Used Cars BMW 530e_Plug-In Hybrid

Published on December 11th, 2021 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez


Used Plug-In Hybrid Premium Car Prices Are Falling Fast Right Now

Will You buy a new Plug-In Hybrid today; We Wont?

Automotive brands from Europe have been actively promoting plug-in hybrids (PHEV) to beat emission laws in Europe in the last decade and also save on fuel.

One of the biggest market outside of Europe for the sale of PHEV’s has been Malaysia where a ‘smart agency’ made the decision to provide a huge tax incentive for PHEV’s and so bringing their selling prices below the price of their petrol or diesel powered siblings.

This tax incentive reduced the amount of import tax collected by the Malaysian Finance department and allowed very rich Malaysians to save tens of thousands of Ringgit on luxury cars that they were already willing to pay a full price for.

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In a recent BFM radio interview, BMW Malaysia management shared how they have already sold 21,000 electrified vehicles in Malaysia. Probably less than 5 percent is electric and the rest, PHEV’s. Great news for Munich, not so great news for the Malaysian customs department.

Volvo Cars are slowly moving away from PHEV’s as they commit towards a full electric vehicle range and Mercedes-Benz Malaysia have stopped selling their PHEV models and are now ready to launch full electric vehicles in Malaysia.

BHP_Euro5 Diesel_2021_Lexus NX

Both brands have also delivered a large amount of PHEV’s and there were many Malaysians enjoying the huge savings on these well equipped premium cars. However, they are not enjoying the ownership as we have seen on the respective owners Facebook pages.

Let us explain. PHEV’s come with a host of problems. It is simple. Think about it. Here is a car (or SUV or Crossover) with a petrol engine (probably a 4-cylinder) working with a battery electric system to assist in heavy traffic conditions and also when added acceleration is needed.

So, you have a vehicle with a very complicated electrical system and also an electronic system to ensure both powertrains work seamlessly without the need for intervention by the driver.

During the factory warranty period (4 to 5 years depending on the manufacturer) owners can send their PHEV’s back for repair, but it is tedious as we have come to find out in recent years from owners Facebook pages (all PHEV brands).

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There are days, even weeks their plug in hybrid luxury cars sit waiting for assistance, parts and many times owners do not get a courtesy car because there are NO MORE courtesy cars to be given out due to the high number of failures and issues with PHEVs.

We already know of a number of PHEV ‘buy backs’ by the manufacturers in return for pure petrol powered models.

There are very few PHEV ‘battery’ issues. It is everything else working around the PHEV battery system that gives problems.

Then there are the warning lights that keep coming on to warn the driver. A trip back to the dealership, a two-hour diagnostic check (probably to remove the error code) and the car is returned to the owner for their next ‘adventure’.

This continues month after month and so many owners give up and sell their PHEV’s on the used car market.  

This is why Facebook marketplace and the many online used car classifieds are filling up with great value PHEV’s. Why we say ‘great value’, well, prices are dropping, fast and owners will say they are up-grading. We know many have upgraded, yes, to NON PHEV’s and are very happy right now.

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They, of course have lost RM100,000 to RM150,000 or even more in 3 to 4 years of ownership but it was a lesson learnt.

The used PHEV buyer is unaware of the mounting issues and when the warranty is over in 1 to 2 years, they will have to pay hefty prices for replacement parts and repairs. Again, the PHEV battery has a long warranty (6 to 8 years) but the electronics around it has no warranty and repair prices are NOT cheap.

Meanwhile, in April 2021, there was new European legislation to phase out PHEV’s in favor of full electric vehicles as there were still not that emissions friendly.

So, be aware of a used plug-in hybrid European car. Stay away unless you know what you are getting yourself into.

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