First drive: Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV launch review
Greg Hill gets behind the wheel of the updated Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV.
The appeal, environmental values, and model choice of electric vehicles – including hybrids – has grown rapidly in recent times. We’ve seen massive improvements in the technology, packaging and availability, and EVs in their various configurations are now among the most talked-about vehicles in the automotive world.
There are three main types of EVs in Australia. As well as full battery-electric vehicles which rely on external charging, there are two types of petrol-electric set-ups: plug-in hybrids, where the battery can be recharged via mains power and supplemented in part by the vehicle while driving, and stand-alone hybrids which rely on the petrol engine and regenerative braking to keep the battery charged.
Mitsubishi has gone down the plug-in path with the Outlander PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle), with a petrol engine and two electric motors – one at the front wheels and the other at the rear. The second electric motor at the rear gives the PHEV four-wheel-drive capabilities.
The Outlander PHEV was the first plug-in hybrid available in Australia when it went on sale in 2014 and has continued to evolve with upgrades along the way. The biggest changes for the 2020 model are a larger 2.4-litre petrol engine, improved battery capacity and increased generator output, while the power output of the electric motor driving the rear wheels is up. Interior upgrades also add to comfort and functionality.
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