• Nov 9, 2012
Fleet owners in the Netherlands are finding out that you can overshoot the mark by 80 percent in fuel consumption with plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. Leasing company Arval (which is known in the US as major fleet management and leasing company PHH Arval) surveyed fleets leasing the Opel Ampera, Chevrolet Volt and Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid and found that they're using, on average, 80 percent more fuel than the fuel economy estimates found in the manufacturers' specifications.

This is happening because fleet managers are tapping into the benefits of local rebates for plug-in vehicles but then not, you know, actually plugging in. Government incentives include no purchase tax, zero percent additional tax liability and no road tax until 2016. Some municipalities are offering thousands of dollars in subsidies for the purchase of a plug-in hybrid. They don't appear to be interested in paying for charging stations to tap into the extended range and fuel consumption cost savings.

If they really wanted to reduce fuel consumption, these fleets could do better by purchasing more fuel efficient internal combustion engine cars. Arval investigated more than 60 Amperas, Volts, and Prius Plug-ins to see how fleets have been using these plug-in hybrids. While the factory standards are promising – the Prius can consume as low as 2.2 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers driven (the equivalent of 107 MPGe, per UK testing) and the Ampera and Volt 1.6 liters per 100 kilometers (147 MPGe), according to the automakers, they're not being utilized as plug-ins to get to these results.

One Ampera owner in the study was at the other end of the scale, getting 7.9 liters per 100 kilometers driven using gasoline only (so, 30 mpg). Another Ampera driver had a very good experience with the plug-in, and has been able to score 0.4 (one liter per 250 kilometers driven) by charging up the battery at work and home.

