The last two journeys I took in the Outlander have been to Heathrow Airport. While I’ve done this in the recent past, topping up the battery charge at South Mimms services on the A1 or Toddington services on the M1, timing has dictated that on the last two trips I haven’t been able to stop until the end of the two-hour journey.
It means the 20 or so miles of plug-in charge carried from home runs out south of Peterborough and the trip computer soon starts displaying meaningful fuel consumption figures.
It basically highlights the importance of using opportunities to charge the Outlander when possible. While the trip computer might suggest around 45-50mpg for the outward 120-mile leg of the trip, but the time the return has been completed those motorway miles have taken their toll and a rather disappointing figure somewhere in the mid-30s has appeared.
The Fleet News journey cost calculator shows the Outlander PHEV has a fuel consumption of around 49mpg after the plug-in charge is depleted. But it’s important to note that this is under official test cycle conditions when some low-speed running would allow the car to travel on electric power from recuperated energy under braking and coasting. Motorways have a different outcome.
Back in the days when many fleet cars were duel-fuel and converted to run on LPG or petrol, businesses (and drivers) were not getting the benefit of lower running costs if the cars ran mostly on petrol.
Likewise, its important to ensure drivers of the Outlander PHEV are aware that the benefit of maximised by charging where possible, or else a diesel alternative might be more cost-effective.
The impact on a driver’s BIK tax liability of an equivalent diesel vehicle could be sobering enough for them to keep it in mind.