Cars | 30 November 2020

Plug-in hybrid engine and real consumption: the proof by Captur

2 min
Contrary to some preconceived ideas, plug-in hybrid vehicles have an ideal engine to drastically reduce average fuel consumption. Like Captur E-TECH Plug-in Hybrid, a versatile model par excellence: it operates electrically every day, thanks to its high-capacity battery, while its innovative E-TECH technology limits its consumption on long journeys. In the end, its "real" average consumption can be much lower than an equivalent model with a gasoline or even diesel engine.
by Emmanuel GENTY

Is a plug-in hybrid vehicle (or PHEV) an ICE vehicle that takes advantage of its batteries to drive when it can in electric mode or an electric vehicle that takes advantage of its ICE engine to show versatility and adapt to all types of use?

By developing its plug-in hybrid technology E-TECH Plug-in, Renault has clearly taken the second philosophy into account. With tricks that, in addition, erase some of the flaws inherent to this type of motorization. The goal is twofold: to optimize the electric driving experience and allow users to achieve real fuel savings thanks to a limited consumption. Demonstration with Captur E-TECH Plug-in Hybrid, the plug-in hybrid version of the second-generation Captur.

 

100% ELECTRIC ON WEEKDAYS

Thanks to its 9.8 kWh high-capacity battery, Captur E-TECH Plug-in Hybrid has an electric range of 50 km on the road and 65 km in the city, according to the WLTP* standard. In other words, it's an electric vehicle for everyday use! It can cover most of the everyday journeys, such as home-to-work connections and short trips during the week, without requiring a drop of fuel.

To do this, do not forget to recharge the batteries as soon as possible in order to always have this electric autonomy so precious on a daily basis. This easy gesture – complete recharging only takes between 3 and 5 hours and can be done from a domestic socket at home or at the workplace, such as on a public terminal – makes it possible to go from one day to the next without using the thermal engine.

 

LIMITED CONSUMPTION DURING LONG JOURNEYS

E-TECH technology is ideal for longer journeys that exceed the battery's range of use, such as weekend trips. It allows the Captur E-TECH Hybrid Plug-in to continue to operate as a "simple" hybrid model and limits the fuel consumption of the combustion engine in several ways. Firstly, an automatic battery margin is automatically maintained to ensure that the engine always starts and restarts - very consuming driving phases - in electric mode. Electric motors also relieve the combustion engine during acceleration phases. They also help it to operate close to its optimum efficiency and therefore not to create more energy than is needed to move the vehicle forward. The overall efficiency of the E-TECH Plug-in Hybrid engine is optimized thanks to the multi-mode gearbox with jaws and the science of energy recovery and regeneration from F1.

Finally, the batteries of the E-TECH Plug-in Hybrid system only weigh 105 kilos. They are not synonymous with additional consumption due to excessive overweight compared to a traditional thermal engine Captur.

 

LIMITED AVERAGE CONSUMPTION

Thanks to all these assets, Captur E-TECH Plug-in Hybrid has a normalized average fuel consumption of 1.4 liters/100 km (WLTP standard). In its case, it is the result of a homologation cycle that mixes about 70% pure electric driving, which is fairly representative of urban and peri-urban cycles, and about 30% driving in "normal" hybrid mode, which is fairly representative of driving on the road. A cycle that tends to approach the ideal use of a plug-in hybrid vehicle: 100% electric during the week and electric/hybrid at weekends.

Of course, this normalized consumption cannot be consistent with the actual use that everyone makes. The average consumption of a Captur E-TECH Plug-in Hybrid "in real life" will depend on its usage rate in 100% electric but also on "external" factors such as the topography of the routes made, and the driving rhythm adopted.

In any case, and respecting the basic rule of recharging as soon as possible to maximize the number and duration of trips made with 100% electric power, the plug-in hybrid version E-VTECH Plug-in Hybrid from Captur will have a much lower average fuel consumption than its thermal versions (standard from 5.9 liters/100 km). And it will be possible to approach the WLTP standard without too much trouble. Want to bet you'll get caught up in the game?

 

*WLTP = Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicles Test Procedure. The WLTP City cycle corresponds to the urban part of the standardized cycle. The Full WLTP cycle is the normalized cycle. It consists of 57% urban, 25% suburban and 18% highway.

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