Mitsubishi’s world-first plug-in hybrid SUV, the Outlander PHEV, will put sustainable motoring back on the agenda of more Australian drivers when it arrives in Australia on 31 March 2014.
Mitsubishi has announced the Outlander PHEV will have a 5-star Green Vehicle Guide rating at launch thanks to its official fuel consumption of 1.9 litres/100km* and 52 kilometre** pure electric range.
The Outlander PHEV is powered by Mitsubishi’s ground breaking and highly efficient electric vehicle system. It consists of twin 60kW electric motors front and rear, a 12kWh lithium ion drive battery, 70kW output generator, lightweight front transaxle assembly and efficient 87kW 2.0 litre four-cylinder MIVEC petrol engine to significantly extend Outlander PHEV’s driving range.
The petrol engine, which is tuned to run at optimum efficiency, supports the electric drivetrain system by recharging the drive battery and supplementing battery power in particular driving conditions.
The Outlander PHEV is able to achieve ultra-low fuel consumption and just 44g/km of CO2 emissions by maximising the best attributes of the combined internal combustion engine and electric vehicle systems. This is delivered in three distinct modes – EV Drive Mode, Series and Parallel Modes – that operate seamlessly without any intervention from the driver.
Fuel economy expert and former Australian rally champion Ed Ordynski said Mitsubishi’s PHEV technology is a clever, seamless system that automatically selects the right driving mode to optimise available electric and petrol power and maximise efficiency and driving range.
“Mitsubishi Outlander’s petrol electric PHEV system is a clever way to reduce fuel consumption and extend a vehicle’s driving range. Whether driving in Parallel or Series Mode, the PHEV system is tuned to optimise fuel efficiency, while its 52-kilometre electric range is very achievable and readily extended with thoughtful driving,” he said.
“Once the PHEV’s battery power reaches low levels, it’s not simply running on petrol for the rest of the journey.
“Instead, the petrol engine recharges the batteries rapidly and efficiently, allowing the PHEV to resume driving on full electric power to significantly extend the percentage of driving in the most efficient electric mode.
“The Outlander PHEV’s ability to automatically select multiple modes of operation all happen seamlessly without the driver having to intervene, allowing them to focus on driving in a smooth and efficient manner while letting the technology take care of itself.”
“It allows Outlander PHEV to have a very long range and to be remarkably efficient on hills and in country driving.
“But unlike internal combustion engine-powered cars and SUVs, PHEV can also return its best figures in stop-start, city and suburban driving where the on-board recharging and regenerative braking technology is quite extraordinary in maximizing efficiency.”
EV mode is PHEV’s all-electric driving mode. In EV Mode, the front and rear motors drive the vehicle using only electric power from the drive battery, helping PHEV achieve an official range of 52km. When in EV Mode, CO2 emissions and petrol consumption are zero up to a maximum of 120km/h.
In Series Mode, the PHEV uses the 2.0-litre petrol engine to recharge the stored battery energy and the electric motors use engine-generated electric power to drive the wheels. The system switches to Series mode when the remaining battery charge falls below a predetermined level or more performance is required, such as under high acceleration when overtaking or during a steep climb.
The PHEV switches to Parallel Mode when it reaches highway or higher speeds or extra power is required. In Parallel Mode, the petrol engine provides drive to the front wheels with assistance from the electric motors.
Outlander PHEV’s advanced electric vehicle system is underpinned by Mitsubishi’s sophisticated S-AWC (Super All Wheel Control) 4WD system, which uses the PHEV’s twin electric motors to manage Outlander’s dynamic stability performance. Outlander PHEV’s integrated S-AWC system ensures it has the same high levels of grip and roadholding as a typical four-wheel drive.
The Outlander PHEV’s twin electric motors act as generators during deceleration and recharge the drive battery when the driver releases the accelerator or when the brake pedal is applied. The degree of energy recovered through regenerative braking can be controlled using the gear selector lever or paddle selectors on the steering wheel.
The driver can increase the PHEV’s regenerative braking by moving the selector lever from the D position to the B position. There are two levels available – B3 or B5.
Using the steering wheels paddles, the driver can adjust the level of regenerative braking to any of the six levels, from the lowest setting (B0) to the highest (B5).
The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV will be available from selected Mitsubishi dealers when it goes on sale on 31 March, 2014.
* Based on the official ADR 81/02 combined fuel consumption test cycle
** Based on official ADR 81/02 testing