EU Slowly Killing Plug-In Hybrids, But Sales Will Accelerate In China

Plug-in hybrids should be the perfect bridge between traditional vehicles and electric ones, but their days are numbered in Europe because of strict government regulations. The Chinese have other ideas.

European Union (EU) carbon dioxide (CO2) rules ban the sale of new internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles by 2035 and that includes plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV), like the Peugeot 408 GT Hybrid 225e I’ve just been driving. The recent small gap in the rules for so-called e-fuel to extend the life of combustion engines demanded by Germany could lead the way for a PHEV amnesty, at least in theory, but that looks unlikely…

PHEV range matches a regular ICE vehicle and defeats worries electric car range on long high-speed (but legal) journeys might be slashed by 30 to 50% because the laws of physics don’t like electric cars as speeds advance over 60 mph (see Databox).