After 1 million miles, interesting plug-in hybrid results
The Department of Energy has now logged more than 1 million testing miles with their fleet of plug-in hybrids, and they've collected some interesting data.
First, driver behavior, charging frequency and environmental conditions have significant impact on plug-in hybrid efficiency. Second, driving patterns suggest per day driving range is much less than expected. Third, forgetting to plug-in is common and should be expected. And finally, non-charging energy use could be significant.
In Best plug-in vehicles: EVs, Range Extended EVs, or Plug-in Hybrids? I suggested that no one plug-in vehicle is a game changer, and this data doesn't change my mind.
Nonetheless, this data does seem to show that consumers might not be ready to to fully utilize plug-in vehicles, especially plug-in hybrid or range extended electric vehicles. For instance, if consumers do not piously plug-in, the cost-effectiveness of plug-ins can decrease significantly, especially as the battery size increases. Considering that plug-ins aren't very cost-effective to start, this could be a serious issue.