Plug-In Hybrid Vehicles (PHEVs)often get mixed reviews. The idea is pretty sound, in that they are pitched at offering the best of both worlds. On one hand, there is the potential for an extended period of time driving on electric-only emissions-free driving, which depending on the size of the battery fitted to the car, could be as much as 75-100km. Also, if you keep the battery charged using your home charger, this battery can also work as a standard hybrid, assisting your car and allowing it to use less fuel (usually petrol).
However, critics say that there is little point to PHEVs because once the battery is empty, you are left with a large car, with an often underpowered engine carrying around a heavy, empty battery. The Irish government, it seems, agreed. They backed away from financial incentives for these vehicles in favour of continued grants for Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs). But do they work?
The AA’s Blake Boland and Paddy Comyn decided to find out, by using the Citroen C5x, a car that has just been released and which comes with with the option of a PHEV. It is powered by a 1.6-litre petrol engine, aided by an 81kW motor.
The test we carried out was a simple one. Both Blake and Paddy live in Drogheda and car-pool to work and live 48km away from the office. Can a fully-charged C5x make it home on EV power alone? Watch the video here.