Now, when you think of a Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV) do you think hassle, confusing and complicated?
Perhaps I can change your mind and bring you to the conclusion that a PHEV may be the right option for you?
Mitsubishi Hull gave me the opportunity to use one of their new PHEVs, a Mitsubishi Outlander. So let’s start with the basics, what makes a Plug-in Hybrid what it is and why is it any better than any of the other types of hybrids out there now?
Plug-in Hybrids have been seen as the stepping stone to full EVs but is that actually the case?
The Plug-in Hybrid lets you do just that, plug it in. This allows you to (in theory) use it as an Electric Vehicle, using just electricity through the electric drive train to get you from A to B. However, PHEVs have a small range in comparison to pure EVs. This usually is between 20 – 40 miles range. That being said, the plug in feature frees you from being dependent on the internal combustion engine to charge your battery.
What are the benefits of having a PHEV over a normal Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) car?
1. The battery is larger than other hybrid models which allows you to use just electric power for much further.
2. The plug in feature allows you to charge the battery up using your home charger – saving money and fossil fuel.
3. Thanks to the electric range the mpg’s you can expect to get are very impressive.
4. You won’t be hit by inner city emission charges! (simply keep it in EV mode while driving through the city to avoid nasty charges)
The Mitsubishi Outlander to PHEVs is like the Leaf is to EVs. It was the first vehicle of its type to capture the true potential of a Plug-in Hybrid and showcase it to the world. So what are the specifics?
In the Outlander you get the full electric experience while in EV mode. The silence and effortless motion of the electric motor pulling you out of a junction is a calming sensation. The battery gives you up to 25 miles range which I can personally vouch for as absolutely possible. The miles per gallon is a head turner too, achieving 159 mpg – yes you read that right! And don’t worry if you want to tow your caravan, there is a 2.4 litre petrol engine ready to kick in when you need it. Switching the vehicle on is satisfying in itself. A quick click of the start button and within a second you areready to go.
Once the battery charge is low the engine will effortlessly kick in and keep you going. The engine then charges the battery as you drive which is a very handy feature. Another really innovative idea is the regenerative braking. Why not capture that lost energy whilst braking? With this feature you can produce your own electricity whilst braking. Yes, it’s as simple as that. You can adjust the strength of the regen to suit your driving style. The more strength, the more electricity you are recouping which you can later use.
The price of a new Outlander start at £36,755.00. But there are many on the second-hand market starting from £11,000!
Having had only a few PHEV experiences in the past, I want to thank Mitsubishi Hull for letting me loose in their car. Their hospitality was exceptional.
If you are looking to purchase a PHEV take a look at what there is for sale on Electric Cars Trader now.
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