Driving an Electric Vehicle for the Money

Here in the Netherlands electric vehicles are well supported by government subsidies; especially for companies there are a lot of tax breaks available, as indicated by a post from Maarten Steinbuch and Auke Hoeksta on their blog. Also the zero percent additional tax liability for lease cars has helped boost sales of electric vehicles a lot over the past few months. That these financial incentives have played a bigger role to drive an electric vehicle than environmental concerns is now also backed by data from a lease company which found that some drivers of the Opel Ampera of Plug-In Prius get a much higher fuel consumption than anticipated; in some cases 80% more than expected!

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Of course there are exceptions to the rule, on both ends of the scale. What becomes obvious that the people who achieve such poor performance with their Ampera have never really charged up their cars, where the exceptionally good figures (1 liter per 250km) were achieved by charging at every available opportunity. It illustrates the impact of your charging habits, or availability of chargers to some drivers.

Dutch fleet owners buying PHEVs for rebates, then using only gas

http://green.autoblog.com/2012/11/09/dutch-fleet-owners-buying-phevs-for-rebates-then-using-only-gas/

One Ampera owner in the study was at the other end of the scale, getting 7.9 liters per 100 kilometers driven using gasoline only (so, 30 mpg). Another Ampera driver had a very good experience with the plug-in, and has been able to score 0.4 (one liter per 250 kilometers driven) by charging up the battery at work and home.

Currently discussions for employee lease cars focus on providing compensation for the electricity charged, while not compensating fuel costs. This will give drivers an incentive to charge up when they get the chance and avoid having to pay for fuel. Personally I think this makes the most sense and will result in better usage statistics in the future, if this gets implemented across the board.