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Outlander PHEV Field trip

Posted: Sun, 07 Dec 2014, 13:51
by crustovich
Thought those considering purchasing an Outlander PHEV might be interested in my first long trip in the vehicle.

As we are keen skiers and members of a lodge at Mt Buller, I have been in the market for a 4wd as they are the only vehicles allowed right up to the lodge during the ski season. My consternation has been that I would be driving around a big inefficient car all year just for 3 or 4 trips to the snow during the season. I know definitely a 1st world problem!

So for me the Outlander was a good fit, as I could have a large 4wd that during the week has a footprint smaller than most small 2wd cars, and still get access to the lodge in the winter.

Last weekend, we had a working bee at the lodge, so it was a good chance to see how the car performed on a long trip.

Early departure out of Melbourne on Saturday morning by myself but with a boot load of tools, I did the 1st 15km on pure EV as I have been led to believe that the car is more efficient in Hybrid mode at higher speeds with limited battery, so the plan was to do the non-freeway/highway driving on Battery, then save the rest of the battery for the climb up the mountain as the manual indicates it may need both battery and engine on steep/continuous ascents.

Once onto eastlink, I selected Battery save mode (hybrid) engaged the adaptive cruise control at 100km/hr and settled in for the trip. the adaptive cruise works very well, though even on the lowest gap setting, still leaves about 3 car lengths between you and the car in front, so on multi-lane roads, you do tend to get people cutting in on you, the good news is the adaptive cruise control realizes this, and gently backs off to the set gap, rather than aggressively braking to get the safe gap back quickly. Very clever.

The place where the adaptive cruise control really comes into its own is on the single lane highways. Usually in my Ice I would be getting annoyed with people doing less than the speed limit as I couldn't engage the cruise control. I found the "set and forget" of the adaptive quite de-stressing and I was surprised to see my speed back at 90 following slower traffic and I hadn't even noticed much less got frustrated, or want to pass them.

I topped up the fuel on the outskirts of Melbourne. Having purchased the car with a full tank 3 weeks prior, I was down to a bit below 1/2 a tank. After hunting around to find the fuel flap release lever, and putting 22ltrs of 91RON in the tank, I was off again.

The telemetry in the MMCE is not as accurate as I would like, the figures (especially for the petrol consumption) are quite erratic, and generally were quite wide of the mark compared to my mental arithmetic. Unfortunately, the statistics for fuel consumption etc. reset every time you turn the car off for more than 4 hours, so the fuel consumption figures are based on recent data therefore take a while to settle down.

Stopped in Mansfield, and after a fruitless hunt for anything that may be construed as a "public power point” had a quick breakfast and continued my journey. At the foot of the mountain. I de-selected "Battery save" mode and started the climb. Again I was pleasantly surprised at how much easier the drive was compared to the pure ICE car. With the regenerative cranked up to 5, I could keep my foot on the accelerator, just backing it off a bit for the tight corners, no changing gears or pedals as you wind your way up the mountain.

The climb is around 13km on the Nav data, and the car showed 20km of battery remaining, I was reasonably conservative going up the mountain, but certainly not dawdling, however the engine did not start up once and I had 1km of battery remaining when I got to the lodge.

When I got to the lodge I plugged in using my newly purchased Volt Charger and mindful of keeping the controller off the ground, hung it on a nearby tree with a long lead to the lodge. One member who arrived later commented on how impressed he was to see a car charging from a tree, very green!

Considering I had a 13km descent to do, which I would prefer to do on regenerative rather than wear out brake pads, I decided to charge the battery till it had 1 hour remaining (which I could do keeping an eye on the charge progress and stop it charging using the app on my phone).

The next day with a 4/5ths charged battery, and most of my tools back in the car, I headed back to Melbourne. The Regenerative cranked up to 5 I still had to assist with the brake to keep the speed in check going down the hill. I don't know whether the weight of the car on the incline was too much for it, or there was not enough space left in the battery to absorb the regenerative charge, either way, I was using precious brake pads on the way down.

A curious thing, as the photo shows, was the battery range went well past the advertised 52km until I got to the bottom of the hill then it settled down.

Image
76m Range, glad I opted for the larger batteries!!!

At one point on the return to Melbourne, my new found tolerance for slower traffic was tested by a car doing 85km/hr which had me contemplating an overtaking manoeuvre on a reasonably long straight stretch of single carriageway, coming from a 2.5ltr v6 station wagon into a big 4wd with a 2ltr 4cyl engine had me a little apprehensive, however I needn't have worried, the engine went into direct mode on the front wheels, and the battery kicked in to help, and acceleration from 85 was as smooth and powerful as if accelerating from 20km. I looked down at the spedo as I passed abeam the car and was doing 130 and still pulling. Much better than my previous car! Not sure how well it would do with the battery depleted, however I assume it keeps a bit in reserve for such occasions.

