For many consumers, economical PHEVs are a nice, affordable alternative to a diesel car or EV. Unfortunately, the EU and the Dutch government have plans to kill all benefits from 2025 onwards.
Plug-in hybrids have low CO2 emissions according to the WLTP consumption cycle. And because the Dutch purchase tax on passenger cars and motorcycles - bpm for short - is controlled by CO2 emissions, PHEVs are relatively cheap to purchase.
For large, very powerful cars, the BPM sometimes even results in bizarre price differences. This is how the Land Rover Range Rover P550e PHEV AWD with 550 hp 'only' 166,120 euros. The same car with a 530 hp V8 should fetch no less than 251,232 euros. A difference of more than 85,000 euros!
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Reason: the enormous difference in CO2 emissions. The PHEV officially only puffs 17 g per kilometer from its exhaust, while the V8 pumps 264 grams into the atmosphere every kilometer. At least, according to the internationally recognized WLTP consumption measurement.
And take the new, 739 hp Porsche Cayenne Turbo E-Hybrid. It has 59 hp more than its predecessor without a plug, but is about 50,000 euros cheaper ... In the price lists of BMW, Bentley and various other brands, you will find more extreme examples like this.
What about cars that require a less exotic budget? We often see that (much) more powerful plug-in hybrids are not or hardly more expensive than their brothers with only a combustion engine. Take the Citroen C5. With a three-cylinder 1.2 PureTech engine (137 g CO2/km), this French car costs 46,400 euros. Compare it with the C5 X (Plug-in) Hybrid 180 (32 g CO2/km). It combines a four-cylinder 1.6 with an electric motor and costs 80 euros less! While you get one cylinder and 50 hp! And okay, also a charging cord...
Now the fact is that it is very difficult to determine what an average plug-in hybrid actually consumes. Someone who rarely drives beyond the electric range almost never needs to refuel. This means CO2 emissions close to 0 g/km. A driver who drives long distances and structurally refuses to plug in, on the other hand, can end up with a consumption that is ten times higher than the manufacturer's specifications. This results in correspondingly higher CO2 emissions.
Officials and politicians in the EU now agree that the current measurement method is unrealistic. In a plug-in hybrid, the battery is first drained and then a route is driven on petrol. No changes will be made to the measuring method itself. However, a different conversion factor will be used from 2025 under the new Euro 6e-bis standard. This depends on the range on electricity. In some cases, this can lead to a doubling of CO2 figures.
That's not the end of it yet. From 2027, the Euro 6e-bis standard will be supplemented with the abbreviation FCM. That stands for Fuel and energy Consumption Monitoring and this means that the theoretical figures are corrected on the basis of practical measurements by measuring equipment on board cars in the field. This is likely to drive up official emissions figures even further.
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Of course, this is not without consequences for Dutch consumer prices. It is not yet possible to say exactly how many plug-ins will increase in price, but it will certainly not remain just a few thousand euros.
Don't think that you are completely out of the woods if you already have a plug-in hybrid. Because it gets worse... In order to stimulate the sale of cars with low CO2 emissions, the Dutch government has been offering PHEV drivers another carrot in addition to a low BPM for years. For a plug-in hybrid you only have to pay half the normal road tax rate. This gift will remain valid until December 31, 2024, but after that it will be ready according to current information.
This means that owners of a plug-in hybrid will have to pay hundreds of euros more in road tax every year from January 2025. Plug-in hybrids are above average heavy due to the extra electric motor and the battery pack, and weight is one of the most important factors for road tax.
To illustrate, let's go back to the Citroën C5 At the moment, the PHEV is nevertheless slightly cheaper in road tax: 139 compared to 205 euros per quarter in the province of Utrecht. From 2025, the plug-in version will be 73 euros more expensive than its petrol brother (278 euros). Compared to the current situation, this amounts to 556 euros extra road tax per year.
In conclusion, we can say that the plug-in hybrid will be over in the Netherlands from 2025 and certainly from 2027. Unless the tax legislators and measurement method gurus change their minds.
This post was last modified on October 25, 2023 9:09 am
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