These cars are starting to see growing sales numbers in the Dutch market. Opel sold 2,500 Amperas and 500 Chevrolet Volts and expects to continue selling 300 per month. Toyota is meeting its schedule and expects to sell 1,500 Prius Plug-in Hybrids this year. Whatever the energy source, these plug-in hybrids are appealing enough to find buyers.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 60 Comments
      Actionable Mango
      • 2 Years Ago
      This reminds me of that farmer in Spain who used diesel-powered generators to shine light on his solar panels during the evening in order to sell the power to the grid, and actually made profit doing so.
        Letstakeawalk
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Actionable Mango
        German wind turbine operators have to pay their customers to take excess electricity from time to time, but the government subsidies ensure that they still make a profit even when doing so.
        EVSUPERHERO
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Actionable Mango
        I would think the farmer would have way to much loss to inefficiency and conversion costs. AC coming in from grid, light converted to DC current, DC converted to AC going back to grid. Perhaps everything written on the Internet is not true, Mr Mango?
          Actionable Mango
          • 1 Day Ago
          @EVSUPERHERO
          Here is the story if you are interested in checking it out. I have no idea if it is true or not, but the story and its sources seem reasonable to me. http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_round_up/465409/spanish_nighttime_solar_energy_fraud_unlikely_in_uk.html
      RC
      • 2 Years Ago
      Well now that's really dumb.
      Letstakeawalk
      • 2 Years Ago
      The fleet buyers made the best decision they could; it's up to the drivers to plug them in.
      Marcopolo
      • 2 Years Ago
      As a fleet owner and operator, I find this sort of survey result not unexpected. Most of this type o
      EZEE
      • 2 Years Ago
      Don't they plug not regular outlets? Government can be well meaning, but rarely smart.
        EZEE
        • 1 Day Ago
        @EZEE
        Uhm.....the private industry is reacting to the government regulations. That is what they always do. Profit is the goal. Which is cheaper for them with these government regulations? Just like the new Obama care - many of my clients are now planning on cutting hours to huge extent - if an employee works under 30 hours, they don't have to provide healthcare. So guess what? Hours are going to be cut, and more part time employeees will be hired! Oh! But that isn't what they meant ot happen when they passed that bill? Really? I am shocked. Shocked this could happen. Look at the shock on my face. :| One company said they have 50 employees per location. They will increase to 75 employees per location or shut their doors. Looks like the normal thing happens, the poor are hit hardest. Great job.
          raktmn
          • 1 Day Ago
          @EZEE
          There is nothing in any of these government programs that incentivizes not plugging in once they have already bought the cars.
        Ford Future
        • 1 Day Ago
        @EZEE
        "Government" - This is private industry: 10x Stupider.
      EZEE
      • 2 Years Ago
      @electron I asked one time of his background, and he explained it all. I do no believe there is any subterfuge. As far different names, mine just stopped working once, so I created a second name (disgruntled goat). Stopped using it once ezee started working again. Nothing nefarious....
      Marco Polo
      • 1 Day Ago
      @ Electron Your problem is, you're not only bitter, but lazy ! You have no achievements of your own, and belittle those that do. As I say, you're lazy ! Lots of contributors to ABG have sent me their private emails, and we correspond regularly.. Other have asked for references or introductions to various organizations, which I have freely supplied. On one occasion, I even invited you to join me in helping clean up and oil spill, but you refused all interest. On another occasion, in response to one of your posts, I offered to obtain you a discount from a US EV manufacturer, but again you declined ? A simple response to any of these invitations would satisfy your curiosity, but you're either too lazy, or too dishonest. So, who is this Electron, or electron 1-16 ? I neither know nor care ! Nor, it appears, does anyone else !
      Marcopolo
      • 1 Day Ago
      @ Electron, I don't intend to continue with your weirdness. It's impolite to other readers, who have already told you they don't care about your weird obsessions. by your own admission you follow me from website to website . This is really unhealthy, and a bit sad. I feel sorry for you. It's often said that haters, hate because they can't participate. Find achievements, or interests of your own, to share with others, and stop obsessing about me. “Bitterness is like drinking rat poison and waiting for the rat to die.” ― John Ortberg Jr., Everybody's Normal Till You Get to Know Them
      Harry
      • 2 Years Ago
      Good point. Buying a Volt from someone who never plugged it in would be good if they drive it nearly every day, but if they park it for extended periods of time, would the state of charge fall too low to condition the battery? Any thoughts from Volt aficionados? I think the "Dutch Fleet Volts" might be a great buy in 3 years, but I would want to have the battery pack inspected, if that is even possible. Living here in the US I don't see that event as being too likely, though...
      Marco Polo
      • 2 Years Ago
      As a fleet owner and operator, I find this sort of survey result totally believable. Mostly these fleet vehicles are company cars for middle management or representatives. Not all these employees have residences equipped with recharging facilities. In addition, these employees often travel to areas where lacking recharging facilities. But on the other hand, many fleets simply include EREV's in the fleet with no incentive (or knowledge) for employees to utilize the EV technology. The situation can be easily resolved by senior management ensuring fleet managers, and all supervisors provide all fleet vehicle drivers, with appropriate incentives, education and motivation to ensure that the employee is eager to take advantage of the EREV's fantastic capabilities ! ( GM dealersare only to willing to help run EV familiarity events). It only takes a little effort to motivate your employee's "green awareness" . Education is the key !. Last year I drove 3 very conventional 'City ' bankers, from London to a conference in Gloucester. (a distance of of about 120 miles). These gentlemen were surprised that I picked them up in the centre of London in a Range Rover, despite the heavy congestion tax on 4WD. On the way, a lively discussion took place on the subject of Top Gear's TV ridicule of the Leaf, Tesla roadster, etc. Naturally, I defended EV technology, but as we entered Gloucester, the leading anti-EV exponent, stated with an air of triumph, " how if we had been traveling in an EV, we would have never have made Gloucester ". Imagine his surprise when he discovered that the Range Rover was a fully electric LEVRR, and he had been 'riding on electrons' the entire journey ! It just takes education (and motivation) !
        Electron
        • 1 Day Ago
        @Marco Polo
        Ah, today you're a fleetmanager are you? It's literally fantastic how you always seem to have the right real life experience to present yourself as the ultimate expert on whatever topic happens to be up on this forum. "Marcopolo"doesn't quite give enough credit to such a versatile person, you really should change your screenname to "Leonardo", as in Leonardo da Vinci. I think many regulars on this forum have long since realized though that as Italian screennames go the one that captures what you're all about best is “Pinocchio”.
        EVSUPERHERO
        • 1 Day Ago
        @Marco Polo
        Nicely done Marco. I guess the bankers aren't ignorant, they are just in their own little banking world learning about that and little else. Hope the banker did not ask how much your EV SUV costs. They may have taken a dimmer view of it. Of course they know what economies of scale do to things like cars and tv's.
          EZEE
          • 1 Day Ago
          @EVSUPERHERO
          @marco The other day I saw an ad for a ford focus that had the auto miracle robotic magic parallel parking feature. It wasn't. That long ago that it was only in the top end Lexus. Now ford has it in a dumb ol focus.
          Marco Polo
          • 1 Day Ago
          @EVSUPERHERO
          @ EVSUPERHERO Well, there are bankers and bankers, these are not conventional conservative types, but risk taking merchant bankers, accustomed to spending large bonuses on expensive toys ! Still, most really useful (and some pretty damn useless) technology starts out as luxury items, only to be later included as standard equipment in economy models. ! The LEVRR, has been a great advertisement for EV technology, but so was the little Bradford van, with it's lead acid batteries we re-built 17 years ago. I have been trying to assemble a collection of vintage, veteran and classic EV's (including the weird and the wonderful) as a retirement interest.
      Peter
      • 2 Years Ago
      Terrible but expected. The Dutch buy 'em to reduce capital cost and looking green, and Californians buy 'em to get HOV stickers... and looking green. Fodder for the GOP and Fox "news" without question. I suppose we could legislate this with big brother looking into actual consumption and clawing back in the case of people who don't plug in (is that a Democrat response?) but I don't think that necessary. Over time such vehicles will no longer need tax or other incentives to make sence and the incentives will stop (remember when incentives were necessary for Prius hybrids?) and in the mean time its just part of the cost of increasing volume to get economies of scale.
      American Refugee
      • 2 Years Ago
      Lazy Dutchmen, start plugging in! I find this amazing, given that gas is about eight bucks a gallon here usually, they must be using the company credit card. Someone in accounting needs to start ringing some bells. I saw two Ampara's in Amsterdam today, so I know they are getting more and more popular, but let's use them as intended, mensen!
    • Load More Comments