low electric range PHEVs. We simply want PHEVs with range above the average commute at the very least (but more is prefered)

The prius prime is in the high-mid to low-high end on electric range.


There are 11 PHEVs/EREVS(Now 9 with CT6 and Volt being discontinued) with more range, and 22 PHEVS with less range.

Thanks for posting this chart. It’s interesting that the top half is populated solely by luxury nameplates, or rather they start with msrps well above $30,000.

And they all have short EV range……and they all have gas tanks, so yesterday…… anything less than 200 miles is really short.

Once you own a real EV, you never go back.

“Nobody is putting down PHEVs…”

Oh, a lot of EV “purists” are dissing PHEVs. Keep reading comments on IEVs and you’ll soon see that.

Thankfully, you aren’t one of those, even if you do self-identify as an “EV purist”.

Thank you! Couldn’t agree more.

I was responding to J D on his claim about Sasha. I’m not sure of Sasha’s other comments,but in this one they weren’t putting down PHEVs.

Sasha, if 53 miles is “enough and then some” for you what leads you to believe that 35 miles is not enough for thousands of others? Especially with many employers putting level 2 chargers in employee parking lots??

I have to totally disagree with you on this. I live in a city of 60,000 or so .(haven’t read today’s obits so do not know for sure). If you go to the Center of the city you cannot drive more than 5 to 9 miles in any direction without leaving the city and/or all industrial employers. Are you suggesting 25 to 40 miles is not enough range to commute every day on electric? What about good corporate employers who are now regularly putting (as needed), 6 or 8 level 2 chargers in the employee parking lots? I think your left handed shot referring to PHEVs as a gateway drug is is a misinformed, elitist, I am better than you insult.

low electric mileage cars are just b,sheet…(nobody really plugs them,good for show off

Wrong! Many weeks my ICE never starts and I plug it in every night in my garage to a standard 120 volt outlet. 35 to 38 miles electric range is more than I normally use each day. Hyundai Ioniq is about half the price of a model T from Fremont and I think I will buy another one this year in a different colour for my wife.

I plug my Clarity in every night and get to work and back on just electricity. I’ve got the gas engine when I need it but 85% of my miles are electric only.

“…more and more of our miles will be electric. Isn’t that the point?”
The point is reducing emissions and rid dependance on big oil. From a consumer perspective there’s also the economical aspect. PHEVs risk doing neither since they keep the dependance and come with potentially hefty service costs.

Marcus, not sure what you mean by service costs. Hyundai has 5 yr bumper to bumper warrantee, 8 yeas on electrical drive portion and lifetime on battery pack to original owner. I have never kept a vehicle for 5 years as I get tired of them so I just do not see the high service costs you are referring to??

Really jDj… I drive a 2012 Camry, bought new, now 58k miles. For 7 years my TCO is as follows: fuel=$5,000 + maintenance=$500 + depreciation=$8,000 or $13,500 total. Would love to see how you beat that with a 50k model 3 (hint – only depreciation will be more)

According to VoltStats.net, the average Volt gets 2/3 of its miles from electricity drawn from a plug, not from burning gasoline. Why would you want to put an end to that? Do you really want to force most of those Volt drivers to go back to driving gasmobiles? How in the world would that help anyone?

Your argument is another case of “The perfect driving out the good”.


Well since only Tesla and GM will make only BEVs, perhaps if sales of the new Cadillac BEV product languish, they can hire the head honcho at ATLIS to show them how to do it.

Hummm everyone else seems to be placing more emphasis on PHEV’s at this point. I wonder if they have GM exec’s statements running as an endless loop in the break room TV?

Hybrids are a good use of resources, when you can make a 20 mpg get 40 mpg with a small addition, you are ahead of the game.

Assuming you mean PHEV when you say ‘hybrid’. No hybrid has taken a 20MPG car and turned it into 40MPG. I agree with your premise that even if it is just a ‘gateway drug, a PHEV is an improvement.

If you go through the trouble to plug in you might as well get at least… I do know 51 miles of range.

Go full electric sooner than later

I admittedly don’t know what the typical 5-series discount is, but BMW puts $10k on the hood of the i3 from time-to-time, so it’s not exactly a fair comparison.

