Plug-in hybrid cars would pollute more than expected

Plug-in hybrid cars would pollute more than expected
Plug-in hybrid cars would pollute more than expected

The CO2 emissions of plug-in hybrid vehicles remain higher than what the manufacturers officially announce, assures Monday the NGO Transport & Environment (T&E) which analyzed the behavior of three of the best-selling models in 2020.

“Our tests show that, even in optimal conditions, with a full battery, cars pollute more than advertised”, explains Diane Strauss, France director of T&E. “The French government must remove as quickly as possible aid for the purchase of hybrid vehicles and tax incentives for company vehicles”.

“Badly designed” vehicles

The majority of these vehicles, equipped with a heat engine and a rechargeable battery on the mains allowing to drive in 100% electric mode over a short distance, “is just badly designed. They have weak electric motors, bulky heat motors. and pollutants, and generally charge slowly. French manufacturers must avoid rushing into this next scandal of “CO2 emissions,” she adds, while sales of these vehicles now exceed those of electric vehicles in France, according to the NGO.

The tests, carried out by Emissions Analytics on the large urban 4 × 4 BMW X5, the Volvo XC60 and the Mitsubishi Outlander, thus reveal that the CO2 emissions are between 28% and 89% higher than those that the manufacturers have announced under conditions operating conditions and with the battery fully charged.

With an empty battery, they emitted three to eight times more CO2 than the official values ​​and when driving in battery charging mode (…) the figures were then three to twelve times higher “, according to the study.

Until 2019, studies by the NGO International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) concluded that the CO2 emissions in real conditions of plug-in hybrids were already generally two to four times higher than the measurements communicated during their process. approval, says T&E.

More than 40,000 hybrids purchased since early 2020

In September 2020, the government had already disbursed 38 million euros in aid for the purchase of plug-in hybrid vehicles (excluding conversion premium) and it spends an additional 7 million euros annually to encourage company vehicle users to choose the rechargeable hybrid, still regrets the NGO.

By mid-October, more than 40,284 plug-in hybrids had been sold in France since the start of the year, reflecting an explosion in sales of 239%. These vehicles, often among the heaviest, are also excluded from the new weight penalty system which will apply to those weighing more than 1,800 kg.

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