There is a heated debate about whether plug-in hybrids have their legitimacy in the market. Some point out, for example, that the only thing right is a direct switch from a car with a conventional internal combustion engine (petrol/diesel) to an electric car. But on the other hand, others see plug-in hybrids as a safe introduction for customers before transitioning to an electric car.
The electric cars delivered an outstanding sprint in December 2021 in a year where sales of electric vehicles have gone far more profitable than most had dared hope for. Electric car sales have increased by 80 percent compared to 2020, while plug-in hybrids have grown by more than 120 percent.
People are very interested in unique plug-in hybrids because they offer the best of both worlds: the well-known and safe internal combustion engine and the electric driveline that gives people a taste of life with an electric car.
"Ford is already in intensive electrification and wants to see more electric cars on European roads. Still, it is also clear to us that not all customers are safe with this leap when I talk to customers; elements such as uncertainty about the range and the individual's ability to charge take up a lot of space. Here I see clearly how our popular Ford Kuga Plug-in Hybrid plays an essential role in the transition to electricity", says Frank Skjærbæk, CEO, Ford Denmark.
"I expect that the role of plug-in hybrids will be phased out in the long run as the Danish car owners feel more comfortable and gain knowledge of cars that are charged," says Frank Skjærbæk.
European customers had opened their eyes to the attractive SUV and the benefits of driving on electricity rather than petrol. As a result, the Ford Kuga plug-in Hybrid ended up at the very top of the sales lists in Denmark - and became both the absolute best-selling passenger car in Denmark in 2021 and the best-selling plug-in hybrid in Denmark.
Like the Danes, the rest of Europe has adopted the Ford Kuga Plug-in Hybrid, and with 48,000 units sold on the European market, the Ford Kuga Plug-in Hybrid was the best-selling plug-in hybrid in Europe in 2021. Moreover, for eight out of the twelve months of the year, the Ford Kuga Plug-in Hybrid beat the closest competitor in the segment to finally end the year as an overall number one with as much as 17 percentage points down to number two in Europe.
The Ford Kuga Plug-in Hybrid has been met with particular interest and curiosity from the customers, who feel attracted to the beautiful SUV and see the many benefits of driving electrically.
Previous data from Ford has shown that customers are just taking advantage of the opportunity to charge the car and drive electrically. These data confirm Ford's latest survey once again. The new figures from Ford have been collected over 12 months (Nov. 2020 - Nov. 2021) and show that Kuga Plug-in Hybrid customers in Europe on an average drive just over 10,000 km a year. Moreover, since many kilometers are driven on electricity, emissions can be reduced by potentially 1,100 kg less CO 2 compared to the same distance in a conventional Kuga 1.5 liter EcoBoost petrol model. This is equivalent to each Kuga Plug-in Hybrid saving annually, which is equivalent to traveling back and forth from London to Buenos Aires alone measured in CO 2 emissions.
The Danish figures are even more impressive. The Danish Kuga Plug-in Hybrid owners have driven an average of more than 14,300 km per year, and thus the potential emissions can be reduced by 1,690 kg less CO 2.
A Ford study understands and optimizes the plug-in hybrid owners' experience and explains how customers get the most out of the Kuga Plug-in Hybrid's versatility. In addition, the study offers greater insight into customers' charging behavior and provides a more overall picture of how customers use their Ford Kuga Plug-in Hybrid in everyday life.
Customers charge their electric cars regularly. For every 100 days of driving, charges have been made on 71 days, indicating that customers in Europe frequently choose to charge their car. In addition, the car was on average set to charge with 30 percent power left on the battery, suggesting that customers rarely drive with a discharged battery but that they instead make sure to charge the battery to maximize the electric range.
In Denmark, customers have charged their plug-in hybrid even more frequently - namely, with charges of 88 out of the 100 days of driving. On average, the plug-in hybrid is set to charge with 32 percent power left on the battery.
The Kuga Plug-in Hybrid gives customers the flexibility to meet their needs. As a result, the average distance traveled per day, and the number of journeys over 100 km peaked in July, August, and September for European customers. Therefore, there are many indications that customers right here used the Kuga Plug-in Hybrid's combination of petrol and electricity when they went on summer vacation and other experiences during the summer period.
Customers with home chargers take advantage of lower electricity prices at night. In the last 12 months, more than 5.7 million charges of Kuga Plug-in Hybrid have been registered in Europe. Here, 46 percent of the charges in Europe occurred at night, with the most frequent charging time lasting 12 hours or more.
The Danish customers are also happy to charge their cars at night, and here 53 percent of the charges have taken place. In addition to taking advantage of cheaper electricity at night, the trend suggests that we let ourselves be inspired and charge the car in the same way as, for example, our smartphones and tablets - namely overnight.
According to the study, customers also like to charge the car a day at intervals of one to two hours at public charging stations.
"The Ford Kuga Plug-in Hybrid can offer customers the best of both worlds. Based on the sales figures, where the Ford Kuga Plug-in Hybrid is number one as the best-selling plug-in hybrid in Europe in 2021, it seems that we have hit the right combination", says Glen Goold, Ford Kuga vehicle line director.
The figures from Ford's study confirm that customers are happy to drive electrically and thus also eager to charge their plug-in hybrid. For example, almost half of all charging takes place overnight, so the car is ready the following day. Short charges of one to two hours during the day are also widespread, and Ford expects this particular type of charge to increase further as charging options become even better across Europe.
With an average range of 64 km and 71-89 km during city driving alone (WLTP), Ford Kuga Plug-in Hybrid offers an excellent opportunity for customers to gain good experience with electric driving. In addition, customers can switch between different driving settings, so they choose when they want to drive electric on their trip. It is also possible to select an auto mode, where the car itself disposes of electricity to achieve as fuel-efficient driving as possible, even when the battery is discharged, regenerative charging. In contrast, driving ensures that power is automatically collected during, for example, braking, which would usually have been lost.
The new official WLTP figures show that the Kuga Plug-in Hybrid produced after 16 September has an electric range of 64 kilometers on a single charge, and the consumption is thus 100 km / l. Moreover, CO2 consumption has dropped from 32 g / km to 22 g / km.
Ford's range of electrified passenger cars also includes the fully electric Ford Mustang Mach-E and Ford Mustang Mach-E GT, which have been received with great success since its launch. In addition, Ford offers a wide range of possible hybrid variants that enable customers to gain experience in electric driving. For example, Ford Kuga is offered as a mild hybrid, hybrid, and plug-in hybrid.