Considered a mere folly or trojan horse by some, the plug-in hybrid (PHEV) - featuring a conventional internal combustion engine (ICE) and an additional electric engine and corresponding battery pack - will prove highly effective in meeting relatively tough European Union (plus Norway) CO2 emissions targets to be introduced next year according to latest research
Porsche that belongs to the Volkswagen Group has one of the highest fleet average emission in the Volkswagen Group and effectively acts as a parachute, braking the other brands in achieving the 2020/21 fleet average target. Set at 95g/km - depending on the mass average weight of all the vehicles - measured at the old NEDC test cycle and converted from WLTP data using a so called CO2MPAS tool, PHEVs are set once again to make a comeback and cut the parachute free. Porsche Panamera CO2 average close to equaling Fiat model 500 range in April
Now thanks to Porsche's reintroduction of its PHEV models - following a one year absence - the first signs of the importance of these CO2 busting fleet average vehicles can now be identified.
According to German KraftfahrtBundesamt data, in April the average CO2 emissions from Porsche premium sector Panamera fell to a mere 160.3g/km - measured in the new WLTP test cycle - thanks to a PHEV sales share of 57.6 per cent.
As can be seen in the infographic, the CO2 emissions for the Panamera model fell by 118.4g/km over a period of just three months. During this period the PHEV mix went from under 1-in-10 new Panamera registrations in February to over half (57.6%) last month (April).
Large BEV sales volumes not necessarily necessary until 2025
With other premium manufactures such as Daimler's Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi all due to reintroduce a large fleet of PHEV models over the second half of this year, the CO2 targets set out by the European Commission are well within reach without a large fleet of pure battery-electric vehicles.
PHEVs expected to play a vital role up to 2025
PHEV sales in Europe lost ground to pure electric BEV vehicles over the last quarters (Q1 2019: EU + EFTA total registrations: BEV: 83,676 +87.5% y/y | PHEV 43,209 -4.5% ACEA data) but with most larger-premium models due to be electrified and often qualifying for handsome income tax savings, for these vehicles often driven as company cars, the PHEV return is expected from Q4 2019 and at the latest by Q1 2020. PHEVs emitting 50g/km and below (NEDC) CO2 emissions also benefit from supercredits helping the targets to be achieved even more simply.
Going forward, PHEVs are still likely to play a big role maintaining the 95g/km (NEDC) CO2 target up to 2025 when the target is slashed by 15 per cent and BEVs are expected to play a far more vital role in achieving these targets.