Increased Electric Mode Utilisation in Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (On Hold)

Background and Challenge

Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) have been identified as a key transitional technology for achieving full electrification and therefore zero tailpipe emissions in both the passenger car and light commercial vehicle sectors. 

However, a number of reports suggest that PHEV use in the ‘real world’ results in significantly higher CO2 emissions than those achieved on WLTP test cycles.  It is generally accepted that low utilisation of the electric mode of a PHEV is the primary cause of this discrepancy.

Zemo Partnership intends to explore the factors effecting electric mode utilisation in PHEVs and propose recommendations for addressing the issues identified.


The work undertaken will complete the activity initially started in 2020 as part of the Maximising PHEV Miles project, the objectives being:

  • To review the current PHEV market and identify key factors influencing their use.
  • To assess both the GHG emission and consumer financial impact of low electric mode utilisation.
  • To compare PHEV operation in the commercial and passenger car sectors.
  • To propose high level recommendations for addressing issues identified.

Actions and Outputs

  • Desktop research to collate information on PHEV utilisation in the real world, supported by basic analysis using the Zemo Partnership LCA tool to illustrate GHG emission impact. 
  • High-level presentation report for review with Zemo Partnership members and publication on the Partnership website.
  • Follow-on projects to be created based on the report recommendations. Priority to be given to activities that maximise electric miles for vehicles already on the road.


On Hold  (May 2021 – ?)

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