With around 60 plug-in hybrid models now available, where do you start in finding the right PHEV for your fleet?
The lure of the plug-in hybrid is easy to see. No range anxiety, great on company car tax, barely any compromise in terms of performance or comfort – and oh yes, it’s not a diesel! But with this popularity comes high demand. Plug-in hybrid sales continue to increase year on year, with sales going up by 40% from Jan/Feb 2017 to Jan/Feb 2018.
Therefore, for fleet decision makers looking to add more PHEVs to their fleet, despite the growing range of plug-in hybrids available, getting hold of them can be another matter.
What PHEVs are available now?
With popular fleets plug-in hybrids such as the Volkswagen Golf GTE, BMW 330e and Mercedes-Benz 350e currently unavailable to order, it may be time to start looking at some alternative models that are available today.
Not only do we give you the rundown of five great plug-in hybrid vehicles, but we also include a star rating, scoring them in terms of their availability:
★★★★ Dealer stock available now
★★★ National stock available now
★★ Available to order, build time required
★ Unavailable to order at this moment
1. Kia Niro PHEV
The Kia Niro plug-in hybrid offers something different to the booming SUV crossover market, following its introduction last year. It’s competitive pricing, promising efficiency capabilities and the reliable Kia brand, makes the Kia Niro a fresh alternative to other, much pricier, SUV plug-in hybrid equivalents.
The combined petrol and electric engines boasts a smooth, efficient ride and gives drivers the opportunity to travel up to 36 miles without any CO2 emissions at all. The 1.6 petrol engine can then extend your range and aims to deliver a combined fuel consumption of up to 217.3 MPG.
For company car drivers, the Niro should catch your eye in terms of BIK. Emitting just 29g/km of CO2 emissions overall, the Kia Niro PHEV has a company car tax banding of just 9%. As a company car, you could immediately see the huge BIK saving that could be made by choosing the Niro PHEV over a diesel powertrain Kia Sportage.
The Kia 7-year warranty, also includes the battery, giving drivers that added peace of mind.
2. Hyundai IONIQ
Hyundai’s attempt at producing an economical five-door saloon car to rival that of the long-standing Toyota Prius, so far has been a success.
Offering more value for money, the IONIQ’s starting price is £4,200 less than the Prius Plug-In and offers more in terms of standard equipment including Xenon lights, climate control, rear parking sensors and rear camera, Bluetooth and digital DAB radio.
Like the Prius, designing a hybrid-specific car from scratch has allowed Hyundai to sculpt a shape that is as aero-dynamically efficient as possible. It’s low nose, gentle roofline and high, square tail not only help it to cause less drag and eek out as many extra miles per gallon as possible, but it also gives it that sleek and modern look. A clever feature can also be found in the front chrome grille. Active air flaps in the grille open and close automatically in stages to enhance aerodynamic performance even further.
Offering the same electric range as the Prius (39 miles), the IONIQ may encourage company car drivers looking for that large saloon model to see sense, and switch to a plug-in alternative.
3. Mini Countryman PHEV
With an electric range of up to 26 miles and a total range of up to 310 miles, there’s no limit to where the MINI Countryman Plug-in Hybrid can take you. And taking just 6.8 seconds to hit 62 mph, Mini claim, ‘sustainable driving just got fun.’
The eDrive toggle allows you to switch between the electric motor and the petrol engine at the flick of a switch. A feature that is specifically useful if you need to switch to zero-emission driving mode in cities or Low-Emission Zones. You can also choose to drive in the combined electric and petrol mode or just using combustible petrol engine. Using the petrol engine alone is a great way to save your electric power, and also charge up the electric battery as you drive.
The Countryman PHEV model offers the same quirky design standards you expect from Mini. An LED light ring illuminates the charging port when it is charging and indicates the different phases of the charging process, so you can see when the car is fully charged, and ready to go.
For a full battery charge, the Mini Countryman PHEV, like most plug-in hybrids, has a charge time of around 2-3.5 hours.
4. BMW 530e
With an entry price of £45,810, the BMW 530e is the most expensive PHEV on our list. But unlike its smaller 3 Series counterpart, the 530e is available to order today.
Offering the SE or M Sport model, it certainly doesn’t appear that BMW are aiming the 530e at your everyday energy conscious driver. With 18″ alloy wheels, an aluminium interior trim with Pearl Chrome trim finisher, ambient interior lighting and digital cockpit, there is no compromise to the well-know and adored, BMW luxury feel. But drivers by default will have the ability to enjoy 28 miles of pure electric mode and a company car tax banding of 9%.
The BMW 530e also has the capability for wireless charging. This innovative and convenient method of recharging can deliver 100% charge in approx. 3.5 hours. The inductive charging station can be installed in a garage or outside on the ground and is scheduled to be rolled out later this year.
Like the Mini, the BMW 530e also has an illuminated charging socket with a charging status light.
5. Ford Transit Custom PHEV
With a number of pure electric commercial vehicle models currently available, including the Nissan e-NV200, Peugeot Partner Electric and Renault Kangoo ZE, there is a huge gap awaiting to be filled by a plug-in hybrid light commercial vehicle.
The range of the a pure electric van can offer 100+ miles, going some way in encouraging businesses to explore more zero emission driving. However, range anxiety amongst commercial drivers is still a big worry.
A report by the Department for Transport stated light commercial vehicles contributed to record 48.5 billion miles travelled on the UK’s roads last year. This helps to demonstrate how a typical commercial vehicle driver needs the security of the mile extender offered on a PHEV.
Scheduled for volume production in 2019, Ford aims to be the first volume manufacturer to offer PHEV technology in this segment of the van market.
The Ford hybrid system targets a zero-emission range of 31 miles, topping the Ford list in terms of pure electric mile range. The Transit Custom PHEV will feature the multi-award winning Ford EcoBoost 1.0-litre petrol engine which charges the on-board batteries whilst on the move.
Overall, our Top 5 Available PHEVs offer great potential to the fleet market.
All the performance figures quoted are dependent on a variety of contributing factors including ambient temperature, battery condition, vehicle payload, electronics/heating/climate settings and most important of all – driving style.
Businesses who have incorporated plug-in hybrids to their fleet have actually seen fuel usage spike, rather than decline. This is all down to individual driving styles and can be easily managed with training and telematic solutions.
Can we interest you in one?
Speak to one our Business Development Managers to discuss how you can start introducing more PHEVs to you fleet today: