First 90 days: Outlander PHEV very efficient, great drive

Outlander PHEV at Tswwassen Mills free charge stations

Good Friday March 30th 2018 was a good day indeed as we took delivery or our new plug-in hybrid SUV. Driving the 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV for the past 90 days shows this SUV to be a very efficient, practical daily driver.

There’s no need to tease, let’s get right to the point: A little more than four thousand kilometers (2,500 miles) and we are still on our third tank of gas. Not a typo — three tanks of gas! And the third tank still has over a quarter left.
This is amazing efficiency. We owned the V-6 2011 Outlander before this PHEV so are familiar with that gas guzzler. We were getting 16 to 17mpg in our daily driving (sorry, as a 70s child I can’t go metric on gas consumption). See photo below average consumption in the PHEV of 16.1 kwh/100km or 26kwh/100miles which equals 130MPGe.

EV drive ration 100%

Range & Usage summary

We have a blended electricity rate in B.C. so let’s assume average of $0.10 per kwh or $2.60 to drive 100 miles. In the old ICE Outlander (we EV owners call gas powered cars ICE or internal combustion engines — oooh, look at our lingo!) the same 100 miles at 16mpg would be about $38 CAD ($1.60 per litre converted to US gallon price). And the $0.10 per kwh assumes we pay for all our re-charges, which we do not (more on that later).
Why are we getting such great range with our PHEV and driving it almost 100% of the time on pure EV? Driving style will affect mileage in ICE autos and definitely impact range in PHEV and EVs. Our driving tends to be all short or mid range hops around the suburbs. Quick jaunt to the office and school. Over to the gymnastics club. Then out to see a client. Most trips are sub 15km (under ten miles) with lots of stop/go traffic. We are able to drive 90 to 95% on pure EV.
We researched the Outlander PHEV beforehand and knew that the claimed 60km range would suit our lifestyle. In reality we are not seeing the 60km range, more like 45 to 55km depending on driving style. And for those times when the batteries give out or we’d rather use gasoline? Well, the truck has a 2.0L 4-cylinder motor that direct-powers the wheels and/or charges the battery pack.

The first 4,250 km on 2.5 tanks of gas!!

Here are some other notes on our initial ownership:
– We love the practical SUV layout, five passenger seating and same storage capacity as ICE Outlander).
– Driving dynamics in pure EV mode are awesome: quite, smooth, fast. A joy to drive.
– Driving the anemic, noisy and rough 4-cylinder is not as enjoyable. Luckily at highway speeds its barely noticeable.
– Still learning the on-board info-tainment system which can be confusing and cumbersome.
– The Outlander PHEV comes with TWO onboard charge systems. It has the common level II J-1772 plug and the much rarer Quick Charge CHAdeMO receiver. Level II full charge in about 3.5 hours and CHAdeMO in about 35 minutes.
– We have found Level II chargers EVERYWHERE, many of them free or very low cost. CHAdeMO are much rarer. Use the PlugShare app to see availability in your area.
– Our awesome City of New Westminster has many free charging stations across the city. We use them often and why not? We pays our taxes!
I’d rate the initial ownership experience with a solid A letter grade. We are seeing amazing efficiency and loving the driving experience. If you are considering a PHEV and have single trip driving duties in the sub 50km range the Outlander is a great choice. Many thanks to Steven Yu and Siveta Amiri at Surrey Mitsubishi for their keen help in the buying process.
– rich patterson

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