Rise Of PHEVs: We Email Multiple Companies With Words Of Encouragement

Despite past failures, the PHEV configuration could easily catch on and prosper in select markets today.

I recently wrote an email of encouragement to Oberist-Powertrain, Libertine FPE and Mazda.  However, what I said applies to all automakers. We’ve already received a reply from Sam Cockerill, Libertine FPE. We’re waiting to hear back from the others but plan to update this article whether or not they all reply. We may even publish a new article if we hear back from the others.

The email follows in its entirety:


I suppose that you are watching the markets and already know about the growth in PHEV sales in Europe. But I want to add my voice of encouragement to you all. I noticed from some recent articles (1) that PHEV sales growth is outpacing BEV sales growth in certain markets.

Perhaps it may be too early to say for sure, but possibly my analysis is being proved true. I have predicted that as an EV market matures more and more EV adopters will choose to buy EVs that have plenty of total range. PHEVs give customers the local electric daily driving that they need and the additional range for longer trips when wanted. It appears to me that NOW is the time for RExEVs to blossom in these maturing European EV markets.

I know that the RExEV concept is not a new one. Mazda talked about doing one ten years ago. I recently came across a video from 2013 showing off a KSPG range extender (2). So naturally the question is asked, why didn’t the KSPG REx or the Chevy Volt or any other RExEV zoom into popularity back then.

I think the answer lies in what I’ve outlined in a previous Inside EV article (3). Fundamentally the market just wasn’t ready for them. The market didn’t have a place for RExEVs at the time. Who would buy them? Most certainly NOT traditional EV advocates. They tend to shun vehicles that burn any gasoline (petrol). Most certainly NOT traditional car buyers. They didn’t understand EVs and didn’t want to.

But now things are changing. In those markets where EV ownership is becoming more common, people are looking to buy EVs that have plenty of range. That is the role that the PHEV is playing for them. However this role really should be fulfilled by RExEVs. The RExEV architecture makes much more sense.

I’ve said it before, PHEV is a misnomer. They really should be called Plug-in Hybrid Internal Combustion Vehicles (PHICVs). It is totally illogical to me why any auto manufacturer would want to build two entirely different drivetrain architectures. Why not design and build just one? Why not have just one type of platform, BEV, and have the RExEV variant available for customers who want it?

If I understand correctly you are still years away from deploying your RExEV technology. That is a shame. It would be of great interest to see how well the REx could fair in Europe today. I would think they should sell very well. If by chance a RExEV model was available in those maturing markets, but did not sell well, that would not bode well for the technology. I’d be very surprised and disappointed.

I wish you the best of luck and hold out hope that you will be able to deploy your REx technology in Germany, France, the Netherlands and Sweden very soon (ASAP).

1. Inside EV articles:  https://insideevs.com/news/398741/january-2020-germany-plugin-car-sales 
2. 2013 KSPG range extender:  www.youtube.com/watch?v=6i4AK2LKygQ
3. Evolution of EV markets: https://insideevs.com/news/380555/ev-range-ev-market-evolution-exposed

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