Plug-In Hybrid cars are significantly less clean than they make people believe: they emit 2.5 times more CO2 than advertised!

Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) emit an average of 2.5 times more CO2 than official test values, said the UK Transport & Environment (T&E) organization on Wednesday in a new study.

Over its “life” (including emissions from power or fuel production), a new 2020 PHEV vehicle will emit around 28 tonnes of CO2, slightly less than a non-plug-in hybrid car ( 33 tons), detail leT&E. A classic gasoline or diesel car, on the other hand, will emit 39 and 41 tonnes respectively. For a 100% electric vehicle still dated 2020, we are talking about 3.8 tonnes.

According to T&E, the combustion engine would be engaged too often with a PHEV, even during supposed emission-free driving. “It is clear that the emission values ​​of a PHEV vehicle are much closer to those of conventional cars than to those of electric cars,” the study said.


T&E adds that owners of plug-in hybrids do not always charge their vehicles as they should and therefore use the combustion engine too often. This is an already well-known problem, already mentioned in Belgium during discussions on the deductibility of certain plug-in hybrid cars.

However, people who mainly travel short distances with a PHEV, and therefore use the battery, emit very low amounts of CO2.


As a reminder, a plug-in hybrid vehicle represents, on purchase, compared to the same model in thermal version, an average additional cost of between € 7,000 and € 10,000.

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