Nissan an EV purist? Perhaps in the US, but the Nissan Note e-Power serial hybrid is beating the Honda Fit in Japan.

the luxury feel of burning fossil fuel
(in mathmatics a dead planet earth is still 100%)

If you do not own a PHEV and have not driven 6500 miles in a 3 and 1/2 week trip then to say as you have that an all electric is better than a PHEV makes you simply uninformed and wrong. All electrics will come but at this monument in time a plug in hybrid makes far more sense. There are weeks that my ICE does not even start but taking off for “anywhere” without thought or charge planning is a freedom no all electric can enjoy. Also, I will offer an open challenge that no all electric can drive 8 to 900 miles in 14 hours as I do and never exceed 72 mph. My Hyundai Ioniq electric plus limited was purchased 8 months ago for $36,000 Canadian out the door and is capable of fully recharging itself in 55 minutes while driving at 65 mph. It has pretty much every luxury feature anyone could ask for and with adaptive cruise and lane keep assist it drafts very nicely and safely behind a 70 mph 18 wheeler at about 200 feet getting 57 to 58 mpg (US gal). Why in hell more people who are supposedly savvy about this… Read more »

If you’re driving 900 miles in 14 hours, you’re doing something wrong. Get on a plane if you’re in a rush, not drive yourself to exhaustion and risk crashing.

I challenge you this: gassers are no quicker than EV when you drive normal with adequate breaks (2 hours drive, 45 minutes rest).

Sorry to correct you but I have driven from Ontario Canada to California somewhere between 70 and 75 times return (lost count years ago). The 1st part of the trip does not have much to see till you get to Denver, western Nebraska or New Mexico, depending on which route you take. I push the 1st day so I can poke and sight see the next 3. I would not get on a plane to go anywhere in continental US or Canada. Too boring, too expensive and too much crap at airports. Exhaustion? Risk crashing?? Sorry pal but in more than 2.5 million miles in the last 18 years I have never had a mishap. I have never felt exhausted or over tired because I take short breaks when I need them. The math goes like this: overall average speed @68 mph. Behind the wheel @12.5 to 13 hours=@850 to 880 miles. @ 1.5 to 2 hours for breaks, fueling and naps. Leave the US Customs booth at Port Huron Michigan at 6 a m. (Easter Time), 14 hours or so later pull into motel in Lincoln Nebraska, 844 miles from home. (it is only 7 p m Central time.)… Read more »

You’re ignoring reality pretty hard. The rule of thumb for road tripping in the Model S is 150 miles of driving followed by 30 minutes of charging. I don’t know anybody who stops that often for that long when driving a gasmobile long distances.

Until the day comes when the average BEV can be charged something in the neighborhood of 300 miles of range in 10 minutes or less, and there are plenty of EV charging stations on the roads that will charge them that fast, then PHEVs will be a more practical car for many drivers. Just because you don’t want one, Sparky, isn’t a valid reason why EV makers should stop making and selling them.

One size does not fit all.

As a fellow PHEV owner (Volt), I completely understand your appreciation of the utility and practicality of PHEVs, and share your high owner satisfaction. Nevertheless, despite the price and charging infrastructure concerns, I do more and more yearn to go fully electric someday, even if it’s somewhat less practical on road trips. The EV personality of my split personality car is just more appealing than the ICE personality.

Nothing wrong with that Merv. I share your sentiments exactly but until charging posts are as common as gas pumps (which I think is fast approaching), I gott stay with the plug in. Maybe read my comments just above to Bolt EV. I do a bit more driving than the average bear!

JD you are proving to be the uninformed person…..without ever considering the “Read more >>” at the bottom…

Another Euro point of view

I nevertheless fear those PHEVs are not a good business plan for the car manufacturers, at least for sub. USD 30k cars. Too expensive to build.

You may well be right there. I think PHEVs are going to have a harder time penetrating the sub-$30k market than BEVs. The price on BEVs is coming down rapidly, but having two powertrains in one car is always going to be more expensive.

Hybrids are still polluting gassers that are part of the problem not part of the solution. Time not to report about hybrids. They are as interesting as diesels.

Most PHEVs are Atkinson Cycle, extremely low polluting ICEs. Far, Far better than anything in our recent past. And you are wrong, they ARE part of the solution. With a 35 mile electric range my PHEV has many weeks that it never starts the ICE. Driving electric for days on end in every city I go thru is not a good thing in your opinion???

Sweet. Bring it. Need to ditch the multispeed transmissions to reduce cost and weight.

