Mitsubishi has consistently led the way in the plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) market for the past decade. This isn’t just marketing speak; it’s wholly reflected in the numbers, with the original Outlander PHEV holding the title of the most popular plug-in hybrid electric vehicle globally.
Mitsubishi continues to show their plug-in mastery with the introduction of the next generation Outlander Plug-In Hybrid EV. We took the Exceed variant out for a spin and learnt some great things about this high-tech, family-friendly SUV.
What is a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle?
When it comes to the state of electric vehicles (EVs) and the infrastructure technology behind them, the plug-in hybrid model is arguably the best-suited EV class for Australian consumers at this time. The simplest definition of a plug-in hybrid EV states that it features both a battery pack and an internal combustion engine (ICE) allowing the car to move via electric power over short distances while relying on the ICE for longer journeys. The battery pack is recharged via a standard power outlet or a publicly available fast charger like a traditional EV would be.
Mitsubishi have refined this technology by having the ICE create power to juice up the battery increasing the vehicle’s efficiency and ultimately boosting its driving range.
Due to the sluggish rollout of publicly available EV charging stations around the country, it’s quite understandable that Aussies experience range anxiety considering the long journeys we’re often required to drive. This is where the plug-in hybrid model is better-suited than pure EVs, as owners have the peace of mind knowing they can still refuel their PHEV at regular petrol stations that are ubiquitous across rural Australia (unlike EV charging stations).
On the other side of the coin, the traditional EV method of charging (plugged into the power grid) is also available in a plug-in hybrid EV. The battery pack of a PHEV is smaller than that of pure EV, however, it will generally have the range to cover your daily commute purely on electric power. This allows you to avoid the inefficient consumption of fossil fuels commonly associated with start-stop city traffic.