As you probably know at this point, All British Cars, the distributor of Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles in the Philippines have officially launched the all-electric (EV) Jaguar I-Pace and the plug-in hybrid Range Rover and Range Rover Sport.
The Jaguar I-Pace’s fully-electric powertrain–along with the limited charging infrastructure of the Philippines–would mean that this electric luxury SUV will be more of a niche offering for now. On the other hand, the plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV) Range Rover and Range Rover Sport are a better suit for the Philippine market as it bridges the gap between internal combustion engine vehicles (ICE) and EVs.
Now, as the term “plug-in” suggests, these PHEV Range Rovers can be charged to a compatible home or public charger. Charging a PHEV isn’t exactly a requirement since deep inside, it’s still a hybrid, but this method doesn’t take full advantage of its bigger battery compared to a normal hybrid. Fully-charged PHEVs can travel for far longer distances on pure electric mode (up to 50 kilometers for the Range Rover PHEV) compared to a conventional hybrid (typically around 1 to 2 kilometers only). With that in mind, can customers actually save money when opting for the plug-in hybrid Range Rover compared to its conventional counterpart?
Luckily, All British Cars was happy to provide the figures regarding ownership costs, at least for the Range Rover Sport PHEV. In terms of pricing, the Range Rover Sport PHEV has a retail price of P9,490,000. Its plug-in hybrid powertrain consists of a powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 gasoline engine and an electric motor that has a 13.1 kWh battery pack. Total system output is 404 hp and 640 Nm of torque, letting it sprint from zero to 100 kph in just 6.8 seconds, with power being sent to all four wheels via an 8-speed automatic transmission.
Meanwhile, the Range Rover Sport’s 3.0-liter V6 diesel is less powerful at 255 hp and 600 Nm. Power is sent to all four wheels via an 8-speed automatic transmission, while zero to 100 kph happens in 7.7 seconds. The starting price for the Range Rover 3.0 Diesel is P8,790,000 for the base SE variant and P9,990,000 for an equivalent HSE variant.
As for the running costs themselves, All British Cars says that with fuel and electricity considered, it costs P117 a day (P3,510 a month) to run the Range Rover PHEV based on the average Filipino’s daily travel distance of 24 kilometers. Do note that its daily running costs are based on the premise that electricity was used for the entire 24-km journey. In comparison, the Range Rover 3.0 Diesel costs P120 a day (P3,600 a month) to run in that same 24-km distance.
A savings of P3 a day doesn’t sound like much, especially since running costs are a lower priority for the Range Rover’s target market. However, when you consider the flexibility that a home charger can be hooked up to a solar panel, then that’s basically almost free energy for the Range Rover PHEV.
It also must be noted that the Range Rover PHEV’s running costs can be lowered even further if its full 700-kilometer driving range is maximized. Once the Range Rover PHEV reverts to normal hybrid mode, its fuel economy is claimed to be as little as 2.8 liters per 100 kilometers (35.7 km/l), which is significantly lower than the diesel’s 6.9 liters per 100 kilometers (14.5 km/l). Both fuel economy figures were achieved under the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC).
We have not yet dived into maintenance costs either so we still can’t fully conclude whether it truly costs less to own a Range Rover PHEV or not. Nevertheless, the Range Rover PHEV should appeal to anyone who’s looking into owning an electric vehicle but find the limited public charging infrastructure to be too challenging. Additionally, the Range Rover PHEV isn’t just the more fuel-efficient choice, because it’s also a more powerful and faster alternative compared to the base 3.0-liter V6 diesel variant.