In many countries PHEVs are the most realistic solution right now. Indeed, it should have been the case in the past 5-10 years, as BEVs are becoming increasingly competitive, hence shortening the lifespan of such solution.
Ideally, PHEVs should be engineered with the possibility to conveniently convert them to full EVs. Unfortunately, this goes against carmakers’ interests, as they hope to sell you a PHEV now, and a BEV in a few years.
Here, I see an area where imposed regulations could be beneficial.

No conversion capable or EV built from a converted ICE platform will sell. The product would be an undesirable bastardized design – no chance at achieving elegance….

“PHEVs should be engineered with the possibility to conveniently convert them to full EVs.”

Most definitely not. It’s hard enough to design a PHEV to be a fully functional switch-hitter, switching from EV mode to gas-powered mode and functioning equally well in both.

Trying to make a car like a Swiss Army knife will result in a car that doesn’t do anything well, and few people will want to drive.

Barely a third (34%) of the plug-ins sold in the US last year were PHEV’s but almost two thirds (65%) of the models were PHEV’s. In other words, the average BEV sold about 4 times better than the average PHEV. They can release all the PHEV’s they want, but that doesn’t mean people will buy them.

Correct. There is no unmet demand for hybrids. More hybrids is not going to mean more sales. Hybrids have no possibility for mass adoption. BEVs are the way to go. BEVs have plenty of unmet demand.

“There is no unmet demand for hybrids. More hybrids is not going to mean more sales.”

Please tell me where I can buy a PHEV pickup.

There is quite a bit of unmet demand for PHEVs. We won’t know just how much there is until there is a much wider variety of PHEVs on the market. I hope to see many more models of PHEVs with 45+ miles of EV range on the market soon! (I’d like to see PHEVs with 65+ miles of EV range even better!)

Only due to the Model 3 which totally skewed the average. Look at the mean and see how it plays out.

Car manufacturers selling cars in Europe will have to bring in PHEV’s to bring their fleet emissions down to the new stricter limits of 95g/Km by 2021 which equates to a real world fuel economy of around 78mpg across their fleet. There isn’t enough time for them bring out BEV’s in such a short time scale.
There are presently only four car manufacturers out of eleven who are on target to get emission figures down to 95g/Km by 2021 in two years time.
The rest of the car manufacturers are facing enormous fines by the EU, VW alone are looking at fines over €1 billion.

Do Not Read Between The Lines

Although, those manufacturers are going to face the challenge of the removal of current generous incentives for PHEVs.
E.g. in the UK there are no purchase incentives for PHEVs, and from 2020 benefit-in-kind taxes will strongly favor BEV over PHEV. Going to make Outlander PHEV buyers get BEV religion.

Two drivetrains will always be expensive, batteries will only get cheaper. Common sense will prevail we hope.

“Two drivetrains will always be expensive”
I’ve read somewhere that the ICE drivetrain costs about $3000 to produce.
So the electric drivetrain needs to be close to that to be competitive… let’s put aside $1000 for the electric motors, power electronics etc. this leaves just $2000 for the battery.
So a reasonable 60kWh battery needs to cost like $30-40/kWh to produce. Will this happen in the foreseeable future? Possible, but not without a battery breakthrough. Only the materials in today’s battery packs are reported close to $100/kWh. Given that current battery packs weigh about 15 lb/kWh, 6$ a pound for materials only sounds reasonable.

Bottom line: without a battery breakthrough, current crop of BEVs will always be more expensive than equivalent ICEs. To the point it becomes cheaper to have 2 drivetrains just to allow for a smaller battery. Compare for example Toyota Prius Prime price ($27k, 400miles range) to a Model 3 price MR ($44k, 260miles range).

I know a lot of people on this site will hate it, but this is the calculation most people on a budget will be doing when selecting a vehicle.

Wrong, LevinK. Think lifetime cost of ownership – a Tesla Model 3 is already the more prudent financial choice.

I’d like to see your actual analysis on TCO rather than just your wild claims. Your claims don’t jive with my experience.

Wrong. The 17k plus (plus tax) savings invested even at 4% plus 50% cheaper tires on the Prius easily cover the more expensive fuel. And we don’t know that model 3s will last double the 300k plus miles a Prius will easily go. I love my Model 3 but I am not kidding myself it is an economical choice. If I wasn’t financially independent I would still own a Toyota.

