“Plug-in hybrids do much more than just avoid tax”

Editor-in-chief Steve Fowler thinks plug-in hybrids are a good thing – as they are used in the right way

There are two distinct camps when it comes to plug-in hybrids. Some say they’re an essential stepping stone into the world of full electrification – and stats show that the majority of PHEV buyers go on to buy a fully electric car second time around.

Then there are those who believe they’re the worst of both worlds, with a small battery meaning they won’t go far on electric power alone, backed up by an inefficient internal combustion engine that has to haul around heavy batteries when they’ve run out of charge.

For the record, I’m firmly in the former category, as long as the PHEV is used right. And the clue is in the name – they have to be plugged in!

Company car tax incentives have made them hugely popular, yet we know of many fleets that have seen a massive increase in fuel costs because users have been taking the tax breaks, but not plugging their PHEVs in. And yes, that is when plug-in hybrids are at their least efficient and those mega-miles per gallon and super-low CO2 claims couldn’t be further from the truth.

At least the latest breed of PHEVs are offering a far more usable range, though. The latest plug-in hybrids from Jaguar Land Rover promise 41 miles of electric-only running. And my experience in Mercedes’ new A 250 e recently proved its claim of 44 miles of all-electric running was pretty much spot on.

That’s assuming you have somewhere handy to plug in – even if you don’t have a driveway, the number of public chargers is increasing rapidly. If you do manage to plug in regularly – and with the average daily mileage being in the twenties – you’ll see your fuel bill reducing rapidly. And those company car tax incentives are still out there.

One other thing to note: yes, these PHEVs are good to drive, too – as are most EVs. No wonder some are being touted as performance options that’ll put a smile on your face.

Do you agree with Steve? Do you think plug-in hybrids are a good thing? Let us know in the comments section below…

Recommended

New Toyota RAV4 plug-in hybrid 2021 review
Toyota RAV4 plug-in hybrid - front
Toyota RAV4

New Toyota RAV4 plug-in hybrid 2021 review

The ever-popular Toyota RAV4 SUV gets plug-in hybrid power for first time
26 Jan 2021
'It's clear that lorry drivers deserve much-improved working conditions'
Truck
Opinion

'It's clear that lorry drivers deserve much-improved working conditions'

Mike Rutherford proposes some alternative options to help streamline British imports and exports
23 Jan 2021
Best hybrid cars to buy 2021
Best hybrid cars to buy
Hybrid cars

Best hybrid cars to buy 2021

Hybrid power is the way forward if the car industry is to be believed so we've found the top 10 best hybrid cars to buy now...
19 Jan 2021
New Nissan Qashqai to gain e-Power hybrid setup
Nissan Qashqai - exclusive image front
Nissan Qashqai

New Nissan Qashqai to gain e-Power hybrid setup

Nissan has revealed specs of the next-gen Qashqai’s e-Power electrified powertrains ahead of the car’s full reveal early this year
15 Jan 2021

Most Popular

New Lotus ‘Type 131’ due in 2021 as Elise, Exige and Evora bow out
Lotus range
Lotus

New Lotus ‘Type 131’ due in 2021 as Elise, Exige and Evora bow out

A new look Lotus line-up is teased with heavy influence from Evija hypercar expected
24 Jan 2021
Revised Mazda CX-5 crossover launched for 2021
Mazda CX-5 2021
Mazda CX-5

Revised Mazda CX-5 crossover launched for 2021

The updated Mazda CX-5 gets a larger displacement version of the brand’s SkyActiv-G petrol engine and a fresh infotainment system
26 Jan 2021
BMW 5 Series vs Audi A6 vs Volvo S90
BMW 5 Series vs Audi A6 vs Volvo S90 - main
Car group tests

BMW 5 Series vs Audi A6 vs Volvo S90

Can plug-in hybrid power create a clear winner out of the BMW 5 Series, Audi A6 or Volvo S90
23 Jan 2021