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.

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