PHEV Manufacturer of the Year
Presented to the manufacturer of either a commercial or consumer PHEV that has demonstrated the best performance and best suitability for purpose in its class.
KIA has been pushing forward with two plug-in hybrid models - the Optima and Niro. The sustainable Optima PHEV has been redesigned this year and has low emissions of 37g/km and an EV range of 33 miles. Whereas the All-New Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid has emissions of 29g/km. Introduced at the beginning of 2017, it has a claimed range of 36 miles on a full charge and features a new Eco Driving Assistant System.
Mini’s first plug-in hybrid model was released at the beginning of 2017, which offers SUV capability and an electric range of 26 miles. The Mini Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 combines a three cylinder, 1,499cc petrol engine with a 65kW synchronous electric motor to give a total range of 310 miles. There is also claimed 134.5mpg NEDC combined cycle fuel economy, while its CO2 emissions are as low as 49g/km.
New to the iPerformance range is the 530e, which sees business users pay nine per cent in BIK tax. It combines an electric motor and a four-cylinder TwinPower Turbo petrol engine to create the BMW eDrive plug-in hybrid drive. It provides short-range emission-free driving with a range of around 28 miles. Not far behind is 740e iPerformance which combines saloon-car luxury with a pure electric range of up to 28 miles, and only 49g/km.
The first Toyota plug-in hybrid was released five years ago, with only enough range to cover around 11 miles before activating the engine. However, this year, the Prius Plug-in has been released, with a 30-mile EV range, which is perfect for shorter commutes. Showing Toyota’s continued efforts in providing sustainable transport, the Prius Plug-in’s overall CO2 emmissions are 22g/km.
Volvo’s XC90 T8 Twin Engine offers three modes - Pure, Hybrid and Power - and can officially travel up to 27 miles on electric power alone. CO2 emissions come in at an official 49g/km, making the T8 Twin Engine the cleanest XC90 available. Meanwhile, dubbed the safest electric car by Euro NCAP, the Volvo V60 T8 Twin Engine provides
all the practicality of an estate with the advantages of a plug-in hybrid.
With three plug-in models to choose from, Volkswagen is proving popular in the sustainable vehicle sector. Its plug-in Passat GTE combines a modern conventional petrol engine with an innovative electric motor. The popular new Golf GTE combines a turbocharged petrol engine with a high-torque electric motor capable of driving zero emissions. It has a fuel consumption on a combined cycle of 166.2mpg.
The Outlander SUV PHEV is a big seller for the Japanese manufacturer and new to the range this year is the Outlander PHEV Juro. Featuring an ‘EV priority’ mode and providing 33 miles of electric-only driving, the new model is also exempt from the London Congestion Charge zone. Its overall combined range is 542 miles with the all-electric mode perfect for short, inner-city commutes.
Extensive discussions were conducted with fleets ahead of the market introduction of the BMW 330e Saloon. This plug-in hybrid offers an official combined fuel consumption of 148.7mpg and CO2 emissions of 44g/km. March 2016 also saw the launch of the BMW 225xe Active Tourer. In pure electric mode, the car can travel up to 25 miles and reach up to 78mph, emission-free and with zero fuel consumption.
A combination of an electric motor and an efficient 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine in Volvo’s XC90 T8 Twin Engine achieves CO2 emissions of 49g/km and combined fuel consumption of 134.5mpg. Running in electric-only mode, the car is capable of 27 miles. The tax-efficient XC90 T8 can achieve significant savings when compared with a similarly priced rival SUVs.
Kia’s recently introduced PHEV offerings for fleets include the Optima and the Niro SUV, which at its leanest returns 74mpg economy and CO2 emissions of 88g/km. It’s an early success story, with nearly 5,000 vehicles delivered to European buyers as of mid-October and an order book of 15,000 vehicles. The PHEV variant of Kia’s Optima saloon was the first plug-in model from the manufacturer.
A huge success story in the UK and Europe, a combination of the combustion engine and twin electric motors make the Outlander PHEV the most capable 4x4 hybrid available. Two motors supply instant torque to all four wheels and it can even be driven in 4WD mode purely using electric power. The Outlander switches between three drive modes (Pure EV, Series and Parallel Hybrid) which are selected automatically to deliver the most efficient performance.
Over the years, the VW Golf has proved to be one of the more desirable hatchbacks available, and this continues to be the case with the recently launched plug-in version. Powered by a 148bhp 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine plus a 101bhp electric motor, it has a total output of 201bhp and a 0-62mph time of 7.6 seconds. Five different drive modes (E-mode, Battery Save, Hybrid Auto, Battery Charge and GTE) offer varying levels of efficiency.
Mitsubishi won the award for its PHEV Outlander, which is the world’s first plug-in hybrid 4x4 SUV. With regenerative braking to feed power back into the batteries when possible, the Outlander is capable of 32.5 miles in EV mode (total range 500+), 70mph on EV power, and has the possibility of up to 148mpg. What’s more, it has SUV convenience and 4WD capability.