Subsidised plug-in cars driven on fuel

Posted: November 10, 2018 by oldbrew in Critique, government, Subsidies, Travel
Tags: ,


Company car drivers don’t have time to wait for recharges when working, even if they could find an available charging point, and usually they aren’t personally paying for the fuel anyway. Farcical waste of subsidies, but at least the batteries won’t be worn out when these vehicles hit the second-hand market.

Plug-in hybrids bought for fleets with subsidies may never have been charged, research for BBC shows.

Tens of thousands of plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) bought with generous government grants may be burning as much fuel as combustion-engine cars.

​Data compiled for the BBC suggests that such vehicles in corporate fleets averaged just 40 miles per gallon (mpg), when they could have done 130.

Many drivers may never have unwrapped their charging cables, The Miles Consultancy said.

Subsidies for new PHEVs were recently scrapped, after seven years.

The plug-in grant was introduced in 2011, gifting buyers up to £4,500 off new cars. The incentive helped the UK become the biggest market for PHEVs in Europe.

The majority of the tens of thousands of eligible vehicles sold were bought by company fleets, including more than 70% of the 37,000 plug-in hybrids sold so far in 2018.

But data from The Miles Consultancy, a Cheshire firm which advises 300 blue-chip companies on fuel management, reveals that many businesses simply used the grant to save on buying regular cars.

Mileage records from 1,500 models, including Audi, BMW, Mercedes and Volvo vehicles, showed an average real-world mpg of 39.27, against an average manufacturer advertised mpg of 129.68.

Figures for 2,432 hybrids – including non plug-in varieties – showed an average real-world mpg of 49.06, still vastly lower than the potential range.

“There are some examples where employees aren’t even charging these vehicles up,” said Paul Hollick, The Miles Consultancy’s managing director.

“The charge cables are still in the boot, in a cellophane wrapper, while the company and the employee are going in and out of petrol stations, paying for all of this additional fuel.

This practice, he added, was “ridiculous”.

Continued here.

  1. ivan says:

    This practice, he added, was “ridiculous”.

    Far from being “ridiculous” it is brilliant and it just shows how useless electric cars are in the real world for anything other than virtue signalling.

    I must reluctantly congratulate the purchasing people for seeing the importunity to get their fleet cars at a reduced price through the government’s stupidity (my reluctance is because the subsidy came out of our taxes)

  2. stpaulchuck says:

    Even if they had charged up regularly, it’s still a farce – window dressing for the cheap seats.

    The electricity still has to be generated and due to system losses from generator all the way into the battery, you create more (actual) pollution than burning the gasoline in the newer cleaner engines. There’s the fiction that you can select ‘green’ sources for your charging energy. Lots of luck with that if the sun is down and/or the wind stopped.

    It’s all down to feelings and emotions. Nothing to do with science or economic utility.

  3. It’s just another green scam that the stupid Government fell for and for which we, the taxpayers, are ripped off.

  4. Curious George says:

    With a government subsidy .. is a hybrid cheaper than just a car with an engine?

  5. MrGrimNasty says:

    I doubt the batteries will stay that fresh, not cycling them at all can be as bad as any other extreme battery use/abuse.

  6. oldbrew says:

    George – not necessarily, but the taxes and street charging system favour electric/hybrid e.g. no road tax, no London congestion charge, other concessions (parking etc).

  7. Adam Gallon says:

    Well, what a surprise. The fleet owner saves money, principally on congestion charges & tax, I’d guess. Maybe a bit on fuel too.

    As for the manufacturer advertised MPG, we know what a farce they are.

  8. saighdear says:

    O I missed the Jist of this on the news: but reading here and the comments, hmmm, Who is this “government” ? – an inanimate object ? – THought Gov’t was FOR the People BY the people …. Who ARE those clots who make this legislation? its as bad as the stupid classification of Engines by emissions. You want ANY kind of power ( hp ) you HAVE to burn ENERGY source to release it. Could we have a Referendum on this matter ? _ I didn’t vote for it.

  9. oldbrew says:

    The UK company car ‘benefit-in-kind’ rate is an annualised % charge based on the vehicle list price and CO2 rating. So hybrids having a low CO2 rating get a lower % charge than most others, regardless of how the vehicle is powered in real life.

  10. Phoenix44 says:

    Yet the BBC ignored the real scandal – the poor subsidising the rich.

    Here we have an actual, real example of businesses ripping off the poor but they complain about CO2.

  11. oldbrew says:

  12. Dave Ward says:

    “There’s the fiction that you can select ‘green’ sources for your charging energy”

    As long as those virtuous “green energy” customers don’t actually experience any supply disruption, the farce will continue. The ONLY place for smart meters is in their homes, and the built-in disconnect facility should be invoked whenever there is a supply shortfall. Then you would quickly see a change in attitudes!

  13. Gamecock says:

    ‘You can get a billion people electricity and 2.8 billion people clean cooking for $0.786 trillion’

    It’s not that simple, Oldbrew.

    Anyway, massive colonialism would be required to implement.

  14. oldbrew says:

    But climate catastrophists want to hand out vast sums on ‘green’ projects to assorted countries, paid for by ‘carbon taxes’ and the like.

  15. Gamecock says:

    They justify their colonialism differently.

  16. oldbrew says:

    What are the chances that such moneys would really get spent on actual ‘green’ projects?

  17. oldbrew says:

    PHEVs face uncertain future in the UK
    UK sales expected to slide following Government’s decision to axe plug-in car grant

    by Autocar
    12 November 2018

    History has shown that if you rip out incentives for electric vehicles, then the market dramatically shrinks – so why did the UK Government cut the car grant for plug-in hybrids last month when it claims to want us all to be driving electrified cars in the not-so-distant future?
    – – –
    Because they heard what happened in the Netherlands, it seems. Does this sound familiar?…

    Just look at the Netherlands. Our neighbour was the leading market in Europe for plug-in hybrids in 2015 thanks to generous tax incentives for company car drivers. But when the government analysed data from fuel cards, they got a surprise: drivers just weren’t plugging them in. To them, the incentives made the extra fuel drunk just running them as a regular car more than worth it. The incentives quickly shrank and the market collapsed. The Netherlands didn’t even make the top 10 European markets for plug-in hybrids this year. — Autocar
    – – –
    Greencrap ideology meets reality 🤢