Emissions Europe wants to tighten up tests on plug-in hybrids

The European Union would have targeted powertrain technology plug-in hybrids following the increasingly frequent criticism of the current ones emissions test, judged to be unreliable compared to real driving conditions. In particular, according to rumors released by Reuters, Brussels intends to review the current systems for verifying the CO2 emitted by plug-ins, introducing stricter limits and calculation factors.

The criticisms. The advances of the British news agency are linked to studies conducted by experts and associations according to which the current tests are based on a substantially unfeasible condition in everyday life: that is, the availability of a full and constant charge of the battery. Even so, however, it seems that the emissions are higher than those approved, due to the greater use of the internal combustion engine and a shorter mileage in 100% electric mode: some tests in real driving conditions would have shown emission levels up to four times. greater than what emerged from the current analysis system. This is not surprising: if the user, as Quattroruote has always emphasized, is not virtuous and constant in recharging the battery, the savings in terms of consumption vanish. Indeed, the data are worse than those of the latest generation diesels.

New calculation methodologies. Hence, the current cycle tests Wltp for plug-in hybrids they would be far from reality. The criticisms would have prompted Brussels officials to evaluate the introduction of new verification systems starting from 2025: the intention of the officials would be to insert, through a modification to the current protocols on Wltp tests, a new factor resulting from real data collected through an Obfcm (On-Board Fuel Consumption Monitoring) system, a device made mandatory by EU regulations starting from January 1, 2021. This system is present on all newly registered vehicles and is responsible for storing all data on real consumption .

The risks for the houses. With these solutions, Europe thinks it has a more realistic picture of the actual use of the combustion engine compared to the electric powertrain in plug-in hybrids. However, the new methodology, which will be discussed next February 22 by the Working Group on Motor Vehicles (a comparison booth between the sector, governments and consumer associations), risks creating problems for manufacturers, especially those who have focused on plug-in to lower the average emissions of the range, respect the limits and avoid fines for exceeding: with the introduction of new tests, in fact, the manufacturers should sell more and more 100% electric vehicles.

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