Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV long term test: The charge for charging
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Owning an EV sometimes feels like underground hunting and gathering but finding a place to charge is becoming less of a challenge each month.
With new public fast chargers popping up all over the country, after a month with our 2021 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, it’s been a great way to sample an EV without going full hog “pure” EV.
PHEV allows for a range of pure EV driving without the anxiety – up to 60km in the Outlander – before seamlessly switching to petrol power. Do less than 50km a day (or between trips/stops), and it’s simply a case of plugging in and recharging. This could happen at home, at work, or anywhere there’s a 240v power socket, via the portable charger. But it’s a “trickle/slow” charger, and from flat, the Outlander’s battery takes around six hours to fully recharge.
However, a public fast charger is a great way to provide a midtrip boost. Smartphone apps like PlugShare and ChargeNet pinpoint public charging stations and also their live status and free or cost rates.
The Auckland to Hamilton drive is a great example. The charger map shows close to 50 charging stations between locations, but the two most practical ones are the ChargeNet 300kW Hyper Chargers at Bombay (though at high cost), WEL charger at Hampton Downs (free, currently), and the new (free, currently) ABB charger at BP Taupiri, one of the first of the ABB chargers that will start popping up at BP petrol stations.
Located 35km from my home, it’s the perfect place to boost the Outlander’s battery while stopping for a break or catching up on emails. Even better than the 40kW public charger located near our DRIVEN office, this new 50kW charger gets it back to 80 per cent charge in around 20 minutes, which is perfect for getting it home where it fully recharges overnight.
Like most public chargers, simply choose the correct charging plug (generally CCS, or ChadeMo for our Outlander), plug it in and hit the start button. Even a 10-minute charge – the same time quoted to typically fill a fuel tank and pay – offers around 35km of range.
PHEVs are the least popular of the BEV/PHEV/hybrid electrified offerings, but they are a great way to sample the lifestyle of EVs without the full commitment, if that indeed is a concern.
We’re loving the Outlander PHEV, especially when 0.0l/100km is our weekly fuel use.