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A new take on real emissions from plug-in hybrids

Attacking plug-in hybrids has become a regular activity of staunch advocates of pure electric mobility. Among them, the most belligerent entity is the well-known European environmental organization Transport & Environment (T&E), which has hit back at those who still present these cars as a “climate solution” with new research that backs them up. Evil.

If two years ago, T&E published a report showing that plug-in hybrid (PHEV) technology pollutes much more than announced on long trips, now the work is focused on urban and suburban routes, where theoretically a car of this class should get better results. . By having a battery that stores the energy – along with an electric motor and other internal combustion – they have an exclusively electric range and, on paper, zero local CO2 emissions when in use.

Transport & Environment contacted the Graz University of Technology in Germany to test the electric range and actual pollution of three recently launched PHEV models. We already expected the results to only convince him, as usual, that lawmakers should base taxes on PHEVs on their actual pollution levels and therefore “stop subsidizing their sale.”

Recall that in Spain, plug-in hybrids benefit from the 0 emission badge granted by the General Directorate of Traffic, which grants them circulation without restrictions and purchase incentives that reach 5,000 euros in the Moves III plan, the most recent of them. approved by the government.

As a matter of fact, research from the University of Graz tested versions turn on join Three of the most popular models: BMW 3 Series, Peugeot 308 and Renault Mégane. In tests commissioned by T&E, all three emitted more CO2 than was obtained in approval tests, even when started with a full battery, and the German sedan in particular tripled the official figures. The French “performed better,” according to the report, “but were still 20% and 70% more polluted, respectively, than declared” over the 55-kilometer run.

In city driving, the Peugeot had more than half (53%) of its advertised electric range on a single charge, while the BMW achieved 74% and only the Renault achieved its proven electric range. However, T&E points out, with only 50km of range in electric mode, “use of the Mégane zero-emissions on European urban routes will be limited”.

Ana Krajinska, Automotive Emissions Manager at T&E, said of the work: “Plug-in hybrids are marketed as the perfect combination of a battery for your local needs and a motor for long distances. But real-world tests have shown this to be a myth. Only one PHEV in city tests [del estudio] It has the advertised electric range, and all three emit more than it says when driving passengers. Policymakers should consider PHEVs based on their actual emissions.

Doubt about geolocation

Based on the Geofencing technology used by BMW, which allows PHEVs to automatically switch to electric mode in areas considered low-emission, the university ensures that the 3 Series engine will run twice when tested in the city of Graz. “The tests also offer them – proved that the BMW can save battery charge when it is out of town “use it to get to restricted areas. T&E concludes that this system “does not guarantee emission-free driving in urban areas and potentially risks increasing CO2 emissions outside these areas”.

The organization recalls that the company’s vehicles represent 71% of current sales of new PHEVs, and research shows that they cover a large proportion of kilometers thanks to the engine and rarely need to be charged. When the models were tested with a dead battery, they emitted 5-7 times the approved CO2.

European countries spent around 350 million euros last year alone to buy PHEVs from the BMW, Peugeot and Renault brands, according to the report. In addition, consumers also face higher costs when purchasing plug-in hybrids, “compared to battery electric vehicles,” T&E rivets.

from lobby Environmentalists are allowed to crunch the numbers to emphasize the convenience of switching to a clean electric car. “A driver who swaps the 308 plug-in hybrid for a Citroën e-C4, 100% electric, will save €4,800 over four years” – he calculates – and €1,300 for someone who chooses an electric Mégane over a PHEV. version. I would buy a Tesla Model 3 instead of a Series 3 turn on joinThe savings will be 2600 euros.

We don’t know in Renault’s case whether T&E compared the 100% electric Megane E-Tech, which is an all-new car with a differentiated body, to the PHEV version that matches the previous model that is on sale. Both in the five-door saloon variant as a wagon.

Anna Krainska summarized the findings of the study as follows: “PHEVs should not be considered zero-emission models, even if they have Geofencing technology. Taxes on private and company cars should be based on their actual CO2 reduction. Governments should stop subsidizing all fleet PHEV purchases and instead encourage companies to use battery electric vehicles that are truly zero-emissions.”

Source: El Diario





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