When Peter Robinson saw Mitsubishi’s new Outlander PHEV (Plug-in Electric Hybrid Vehicle) at Fieldays in late 2012, the environmentally conscious car enthusiast was hooked.
From then on, he kept in regular contact with Ingham Mitsubishi sales manager Chris O’Shea, while investigating all the hybrids in the market and exploring “every hybrid internet forum I could find”.
This led the environmental manager to conclude that Outlander PHEV – which brings all the best safety features and 4WD ability of Mitsubishi’s iconic SUV into the hybrid age – was the best option available.
“I’ve thoroughly researched the technology available in hybrid and electric vehicles and, after 14 years of great service from my current car, I decided PHEV was the right replacement,” said Peter.
In February 2013, he finally got behind the wheel and had the added advantage of being seated next to the most knowledgeable PHEV mind in the country – MMNZ technical services manager Lloyd Robinson.
While Peter’s excitement to get in the driver’s seat was evident, he was pleased to receive a first-class run down from Lloyd and took the chance to ask him any questions his research hadn’t answered.
“The technology is very impressive and it was great to have an expert from Mitsubishi go through it with me,” said Peter.
Keen to explore the PHEV’s range of driving modes – EV Drive Mode1 (electric power only), Series Hybrid Mode2 (electric power + engine assistance) and Parallel Hybrid Mode3 (engine power + motor assistance) – Peter couldn’t keep the grin off his face as he put the Outlander to the test on Waikato’s country roads, with wife Laurel enjoying the space and comfort in the back.
Like a boy with a new toy, Peter was delighted with the array of new energy-efficient features, including the PHEV’s ability to charge the battery while driving, its regenerative braking system, the energy usage indicator and the highly advanced Super All Wheel Control.
“It was everything I expected and more,” said Peter after the drive. “The car automatically selects the driving mode to ensure the best possible performance and changes between them seamlessly. It was also very responsive, had powerful acceleration and was quiet and comfortable, with great visibility.
“It makes perfect sense to me to join the hybrid age – the opportunity to reduce my fuel costs and have less impact on the environment, without compromising a great driving experience, is just too good to pass up! Thanks to Mitsubishi for making it happen!”
1. Front and rear motors power the vehicle using electricity from the battery, resulting in zero fuel consumption and zero CO2 emissions on the road. This drive mode is quiet, clean and powerful. Maximum speed is 120km/hr.
2. The motors power the vehicle using engine-generated electricity. The engine also adds power when accelerating, climbing hills and when the battery level reaches 30% charge.
3. The engine powers the vehicle (at high speeds, etc. when engine efficiency is high) with assistance with assistance from the motors when extra power is required.