About the most honest reply I have read anywhere from a aTesla owner. I have a Hyundai Ioniq plug in hybrid that has only been sold for 2 years but 150 of these guys are spouting off about how soon it will fail, how much it will depreciate, how little the range is, how seldom I will plug it in, how much the lifetime maintenance will total, and how quickly all PHEVs will be gone from the market. Oh, to have the great advantage of youth. To know everything, to know the error in everyone else’s opinions and thinking, to know exactly what everyone else SHOULD DO and to emulate your president and just make up the facts as you talk and never be wrong!!

It’s true that for people “on a budget”, that is, buying entry-level or “economy” cars, buying a BEV doesn’t make financial sense, and very likely won’t for a few more years… altho that time is approaching much faster than many or most industry watchers thought just a few years ago. But then, in that price segment, buying a PHEV doesn’t yet make sense either.

But looking at the broader picture: If BEVs are not already lower in price than similarly-equipped PHEVs, then they will be soon… probably within 1-3 years.

So when do you think a BEV that has 250 plus miles of highway range and Super Charger-like charging infrastructure will be available at prices (net sales, not list) similar to the Clarity will be available? My thinking is 2023 best case.

Seems to me that the dinosaurs still don’t see the writing on the wall and continue to allow Tesla to take even more of a lead than the 500 laps they already have on them. Like the real dinosaurs, these ice dinos will die off and make room for the next generation of transportation companies.

As long as batteries remain in short supply, PHEVs are the main route to electrification.

Combine that with the reality that most households are barely able to support a single EV. Sharing a 120-volt connection is pushing it just for the one. But that’s all some people have. Their service-box is too far away from the garage or doesn’t have the capacity available. That makes the consideration of a second EV basically impossible. Like it or not, there will be quite a market for PHEV choices until both production & infrastructure shortcomings are dealt with. We see how GM pulled out, implying no demand. It really did turn into a form of sequel to EV1, where they killed a product with lots of opportunity. It’s unfortunate EV purists created a divide, unwilling to acknowledge an affordable plug-in solution like Prime could help bridge a future to EV ubiquity. My commute in is usually 100% electric. Sometimes, I wander elsewhere after work instead of going home. So what if the engine runs then? Seeing my overall consumption at 80% electricity is a major step away from gas. It’s a simple solution for the early stages of EV. Seeing the shortcomings combined with obvious cost/subsidy hurdles to still overcome, it makes now sense not embracing what PHEV… Read more »
Do Not Read Between The Lines

If a 25 mile PHEV is enough to drive electric on your commute, then 120V is enough for you to drive a BEV on your commute. And if you have a long-range BEV, you have a larger buffer you can fill for any extra driving.

It’s not EV purism that sees the limitation of the Prime, it’s looking at the ever-declining sales of the Prius family, even though Prime is cheaper due to subsidies.

Dismissing the second-vehicle and limited-capacity points speaks volumes.

Oh a lot of people can make use of whatever facilities they have to drive 2 PHEVs….

But we’re in agreement that 2 high-mileage driver EVs almost certainly must install some additional electrics to make it a daily viable plan.

They’re soon to be gone, but 2 GM PHEV’s could recharge simultaneously from one 20 ampere garage circuit when charging at their standard ‘reduced’ rates (8 amperes each).

That’s not an argument in favor of PHEVs, it’s an argument for ramping up battery cell supply faster. Plus, in case you haven’t noticed, BEV sales are increasing far faster than PHEV sales.

This is a conundrum for me because I have a very short drive to work and most days during the week I don’t put on more than 15 miles on my car daily so with a plug-in hybrid I would be on electric power the vast majority of the time but I would have the range and ease of refueling when necessary. The flip side of that is it seems kind of wasteful in space robbing to have and internal combustion engine, fuel tank, exhaust etcetera that I rarely use. The other factor is plug-in hybrids tend to be cheaper than pure electrics.

Do Not Read Between The Lines

You didn’t say
1) where you are
2) how much you drive at other times
3) how many vehicles your household owns

I’m still waiting for the sienna hybrid. Toyota has been selling 2 hybrid minivans in Japan for over 10 years and still has not brought it to the us

So get the PHEV minivan that IS available here, now: Chrysler Pacifica PHEV.

The old saw of EV’s having a 300-400 mile range doesn’t mention range to where. To finding a high priced charger? To finding a Tesla network charger? My Prius Prime has an almost 600 mile range and when it gets there a fuel stop is within 2 minutes all over the country. Refueling takes 3 minutes. Yet my car is full EV near home. PHEV’s are the answer for the next 8 years.

