Purchase incentives for plug in electric vehicles continue to be available in 2012 including the Plug-in Car Grant which is worth up to £5000 on selected models.
This coming year brings a second revolution with the launch of the first two plug-in hybrids which join the pure electric models launched in 2011. Next month the BMW 5 Series ActiveHybrid will be launched with prices starting at £46,860, at speeds of up to 37 mph the BMW ActiveHybrid 5 can travel up to 2.4 miles on electric power supplied by the lithium-ion battery stored in the boot.
Spring will bring the Smart fortwo ed (electric drive), the battery is capable of providing a range up to 85 miles of city driving. Using a standard domestic 13A supply, the fortwo ED takes 6-8 hours to receive a full charge – although a fast charging option will allow the battery to be fully charged in under an hour. Moving into the summer the Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid will be available with prices starting at approximately £30,000. The front wheels of the V60, the first ever diesel plug-in hybrid, are powered by a five-cylinder 2.4-litre turbo diesel producing 215 bhp, and the rear axle is powered by an electric motor producing 70 bhp, powered by an 11.2 kWh lithium-ion battery. Three driving modes are available; in ‘pure’, the car runs only on electricity with a range of 32 miles; in ‘hybrid’, the diesel engine and electric motor interact to provide a balance between performance and efficiency, with CO2 emissions of 49 g/km and 150 mpg; and ’power’ uses the five-cylinder 2.4-litre turbo diesel engine and electric motor to give a combined power output 285 bhp.