Charging up for the future of plug-in hybrids and range extenders

If the full potential of plug-in hybrids and electric cars with a range extender is to be usefully exploited, it is important these vehicles be used in battery mode as much as possible. This means that users’ charging and driving behaviour needs to be positively influenced. This can be achieved through suitably designed financial incentives on the part of employers and government, further expansion of battery-charging infrastructure, and transferring knowledge on driving style. Improved driving and charging behaviour will lead to lower effective fuel consumption, reduced CO2 emissions and improved air quality.

These are some of the results of this study, carried out by CE Delft at the request of Dutch Toyota and Opel importers to examine how the performance of plug-in hybrids and cars with a range extender can be improved. It is the first study to look into the factors governing practical usage of such vehicles and the options available to the various parties to improve that usage. To this end a literature study was carried out and interviews were held with employers, leasing companies, trade associations, government agencies and other parties.