GreenNCAP, the first time of plug-in hybrids: “They are not all the same”

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The new tests of GreenNCAP, the “satellite” program launched by EuroNCAP for the valuation of cars at the level of environmental impact and emissions: with 25 vehicles tested, February is a record round, which includes petrol, full electric, hydrogen and, for the first time, even plug-in hybrids.

Strict parameters for the evaluation and assignment of the coveted stars, which in this third round were distributed sparingly: only two of them obtained five, the Hyundai Nexo and the Volkswagen ID.3, while the Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid got four. For all cars a score between 1 and 3 stars, with some “half” points.

The focus was almost entirely on plug-in hybrids, with an important subtitle: they are not all the same. GreenNCAP explains it, noting that “the results of three – Kia Niro, Mitsubishi Outlander and Toyota Prius – show that not all plug-in hybrids offer the same environmental benefits. Hyundai Nexo, a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, demonstrates the promise of this developing technology. The list of cars tested also includes the fully electric VW ID.3 and 19 combustion engine cars, of which two – the Škoda Octavia Combi 2.0 TDI and the VW Golf 1.5 TSI – stand out from the rest ”.

The body had words of praise precisely for the ID.3, underlining how pure electric “eclipses the others” in the context of environmental protection and how car manufacturers are adapting not only to the need to cut emissions imposed by high, but also to the growing interest of consumers. The ID.3 (which also shows the state of the art of the group on the autonomous driving front), for GreenENCAP perfectly embodies the various facets of the electric drive, as well as the Nexo, which proved to be “clean as a car battery powered and almost equally efficient ”.

Hydrogen like electric, doubts about the plug-in hybrid

“Using a fuel cell to convert hydrogen into electricity, the new Nexo emits only water at the exhaust and offers a range unmatched by any pure electric vehicle available – they point out of the ante – together with a refueling as quick and easy as a ‘ conventional car “. In short, Hyundai’s jewel reflects the potential of hydrogen technology, but “fuel cell cars are an obvious choice for most consumers only if there are enough fuel stations available. refueling with hydrogen “.

On the plug-in hybrid front, on the other hand, GreenCAP is less enthusiastic: while combining on paper the two current identities of mobility – the power of the combustion engine and the neutrality of the batteries – not all are the same, not even optimally charged.

The most convincing was the Priuswhich obtained 4 stars by beating the competition (with the only exception of the pure electric and the Nexo), followed by the Kia Niro (three and a half stars), while the Mistubishi Outlander only got 2 stars, less than some of the latest Euro 6 compliant petrol or diesel cars.

Toyota also convinced with the Yaris Hybrid, which achieved 3 and a half stars, just like the two non-electrified cars that achieved the highest score ever: the Škoda Octavia Combi 2.0 TDI diesel and the Volkswagen Golf 1.5 TSI petrol.

Euro 6, the watershed for builders

A demonstration, according to GreenNCAP, of the difference made by the Euro 6 standard: “For the first time ever, we see cars behave in the real world as they promise on the test bench, and we should congratulate the car manufacturers and engineers for the enormous progress they have made in recent years – said Niels Jacobsen, president of EuroNCAP – The future seems to belong to electric cars of one kind or another but, for now, consumers face a bewildering choice ” .

On the other hand, the body had immediately clarified that for some petrol and diesel cars there is a compromise between pollutant control and good energy efficiency: It would be wrong, according to Green NCAP, to assume that all electric is better than all gasoline or diesel.

For Nielesen in fact, “people want independent and transparent information on the environmental impact of cars, and tests on plug-in hybrids show why this is so important, because they might be led to think that buying a car labeled “PHEV” and keeping it charged all the time will do their bit for the environment, but these results show that it is not necessarily so “.

The Outlander demonstrates “that a large, heavy vehicle with a limited driving range is unlikely to offer more benefits than a conventional car. On the other hand Toyota, with its long experience in the hybrid technology, did a great job and the Prius, used correctly, can offer clean and efficient transport – concludes Nielesn – It depends on the implementation and the hybridization strategy, but for all plug-in hybrid vehicles it remains a fact that they need to be recharged regularly and run on batteries as much as possible if they want to realize their potential ”.

Green EuroNCAP, the tested cars and the stars

Audi A3 (petrol) – 3 stars

BMW 1 Series (petrol) – 2.5 stars

Bmw X1 (petrol) – 2.5 stars

Citroen C3 (petrol) – 3 stars

Dacia Sandero (petrol) – 2.5 stars

Fiat Panda (petrol) – 2.5 stars

Ford Kuga (diesel) – 2.5 stars

Honda Civic (petrol) – 2.5 stars

Hyundai Nexo (hydrogen electric) – 5 stars

Hyundai Tucson (petrol) – 1.5 stars

Kia Niro (plug-in hybrid) – 3.5 stars

Land Rover Discovery Sport (petrol) – 1.5 stars

Mazda CX-30 (petrol) – 2.5 stars

Mercedes Benz A-Class (petrol) – 2.5 stars

Mini Cooper (petrol) – 2.5 stars

Mitsubishi Outlander (plug-in hybrid) – 2 stars

Opel Corsa (petrol) – 2.5 stars

Seat Leon (diesel) – 3 stars

Skoda Fabia (petrol) – 3 stars

Skoda Octavia (diesel) – 3.5 stars

Toyota Prius (plug-in hybrid) – 4 stars

Toyota Yaris (hybrid) – 3.5 stars

Volvo XC60 (diesel) – 2 stars

Volkswagen Golf (petrol) – 3.5 stars

Volkswagen ID.3 (electric) – 5 stars

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