Our Fleet Test Drive: Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV - 1st report
02 October 2014
Author: Tristan Young
BusinessCar has run a plug-in hybrid before in the form of the Vauxhall Ampera, and declared it good for cost per mile efficiency but flawed in its abilities as a practical car.
We're now running the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle), which (again) claims impressively low running costs but has almost no compromise in terms of the car's usability.
Ahead of the Outlander PHEV arriving, I thought it best to get a home EV charge point installed given that most of my short journeys will start and end at home. So, as recommended by Mitsubishi, I called British Gas to get one fitted for free under the Government charge point subsidy scheme.
Unfortunately, this was a far from smooth affair. To cut a very long story short, after phoning British Gas to book an engineer, he didn't turn up to the first installation appointment.
Then, a few days later, an engineer turned up without an appointment (and while I was out) to try to fit the charge point. When British Gas did eventually fit the point, they double-booked and a second engineer turned up three minutes after the first one had finished the install.
And at no point during all this did anyone call me back - I had to do all the calling, chasing and checking.
If you think that's bad, the only proactive call I did get was a week after the install to ask why I had not gone ahead with having a charge point fitted. You couldn't make it up.
But it is now installed and it does the job of charging the Outlander as it should, taking about four hours to go from an empty battery to full.
It's early days, but at the moment a full charge seems to allow about 22-26 miles of full-electric use (Mitsubishi claims it should be up to 32.5 miles). What will be interesting is working out the total cost per mile in terms of energy used.
So far it's really too early to tell how much petrol we're using, mainly because we've used very little - only one fill.
But what I have done is found out exactly how much my electricity costs per kW, and that's 12p, so a full charge costs about £1.08, and each fully electric mile about 5p.
Over the first 340 miles we spent a total of £37.40 on petrol plus £7.14p on electricity, equating to total 13.1p a mile - not bad for a big 4x4.
I've also been down to Mitsubishi to have a chat with one of their experts about how to get the best from the car, given it's such a different kind of technology to traditional petrol or diesel power, and took the opportunity to plug in while I was there . More on that in a future report.
Over the next six months we'll be doing all sorts of journeys so we'll be able to see if, as Mitsubishi claims, the car is more efficient than its diesel equivalent for journeys up to 106 miles, and whether the number of short journeys offset the longer ones.
|Claimed combined consumption
|Our average consumption
|Fuel costs per mile (EV/total)
|Model price range
|BIK 20/40% per month
|Boot space (min/max)
|Petrol engine size/power
- Very quiet at town speeds
- Charge point install experience