Automakers and regulators turn their attention to PHEV misuse

Stakeholders are addressing the issue of PHEV owners using their ICEs when they should be in zero-emission mode, thus eliminating emissions reduction. By Xavier Boucherat

Special report: Hybrid vehicle systems

Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) boast increasing capabilities when it comes to zero-emissions driving. Early models on the market delivered modest ranges: the 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV—the world’s best-selling PHEV—could achieve a maximum range of 52km (32 miles). More affordable models, such as the 2016 Prius Prime, fell short of this at 40km. Today, however, tumbling battery prices mean the figure is closing in on the 100km mark. Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLPT) ratings say the BMW X5 45e PHEV can manage between 85km and 96km, whilst the upcoming 2022 C-Class PHEV from Mercedes-Benz will reportedly top that with an all-electric range of 100km.

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