PHEVs help fleets cut CO2 emissions by up to 50%
New real-world data has provided compelling evidence of the positive role that plug-in hybrid cars are playing to help fleets cut their carbon emissions.
The figures overturn earlier findings that many early adopter PHEV drivers were not bothering to plug in their cars for such short zero emission ranges. As a result, PHEVs were accused of producing higher CO2 emissions than the diesel cars they replaced.
However, new engine technology and a greener mindset are prompting more drivers to maximise the zero emission potential of their PHEV cars.
50% of distance travelled in electric mode
Anonymised real-world data from Ford shows that drivers of its Kuga Plug-in Hybrid model have used externally-charged battery power to drive 49 per cent of their mileages this year. The Kuga PHEV is capable of 56km (35 miles) in electric mode, according to WLTP figures.
Ford found that the average Kuga was charged 89 times per 100 days, and that it’s average journey was 51km (32 miles).
Roelant de Waard, general manager, Passenger Vehicles, Ford of Europe, said: “We firmly believe that our customers buy hybrid vehicles to benefit from the advantages of driving on electric power, and this data shows that Kuga Plug-In Hybrid customers are keen to use their cars in EV mode as much as possible.”
Fuel card data
Information from fuel management specialist TMC confirms the CO2 cuts delivered by plug-in technology. Analysing fuel purchases and distances driven, TMC found that petrol-PHEV cars now produce an average of 140g/km, compared to 152g/km for diesel models.
New BMW incentives
To maintain the momentum of drivers plugging in their PHEV models, BMW has launched a programme, called BMW Points, to reward drivers in the UK and Ireland for each electric mile driven. BMW Points is already available to drivers in Germany, Belgium and The Netherlands.
Via the My BMW app, BMW Points awards drivers two points for every mile driven electrically, and four points for each mile driven electrically in a designated eDrive zone. BMW eDrive Zones use geo-fencing to automatically switch the manufacturer’s latest PHEV models to electric-only power in certain defined areas, such as the clean air and ultra-low emission zones in London, Birmingham, Bath, Liverpool, Manchester, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Belfast, as well as Dublin and Limerick in Ireland.
Drivers also earn 20 bonus points every time their vehicle is charged for a minimum of 15 minutes, plus a monthly reward of 500 points if they charge their vehicle 20 times a month for a minimum of 15 minutes each time.
Points can be exchanged for free charging across the international BMW Charging network of 255,485 charge points. The scheme is available to drivers of BMW 330e, 530e, 545e, 745e, X3 30e (produced from August 2021) and X5 45e cars with the BMW Operating System 7.0.