We think PHEVs have a key role to play in the future of the car. We think HMG are fundamentally wrong to talk about banning them in as little as 12 years’ time.


Let’s look at three Merc SUVs; the GLE 3.0d and the GLE 350de & the EQC. The first is a diesel the second a PHEV (with a possible 60 mile+ electric only range) and the third a full BEV.

It’s interesting that (overall) the 350de is similar in size and capacity to the EQC but costs less. Critically, its 32kwh battery will use less than half the cobalt, lithium and other exotic materials than the EQC, a factor whose importance will grow as we face a severe global shortage in the supply of these materials.

If legislators and engineers can solve the (surely) relatively easy question of ensuring the battery is solely used in urban environments, does this not become the optimum solution for the 21st century? Right here and right now?

After all the average length of a car journey, according to the UK’s Office for low emission vehicles is only 7 miles. With an electric range of over 60 miles I know the 350de will cover virtually all of my trips on electric only. But, when I have to be in Exeter at 9am, it’ll do that too (and back, on a tank of diesel)

I am aware that the EQC is based on the GLC and there’s a PHEV version of that which may have made a better comparison. However, I’ve gone with the GLE because:
1. it’s closer on price to the EQC (but still cheaper);
2. of the 60 mile range; and
3. It’s my favourite! I really like it and it has Mercedes best interior IMHO.

That said the GLC performs the same (undervalued?) trick, and there are literally dozens of other options including A, B, C and E class Mercs, BMW’s brilliant 330 and 530e, VW’s Passat GTE, the Skoda IV, etc, etc.

Globally we can make many times more PHEVs with the battery materials available given their smaller batteries.