A joint study by the highly respected Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research finds that plug-in hybrid cars with at least 36 miles of electric only range (think Chevy Volt) are just as good at keeping carbon emissions out of the atmosphere as a pure battery electric car (think Chevy Bolt).
The debate rages among green car advocates, government regulators, and political leaders about whether a plug-in hybrid is a “real” electric car. The feeling in some quarters is that any car with a range extender gasoline engine is like wearing brown shoes with a tuxedo. You can go that route but it’s not quite right, is it?
The researchers gathered data about the performance of 49,000 battery electric cars and 73,000 plug-in hybrid vehicles in Germany and the US. The information came from fleet trials, auto manufacturers, and from website that allow drivers to manage and monitor their vehicles. The results of the study have been published by the journal Nature.