Do Not Read Between The Lines

I have 2 Superchargers and at least 2 CHAdeMO/CCS along the longer routes we drive regularly.
Regular maximum trip is 105 miles round trip.
My commute is beyond Prime range. My wife commutes are often beyond Prime range. Workplace charging can help my wife, but it’s a longer walk in the cold and often she’s carrying stuff.
And she doesn’t like driving our current Prius.

Horses for courses.

Plug in hybrids currently available have so little electric range, they only have a very narrow band of usefulness. And they carry all the expensive undesirable baggage that makes an ICE so yesterday. I will predict that in 10 years there will be zero plug in hybrids being made. I just several years the thick heads that bought them will be kicking themselves.

I have driven my Tesla for more than 3 months, and have covered 4500+ miles. I have plugged into a charging station once – not because I had to, but because I wanted to try it. It was great, by the way – back to 90% in less time than it took to eat lunch. In my ICE I would have visited a gas station more than 20 times to drive those miles. By the way, winter is here. My 300 mile charge range hasn’t suffered any more than an ICE range sufferes in the cold weather. It’s just a little more attention getting in an EV.

There are reasons no EV owner will have interest in a hybrid, and will never buy another ICE. Hybrids can only be a stepping stone from ICE to EV for the slow and faint hearted, never anything more.

Know your audience.

Calling people “slow and faint hearted” is turning a blind-eye to finding out why there is resistence.

Those hurdles must be addressed, not dismissed as invalid.

I am sure glad I don’t live across the street from you and go to a different church or vote for a different political party. You would probably be trying to have me beheaded or jailed. Like most model T from Fremont owners, you seem to be holding some beliefs that say, no one else is entitled to an opinion if it doesn’t agree with yours. Teslas are fine cars but they are a car for the affluent and wealthy. Wanda the waitress and Joe the janitor both working for minimum wage and trying to make ends meet, could not give a rat’s ass about a Tesla or BMW or Audi. They struggle to get $15 or $20 for gas in their 12 year old Honda Civic and buy groceries. And you guys are wondering why fast Freddy Lambert is reporting about more and more incidents of vandalism to Teslas and Bubba and Billy Ray blocking Tesla superchargers with their pickem’ up trucks? I don’t recommend it, don’t condone it and would not do it but I sure as hell understand it. They work hard for their pay and they watch as EVs roar up and down the roads and… Read more »

It’s really sad to see how many people seem to think that everyone’s lifestyle is just like theirs, so that everyone’s needs and wants should be the same as theirs. Such narrow-mindedness!

How nice for you that you’ve never needed to drive your BEV beyond its normal range. Others sometimes drive their cars farther than you. In fact, it’s pretty commonplace for most drivers to drive longer distances at least a few times a year.

It’s rather odd that you need to be told this, and even odder that you’d describe such people as “slow and faint hearted”.

Your comments are so accurate but so wasted. You are trying to talk logic and common sense to some folks who fall into the same category as reformed smokers and born again religious nuts. Once these guys buy a Tesla, they honestly believe that it comes with a magic mantle that now makes them superior in knowledge, stature and entitlement to know more about everyone else’s wants, wishes and needs than the people themselves that they are dissing! One of them keeps yapping about his car being so “elagant” and everything else being so “yesterday”. I smell left wing yuppie leaking all over the print here. For God’s sake boy, these are cars we are discussing. Things that you use to get you from A to B the way that suits you best. It’s why people for 75 years have been laughed at because some of them are trying to make their car a status symbol and ego tripper that says, I’m better than you, I drive a Cadillac or Mercedes and now they just add a new word. I drive a model T made in Fremont. Get a life! There are more important things in the world than how… Read more »

No word about Renault?! This year, they said they want to bring mainly(!) hybrids to the market?!


Only the Volt and the WorkHorse pickup truck has the most practical EV range. All the others have pathetic ranges that it isn’t even worth plugging in. The EV Range of the Toyota Prius Prime is a joke. I have achieved 95% all electric miles with my Volt for the past 50K miles. If it had an EV range of 75 miles, that would be bliss, as it will cover 98% of my mileage in EV only and yet allow me more than 1,000 mile single trips a few times a year without the hassle of renting gas cars.

I have an 80% electric return from my Prime. Calling that a joke and pathetic is just plain not constructive in any regard.

*Ahem* Honda Clarity PHEV.

And yes, all too many PHEVs, such as the Prius Prime, have an EV range too small for serious consideration by most of those wanting to avoid burning gasoline as much as possible.

