Hybrids have always had a miles-per-gallon advantage in urban driving but new EQUA Index data shows that they are gaining on diesels in motoway or highway driving and, if current trends persist, hybrid electric vehicles (excluding plug-in hybrid electric vehicles) are set to take the lead in 2017.
The dotted trend lines in the graph, representing motorway mpg for diesel vehicles and petrol hybrids tested by Emissions Analytics, are converging. While the downturn in diesel mpg may be due to a change in manufacturers’ focus from fuel economy to NOx emissions, what is more striking is the improvement in petrol hybrid performance on the motorway as a result of technological advances. This trend is even more noticeable when European EQUA data is compared to North American EQUA results where Hybrids have performed even better.
When Emissions Analytics last wrote about hybrid vehicles back in October 2014, it concluded they were delivering “good but not best-in-class fuel economy, but were typically the cleanest, and if you are a light-footed, congested town driver, they are ideal.” Two years on hybrids, particularly in the US, have really upped their game. They are still a cleaner drive than a diesel and may soon offer better fuel economy wherever you drive.