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.
2020 Winner: Volvo
2019 Winner: Volvo
The idea of a PHEV first surfaced within this manufacturer, with a diesel- electric Plug-in Hybrid, back 2013. They now have one of the broadest ranges available with a plug-in version of every model they make.
2018 Winner: Volvo
XC60 SUV and S90 saloon models are currently produced with the T8 Twin Engine, Volvo’s plug in hybrid technology. Battery power lets the XC60 cover up to 28 miles on a single charge while the 2.0-litre turbo and supercharged engine can deliver a total of 401bhp, giving the XC60 a 0-62mph time of 5.3 seconds. The soon to be available S60 saloon will be the first Volvo to be produced without a diesel engine.
Toyota – Prius Plug-In
With CO2 emissions of 28g/km and average fuel consumption of 235mpg, the latest Plug-in Prius features an increased EV only range (39 miles). Charging time has been reduced, while solar panels on the roof can potentially increase the EV range by three miles. It also features Toyota Safety Sense as standard, including Full-Speed Adaptive Cruise Control, with full stop technology.
BMW – Full i-Performance Range
The BMW iPerformance range includes the BMW 225xe Active Tourer, BMW 530e Saloon, BMW 740e Saloon, BMW 740Le xDrive Saloon and the BMW X5 xDrive40e. All models can be easily charged at home through a conventional household power socket via the supplied standard charging cable and for a faster charge, the wall-mounted BMW i Wallbox reduces charging time to just over two hours.
MINI – Countryman PHEV
Mini’s first plug-in hybrid, the Countryman PHEV, was launched in 2017 and has seen huge demand from fleets. It comes with a 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol and an electric motor to develop 221bhp overall and provide much improved fuel economy and emissions over the rest of the range. The electric only mode manages 26 miles and allows the Countryman to accelerate to 60mph in in six seconds.
Mitsubishi – New Outlander
Thanks to a new 2.4-litre Atkinson petrol engine and revised EV powertrain, the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV achieved a pure-electric range of 28 miles, fuel economy of 139mpg and CO2 emissions of 46g/km. Charging the Outlander is as simple as plugging into a household three-pin plug and it can also use any of the UK’s CHADeMO fast-charge network to go from empty to 80% in just 25 minutes.
Hyundai – IONIQ
The IONIQ Plug-in Hybrid variant boasts impressive C02 emissions at just 26 g/km from the 1.6 GDI engine. In pure electric mode, the latest model can manage up to 39 miles from the 8.9kW/h lithium-ion polymer battery. Every model is equipped with an advanced navigation system which includes the category ‘Charging Station’. The use of ecologically sensitive materials in IONIQ’s cabin adds to its green credentials.
Kia – NIRO
Kia’s third plug-in model is the manufacturers most efficient to date. The Niro PHEV features the same 1.6-litre direct-injection petrol engine as the Niro parallel hybrid, but is paired with a more powerful 44.5kW (60bhp) electric motor supported by a larger 8.9kWh battery pack to extend the car’s range on electric power alone (up to 36 miles). When the conventional engine kicks in, Kia reports CO2 at 29 g/km.
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.