Motorists flock to plug-in hybrid electric vehicles thanks to low running costs and environmental efficiency.
BMW 330e order cancelled
UK demand for new, plug-in, hybrid vehicles is so high that some manufacturers have cancelled orders or imposed lengthy lead in times, rumours suggest. A motorist who ordered a BMW 330e claimed via an online forum: “I’ve had the dreaded phone call from the leasing company and I am one of those who had the order cancelled”.
He added: “They mentioned they have about sixty-five orders that have been cancelled by BMW. I asked for alternatives and I was told most plug-in electric vehicles have really long lead times including the Mercedes-Benz C350e - (with) expected delivery about July/August.” Mercedes has not publicly discussed the alleged wait.
However, BMW said: “We predicted UK sales of two-thousand five-hundred for the 330e this year, but the demand was much higher than we originally anticipated. We do have high demand across other PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle) models, but it’s not to the same extent as this.”
The manufacturer added: “Due to very strong demand we are indeed oversubscribed on 330e. We’re working with affected parties now and will let you know more when we have it regarding future supply.”
Volkswagen increases production to match demand
Volkswagen added: “Last year we took around two-thousand five-hundred orders for (the) Golf GTE - and that number is expected to grow appreciably through 2016. Demand comfortably exceeds supply although we have, of course, adjusted production to accommodate that increasing demand.”
Volkswagen added: “As such, the time between order and delivery is now an estimated fifteen weeks or so.”
Advantages of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles
Plug-in hybrid electric cars have various strengths that explain the increasing popularity. As the name suggests, they incorporate batteries that can be charged by plugging them into home power sockets, or the ever-expanding network of public charging stations.
This enables such vehicles to proceed on electrical power only which – in this circumstance only – cuts harmful emissions to zero at the point of use. This, of course, benefits the environment and public health. It is preferable to breathe clean oxygen, after all.
These environmental credentials have an impact on running costs too. The price of road tax is defined by carbon emissions, for example. Emissions also influence how much company car tax is charged. Plus, of course, when cruising on battery power such vehicles consume no petrol or diesel which saves money at the pump.
Furthermore, unlike electric only cars that have a limited range of (say) 100 miles, plug-in hybrid models have a internal combustion engine to complement the electric motor. It expands the range to levels comparable with traditional, non-electric, non-hybrid, cars.