Citroen has introduced a new feature on its C5 Aircross plug-in hybrid model designed to encourage owners to charge the battery more often.
An over-the-air update will allow an in-car notification to appear if the car can see that the battery has not been manually topped up in a while.
Plug-in hybrids are seen as a useful compromise between traditional combustion-engined cars and fully electric vehicles. They tend to be able to drive around 20 to 30 miles on electric power but have a petrol engine for longer drives.
In normal driving, the electric motors are used for lower speeds while the petrol engine works at higher speeds. The combination can have a huge impact on fuel economy, but only if the batteries are regularly recharged.
Citroen’s data shows that owners currently charge an average of one or two times for every 62 miles driven, while 55 per cent of journeys under 25 miles are taken on electric-only power.
Citroen wants to increase this percentage through the use of the in-car notifications.
The charging suggestion will take the owner’s usage into account by delivering one message per day after five days and 10 journeys without charging. If the owner goes 30 days without plugging in the message will then be delivered twice daily while the vehicle is in use.
The Citroen C5 Aircross Hybrid’s powertrain has a power output of 222bhp, CO2 emissions of up to 33g/km and fuel economy of 168mpg. It’s capable of up to 34 miles of zero-emission driving, while the 7kW on-board charger means the battery can be topped up in two hours.