Plug-in hybrid - New tile on real consumption: "They are at least three times the homologated ones"

Quattroruote says it e try it, numbers in hand, for years. Scientific studies also confirm this now, in particular that conducted by the Fraunhofer Institute for System and Innovation Research in Karlsruhe: plug-in hybrid cars, in real driving, consume and emit CO2 much more than they claim. And the vice is by no means remedied by the new generations of vehicles, on the contrary: from the research of the German institute it emerges that the models approved according to the new Wltp cycle show even greater discrepancies than the older ones, certified Nedc.

Corporate? Even five times as much. In a joint observatory with the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT), the Fraunhofer institute analyzed data from around 9,000 plug-in vehicles across Europe, provided anonymously and voluntarily by users through online platforms (such as Spritmonitor ), but also from the databases of fleet managers. And the result speaks for itself: “On average, consumption in the real world and the CO2 emission values ​​of plug-in hybrid vehicles for private drivers in Germany and other European countries are around three times higher than in the official test procedure “, explains Patrick Plötz, coordinator of the Energy Economy Business Unit of the Fraunhofer Institute. For company cars the statistics are even worse: “The deviation is also about five times the declared”. Underlining how this gap is much wider for plug-in hybrid vehicles than for traditional combustion engine vehicles, the study scribbles some significant numbers: “Real-world fuel consumption for privately-driven plug-in hybrids is between 4.0 and 4.4 liters per 100 kilometers. In the case of company cars, the values ​​fluctuate between 7.6 and 8.4 liters. “All this where, on the official data sheets, we read figures that vary between about 1.6 and 1.7 liters per 100 kilometers.

The importance of using them correctly. As we have repeatedly reiterated, and as our tests show, the efficiency of plug-in hybrid cars depends a lot on how they are used: trivially, you need a certain constancy in connecting the car to the electricity, at home or at work, otherwise the car travels mostly with a petrol or diesel engine and goodbye savings. Moreover, the rechargeable hybrid technology is more suitable for those who travel a few kilometers every day (easily covered with the electric) and only sporadically face mileage that call into question the endothermic: in such circumstances, in fact, the engine is less efficient than usual because it is it carries the “ballast” of the hybrid system behind it. Here, according to the findings of the Institute, the average user does not prove so loyal in exploiting the characteristics of these cars. The plug-in hybrids used by private individuals are in fact driven mainly electrically for only about 45-49% of their mileage, and for company cars the share drops to 11% -15%.

The suggestions of the researchers, the plans of the EU. How do you change the gait? The German researchers suggest, among other initiatives, to give tax incentives to drivers of plug-in cars who demonstrate that they drive electrically for at least 80% of their total mileage, or who are limited to a consumption of 2 liters per 100. km in real driving. Meanwhile, the reliability of the consumption of rechargeable hybrids is over under the lens of the European Union which, under the attention of several studies conducted by energy sector experts, is evaluating the opportunity to implement new verification protocols starting from 2025. In particular, Brussels intends to include a new factor in the Wltp tests deriving from real data collected through a Obfcm (On-Board Fuel Consumption Monitoring) system: a device made mandatory by EU regulations starting from January 1, 2021, which is present on all newly registered vehicles and is used to store data on real consumption.

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