‘Hybrids pollute almost as much as petrol and diesel cars’

Hybrids are no more environmentally friendly than petrol cars, according to new research

Are you driving a plug-in hybrid, is it still not good …

Anyone who has driven a plug-in hybrid for the past twenty years has been satisfied with themselves for two reasons. Either because he had a great deal, or because he was doing the environment a favor. Now it appears that the latter may not be a fact after all. At least, that is the conclusion drawn from a new European study.


The research was carried out by the European Federation for Transport and Environment, T&E for short. This NGO is committed to greening the transport sector in Europe. According to them, plug-in hybrids are not the way to do this.

Practice emissions

T&E has a research set according to the field emissions of plug-in hybrids and those compared to the declared emissions. The results are not tender: according to the study, the practical emissions are 2.65 times higher than those of the test results.

Kia Nero

The underlying cause, according to T&E, is that the electric motor is often not charged. In addition, the combustion engine would be turned on at times when the car was actually in zero emission mode would sit. The Kia Nero (never heard of it) would have the petrol engine switched on in this mode. This is based on the story of just one owner.

Just as polluting?

In response to the study, the Dutch Nature & Environment calls out that the emissions of PHEVs are almost as polluting as petrol and diesel cars. When we look at the results, this is slightly exaggerated. A new PHEV would in 2020 emit 28 tons of CO2 over the entire life cycle, while a petrol car emits 39 tons and a diesel car 41 tons. That is still a significant difference.

If the research is correct, however, there is a fairly large discrepancy between the assignment and practice. T&E therefore calls out murder and fire. They speak of uncovering new deceit. The organization has also selected a moment that they consider appropriate. This month it is five years ago that Volkswagen fell through the basket with their cheat diesels.

Photo: a not too environmentally friendly hybrid, spotted by @Tintin


  1. antoonniels says

    A new PHEV would in 2020 emit 28 tons of CO2 over the entire life cycle, while a petrol car emits 39 tons and a diesel car 41 tons. That is still a significant difference.

    It seems to me that you can also name the life cycle here. If a hybrid lasts as long as a diesel, that is an advantage. If it does not last as long, it becomes a calculation. I am also amazed that the diesel car emits more than the petrol. Diesel per liter is more CO2 dense, but my experience in terms of consumption shows an advantage for the diesel.

    • often you’re too scared says

      … And that’s exactly where the life cycle comes into play. Perhaps a life cycle of 300,000 km applies to the diesels (in this study) and 200,000 km to petrol cars. Or 10 years for everyone. Or something completely different. Without further substantiation, everyone can shout something and make their own assumptions.


  2. alcantara says

    But you do pay less on fuel, that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it?

    • dairy cow says

      For 90% of the Hybrid and electric drivers it is only about addition.

  3. kobus1967 says

    How many petrol and diesel cars achieve the specified use?

    • fabian159 says

      With petrol cars, this is absolutely not possible even with the most bizarre driving style. With most diesels I do not experience an extreme difference with my driving style and when I do my best I often keep it under the assignment (mercedes, audi, bmw, skoda and alfa) at mazda this was more difficult and with a renault diesel I came with a extremely safe driving style still 20 percent above the target. So will depend a bit from brand to brand.

    • spollie says

      With my (chipped) 335d I drive more economical than the combined consumption specified by BMW. And I certainly don’t drive like an old grandmother. With petrol cars, on the other hand, I have never been able to achieve the specified consumption.

  4. gasterplancke says

    I’ve been driving a hybrid for 14 years (without a plug) and all those years I have blown 25% less CO2 into the air compared to an equal-sized petrol car. So………….


  5. grass eater says

    Thing, too, is who’s driving those plug-in hybrids. Lease drivers. Company fuel card. Charging does not make sense. I would do that too. I could manage perfectly with a Phev that has a range of 40-45 km. Right up and down to work. But do I have the money to buy such a thing? No, because I’ve only been working for a few years and have 2 children. So I enjoy driving in my old gas tank.


  6. Alfarobert says

    Making a hybrid car already produces a lot more CO emissions than a petrol or diesel car, does that include? What happens to the batteries if they have to be replaced after 8 to 10 years? Is the owner going to put in that much money or get a completely new car? I maintain that hydrogen is the future.

  7. moveyourmind says

    Nothing to worry about …

    Any extra emissions from those hybrids are more than offset by the fact that the asphalt they drive on is climate neutral because here in the Netherlands, for every kilometer of fresh asphalt, a beautiful piece of new nature reserve is added thanks to the extremely noble efforts of the road construction sector in collaboration with Rijkswaterstaat .

  8. fanboy says

    Priuses really last a very long time. I doubt whether their results include Priuses with half a million kilometers, because of course that gives a completely different picture.

    Ultimately, you still want to look at emissions per km (including lifespan)

  9. superhans says

    I think many drive their hybrid on ICE because the battery still offers too little range and the software is not yet well developed enough. My GLC 350e drains the battery immediately on the highway, while that mi should be used in the city. I now arrange that manually, but the computer should do it. Both problems will no doubt be fixed in the near future.

    EV and ICE both have advantages and disadvantages. For the time being, I opt for both in my daily driver.

  10. 9114life says

    I drive 2.5? year plug in hybrid with a consumption of 6.6 l / 100km. The same vehicle without a plug in would have doubled my consumption. The 9 years before my consumption was 12.9l / 100km

  11. henkp1 says

    Well it will. If you drive a Phev as it is intended, it is indeed more economical and cleaner than a petrol or diesel car.

  12. henkp1 says

    Error in the text: the electric motors are not being charged, but the batteries / accumulators.


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