Hybrid cars can be less fuel efficient than forecast

Hybrid cars, which run on both electricity and petrol, are less energy-efficient than thought, according to research for Nos television.

Car lease company Arval gave the broadcaster an overview of the fuel usage of over 60 Ampera, Volt and Prius vehicles and found the factory claims are often not met.
The manufacturers claim the Prius uses 2.2 litres of fuel to travel 100 kilometres, while the Ampera and Volt say 1.6 litres is sufficient.
But 80% of the cars use more fuel than the factory claims suggest. ‘Most people don’t use the car properly. If someone with an Ampera or Prius plug-in hybrid is using the same amount of petrol as you in your old Clio then we have made few advances over the past few years,’ Arval director Dick Bakker told the broadcaster.
Arval monitors car performance in order to keep its clients up-to-date on the costs and performance.
Two of the 16 Prius drivers and almost one-third of the Ampera and Volt owners were able to meet the factory targets. One difference is the batteries. The Prius plug-in has a range of some 20 kilometres while the Ampera and Volt travels three times as far, Nos said.
The use of hybrids is rising in the Netherlands, thanks in part to the abolition of sales and road tax until 2016. Some local authorities also subsidise the purchase of hybrids.
Opel says it has sold 2,500 Amperas. ‘Add a further 300 a month for the coming period,’ spokesman Jeroen Maas told Nos. Toyota expects to sell 1,500 Prius this year.
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