Mitsubishi likely isn’t the first company that comes to mind when you think of electrified vehicles. But don’t forget; they pioneered an all-electric car long before they were fashionable. And now, they’ve added a plug to their biggest SUV. This is the all-new Outlander PHEV.
I wish I had the entertaining video to show you, but I attended the mini-musical that was this vehicle’s NY Auto Show debut…in 2016. Hampered by regulatory issues and battery constraints, this Outlander took 5 years to cross the ocean. But it’s here now and ready to provide Mitsu’s best-seller with an electrified option.
How do they do it? They’ve placed a battery pack under the passenger compartment and connected it to 1 electric motor to drive the front wheels and a 2nd to drive the rear. Under the hood resides a 2.0-liter gasoline-powered engine which also doubles as a generator giving it the capability of directly providing power to the electric motors and to charge the battery pack. The brains of the operation decide which drive mode provides the best performance and efficiency. EV mode is exactly how it sounds – it’s an all-electric driving experience and as with all PHEVs, showcases the best of what the Outlander has to offer.
This is how most of the initial driving is done when the battery is full. As the battery is used up or when you floor it, you’ll feel and hear the Outlander’s engine fire and then it goes into hybrid mode, with the motors now receiving their electricity from the 4-cylinder and the battery while also recharging it. And finally, the 3rd mode, which is most utilized during highway driving, predominantly relies on the gas engine to do the work.
You can charge the Outlander’s battery at home using a standard household outlet and that takes about 8 hours or with a 240-volt outlet like the one your dryer is plugged into you can cut that time in half. Or there’s another option…
The Outlander is the only plug-in hybrid currently on the market that allows you to use these level III fast chargers. But they’re rather expensive and with limited electric range I’m not sure it’s going to make a ton of sense.
With a fully charged battery the Outlander will deliver about 22 miles of all-electric driving in ideal ambient temperatures. In cold weather like this I’m averaging about 16.