Ryan “Fitzy” Fitzgerald has been a Mitsubishi driver his whole life. As an enthusiastic 17-year-old, he worked on the production line at the factory south of Adelaide, building the seats that would be fitted into the cars. He’s been behind the wheel of a Mitsubishi ever since. The car manufacturer’s next-generation plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (EV) captures what it’s always been about for Fitzy: innovative tech, value for money, great design and an easy integration into his lifestyle. His radio and TV career keeps him on the move around town, but he and his wife also have two boys who, like him, love sport and the outdoors, so getting out of the city is also a non-negotiable. Here, he tells us why he loves to get behind the wheel of his Outlander Plug-in Hybrid EV.

The flexibility to fit into a busy week …

Fitzy lives in the inner west of Sydney, close to the city. During the week, you’ll find him driving between work and home, ferrying the kids to footy and having the occasional night out. “I don’t use any fuel during the week,” he says. “We’re lucky that we don’t have to drive too far for work, so it’s perfect for me. With the battery, you can get about 80km in a charge. It’s been brilliant for us. We’re just zipping in and out.”

… with the freedom to hit the road on the weekend

When Fitzy’s working week is over, the Outlander’s hybrid petrol engine and twin electric motors make it easy for him to take his family on longer trips. “We’ll pack up our stuff on a Friday and go and stay somewhere out in the country or along the coast. The best thing about that is that when it’s running out of charge or kicks over to fuel, we go to a holiday home, plug it in, and charge it up again.” While his visits to the bowser are increasingly rare, choosing a hybrid option means Fitzy feels confident he’ll never get stuck without power. “We’re lucky enough that when it does run out, fuel kicks in and we can use that.” But with charging stations becoming easier to access even in remote parts of the country, there’s never a long wait to get back to electric.

Despite driving every day, Fitzy says: “I don’t use any fuel during the week.”

On weekdays you’ll find him driving between work and home, and ferrying the kids to footy. Fitzy says the Outlander has the family car feel that keeps his boys entertained without skimping on comfort. “We’ll pack up our stuff on a Friday and stay somewhere out in the country or along the coast.”

Intuitive tech in a family package

The technology powering our cars is constantly evolving, and Fitzy says the Outlander has the right balance of exciting new technology and ease of use. As well as Mitsubishi Motors Intuitive Technology, which includes safety features such as forward collision mitigation and lane departure prevention, he says it has the family car feel that keeps his boys entertained without skimping on comfort. “Everything is so modern. When I first got in, I thought, How am I going to get my head around this? But it syncs right up to my phone straight away. I can find out where I’m going or program something before I even get to the car.”

An unexpected driving experience

But it’s not only about the family lifestyle. When Fitzy’s driving alone, he takes a moment to enjoy the drive itself. “A lot of people think that you lose power when you have electric cars,” he says, “but it’s totally the opposite. Taking off, you don’t hear it. It’s so smooth, but the power and the all-wheel control is unbelievable. And when it kicks into fuel, the fuel injection is really, really good. The technology is amazing.” While the torque is impressive, Fitzy’s just as much a fan of the peace and tranquility. “When I’m driving, it’s relaxing. It’s easy to drive. It’s quiet. And you’re doing the right thing for the environment.”

Setting a great example for the next generation

Fitzy says he didn’t grow up in a family that cared about its impact on the environment, and that’s part of the reason he’s determined to set a different example for his own kids. “This is a start for the Fitzgerald family,” he says. “Whenever we come home now and park the cars underneath the house, the boys will go and plug it in for us. Socially, economically, it’s a great decision. My wife and I talk about this all the time – setting a good standard for our kids. “Because really, we’re doing this not for us. We’re doing it for the next generation.”

Originally produced content by Guardian Labs Australia to a brief agreed with and paid for by Mitsubishi Motors Australia. The content was originally published on 12 October 2022.