Congratulations on choosing the Volt, which was the only PHEV with a truly practical EV Range (for most people) until the Clarity PHEV came along, which was rather recently.

The Honda Clarity and the Ioniq are two of the better examples, both low to mid $30k (average new car price in US) with Federal and state EV rebates, both with substantial EV miles 48 and 29 respectively. The Clarity wins on EV miles while the Ioniq wins on ICE miles (52 mpg vs. 42 mpg in hybrid model). And both are loaded with tech vs. the tech skimpy Volt which GM is discontinuing.

They drop oil use from (compared to a 32 mpg Subaru) from 900 gallons to 320 gallons, a 65% reduction in oil use. More importantly they drop green house gas emissions from 5 tons a year to 1 ton a year, an 80% reduction in emissions. 80% is the golden path that IPCC scientists have identified as the key to stopping the global warming buildup (80% reduction from 2000 levels).

PHEV’s offer right price, range security, emissions level, oil use to get the job done.

Very quick comment Eagles. I own an Ioniq plug in and it is no problem to regularly get 35 to 38 miles all electric plus I can fully recharge the battery pack in 55 minutes of driving in Sport Mode at 2000 rpm in 5th gear. Mileage drops from 52 to 35 for that 55 minutes but then I have another 35 miles of all electric and the average mpg goes right back up. It is about a “wash” but at least I have the option on a trip when I am about 55 minutes out from a large city that I want to go all electric in.

Sadly, insideEVs keep on deleting posts that are by no means offensive or incorrect in their language.
The only reason is clear to me, they’ve an agenda based on their opinion and don’t want opposition.
I could live with that very happy, but they should state something like – “we won’t tolerate comments that don’t agree with us on this and this and that matter”.

I’ve seen plenty of opposing posts on InsideEVs (including pro-ICE posts). However, posts that include insults or name-calling would probably end up being deleted.

Two days before the report that the Volt was going to be cancelled, I was ready to sign on the dotted line. I balked because I felt I had not done enough research on similar models. The report was a big blow adding to my concerns. In many respects the Volt is far superior to it’s competition, which is quite a feat given the fact it’s a GM product. I drive a 2017 Veloster VE so the rear seat issue in the Volt is of no concern to me. Had Chevy not cancelled the Volt I would have bought one, even though I would lose my glass roof, Nav and sound system. Having owned three Fiero’s, I know something about orphaned cars. It’s a shame that few “intelligent” people would just test drive a Volt. It will blow their minds. The dealership is 35 miles from where I live. When I returned the car, I could but help but notice the MPG on the display. 250+!

The ‘shocking’ thing is GM is so ‘short’ sighted!

I own a Model 3 and am an avid EV fan, how ever I do think there is a significant downside to EV’s. The EV revolution will result in the loss of a lot of jobs. The new jobs that EVs create will be much much smaller. IMHO .

Assuming I am correct hybrids may soften the blow by giving the whole ICE industry something to work on until ICE workers get trained for other employment.

In the end we must remember that people and not much else are important. It is easy to assail the Luddites . – unless it is your rice bowl that is affected.

Remember, a PHEV is only a plug-in if you plug it in. I’m sure many PHEV owners never plug in their car, thus making it a regular hybrid

How are you sure?

I have to disagree that EVs are “better.” The ability to run electric 100% for your daily commute, but extend the range for longer trips with the gas engine when needed, is versatility an EV doesn’t have. There’s also the piece of mind of having the gas engine as a backup even if it’s rarely used. I’ve never seen these advantages emphasized in an ad for a plug in hybrid. They have not been marketed well.

Well Jay you are totally correct in your simple but logical observation but you will get little agreement anywhere around pure EVers. They do not like like logic, especially if it differs in the religious views of the cult they joined to follow Saint Elon of Musk. Plug in hybrids do not have to be marketed. Anyone who does a couple of hours of research just ends up there without marketing or promotion anyway. Main problem is you can’t get them. They can’t charge enough in price to make them profitable so they only produce a token amount to meet compliance laws. If you are lucky enough to get one, you will wait months, get it at 10 to 12 grand less than it costs them to make and you will have one of the most technologically advanced cars ever produced that you will be ecstatic with in any situation you use it. Oh yeah, and all the pure EVers will dis and criticize you because you can do so much that they can’t. You will be an unacceptable social pariah who will only get satisfaction and vindication when you drive it but you will wonder day after day why… Read more »