Next to Tesla, plug-in hybrids are an illusion of eco-consciousness


Unlike truly electric cars, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (or PHEVs) often have short electric ranges, which, combined with powerful gas engines, do little to improve overall fuel efficiency, writes Dan Neil. And that’s when owners bother to plug them in.

As I was raging north toward Switzerland in the 986-hp Ferrari SF90 Stradale in July, I was feeling pretty good about myself. After all, I was saving the Earth.

The Stradale is a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV)—powered by a twin-turbo V8 (about 780 hp) assisted by three electric motors and a lithium-ion battery pack. The idea is that Juan-Philippe Cliente, or his manservant, will plug in the Ferrari at night so that it may provide electric-only driving range in the morning. Notionally, the Stradale’s hybrid design will allow it to operate in European cities’ low-emission zones.


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