Sunday Musing: What’s The Minimum Range A Plug-in Hybrid Should Offer?

We all know that plug-in hybrids are given a hard time by many hardened electric vehicle supporters, normally because they offer a far shorter range than a comparable electric model.

But as we’ve said before, plug-n hybrids are a great choice for those who aren’t sure about electric yet, have unpredictable schedules, or need a single car that meets their needs (and they happen to live somewhere without local charging infrastructure).

Lately however, we’ve noticed several new plug-in hybrids launch with ranges of less than 20 miles per charge. One — the new 7-Series BMW plug-in, has an official electric-only range of 16 miles per charge — less than its predecessor.

Which leads us to the following thought: what range is acceptable for a plug-in hybrid? And at what point can we legitimately accuse automakers of greenwashing or compliance rule meeting?

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