An evolution is under way in how vehicles get us from A to B. It is potentially the biggest shake-up since the origins of the first cars.
Then there were a number of different sources: steam, internal combustion engine and electric.
The internal combustion engine became dominant, but during the last 15 years there have been variations on the ICE theme and alternatives.
Most people believe the hydrogen fuel cell will be the goal, but a number of technologies are providing stepping stones to the point, a few years away, where hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are affordable.
And the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV could be one of the most interesting developments to date. With almost double the plug-in range of a Toyota Prius PHV, and from around £10,000 less than Volvo’s plug-in hybrid V60, the Outlander’s big advantage is that the plug-in car grant ensures customers pay around the same price as for a diesel version.
Our G4hs test car is the range topper in in the PHEV line-up and comes with standard satellite navigation, leather seats (heated in front), electronic climate control, electric windows and sunroof. Safety features include a lane departure warning and collision warning.
The Outlander has done away with its third row seats and has a reduced size fuel tank to accommodate the hybrid parts. The maximum range using the plug-in charge plus the fuel tank should be around 390 miles according to the trip computer.
That works out at around 40-45mpg after the plug-in charge is depleted, after which the petrol engine and electric motors behave like most other hybrids, with some zero emissions ability at low speeds, as the batteries are charged by energy recuperation.
So far my commute results in 98-99% EV running, so fuel use isn’t enough to register an mpg figure, but occasional longer journeys will be interesting to see how the system works.