I filled up near home with 28ltrs, the trip meter Fill to fill showed just on 450km, so a combined consumption of 6.2l/100km. Quite a bit over the claimed 1.9l/100km considering I had 2 charges and hadn't used a full tank of fuel, but still better than the 9l/100 km my 2.5l v6 ICE used to get on the same trip, and the fuel bill was roughly 1/2. So to lug around a roomy SUV for 1/2 the petrol is good enough for me.

Outlander PHEV Field trip

Posted: Mon, 08 Dec 2014, 05:53
by reecho
The 1.9L/100km figure is for the first 100kms in combined EV then RE mode.

If anybody can get 1.9L/100kms real world conditions in the "Brendan" I will eat my shorts...

Outlander PHEV Field trip

Posted: Mon, 08 Dec 2014, 06:56
by mikedufty
I'd expect in real world conditions people mostly drive a lot less than 100km per day, so could do much better than 1.9L/100km with overnight charging.

Outlander PHEV Field trip

Posted: Mon, 08 Dec 2014, 07:13
by rhills
Talk about coincidences. This discussion led me to dig out our receipts and do the maths. We've done 10257 km so far in our PHEV and we've put a total of 184.15L in the tank which is now 3/4 full, so lets call it 195L (it's a 40L tank).

That gives us 195/10257*100 = 1.9 l/100km

Pretty close to their claimed 1.8!

Outlander PHEV Field trip

Posted: Mon, 08 Dec 2014, 12:30
by crustovich
Thanks Reecho, good point.
I was aware that the 1.9l/100km was only for the 1st 100 km, I was just highlighting to those considering the car, that Mitsubishi have used the standard test (which was set up long before PHEV's came in) to their advantage, and unless you never stray 100 km from a charge point, these figures are not to be budgeted on.
Rob, the tank size is 45ltr and the Mitsubishi claim is 1.9 (not 1.8), either way, Reecho will be having shorts for lunch!

Outlander PHEV Field trip

Posted: Mon, 08 Dec 2014, 13:31
by T1 Terry
Very impressive. The all important question to me is, can the Outlander PHEV be flat towed behind a motorhome? This could cause a change of mind regarding converting the Kombi to electric as it was going to be the toed behind big bus.

T1 Terry

Outlander PHEV Field trip

Posted: Mon, 08 Dec 2014, 14:01
by Johny
T1 Terry wrote: Very impressive. The all important question to me is, can the Outlander PHEV be flat towed behind a motorhome? This could cause a change of mind regarding converting the Kombi to electric as it was going to be the toed behind big bus.

T1 Terry
I very much doubt it Terry. The Outlander uses Permanent magnet motors so they would be generating huge amounts of voltage when being flat towed. I daresay that if one of the Outlander owners checks the manuals for us I'm expecting a big No no.

Outlander PHEV Field trip

Posted: Mon, 08 Dec 2014, 14:49
by T1 Terry
Johny wrote: I very much doubt it Terry. The Outlander uses Permanent magnet motors so they would be generating huge amounts of voltage when being flat towed. I daresay that if one of the Outlander owners checks the manuals for us I'm expecting a big No no.
I was hoping they had a neutral in the transfer box similar to the Suzuki Grand Vitara. They are very popular as toed's but a PHEV would fit in nicely with my green side   Image

T1 Terry

Outlander PHEV Field trip

Posted: Mon, 08 Dec 2014, 16:29
by crustovich
From the manual:

"If your vehicle needs to be towed,transport the vehicle on a flatbed truck or tow the vehicle with all the wheels off the ground.
If the any wheels are on the ground when towing, this may cause damage to the electric motors. This may cause fire,if wiring in the electric motor unit room becomes damaged."

(translation errors left intact for authenticity) Image

In case you are still in doubt, there are pictures!

Image

Outlander PHEV Field trip

Posted: Mon, 08 Dec 2014, 16:57
by reecho
My point still stands....

Of course if you do less than 100kms you will get close or even beat the suggested fuel consumption figures.

I have been asked a few times about the PHEV by different people who are amazed by the consumption, until i explain to them it's based on a test designed for dino juice cars.

Maybe it's high time a standard was created for this category.


Outlander PHEV Field trip

Posted: Mon, 08 Dec 2014, 18:31
by BWSS
I read your post very carefully and was impressed. I did look at the PHEV but I think the bad sales pitch in part put me off, I did not even know your car had adaptive cruise control, I guess we learn something new every day!!

Rob

Outlander PHEV Field trip

Posted: Mon, 08 Dec 2014, 19:35
by T1 Terry
crustovich wrote: From the manual:

"If your vehicle needs to be towed,transport the vehicle on a flatbed truck or tow the vehicle with all the wheels off the ground.
If the any wheels are on the ground when towing, this may cause damage to the electric motors. This may cause fire,if wiring in the electric motor unit room becomes damaged."

(translation errors left intact for authenticity) Image

In case you are still in doubt, there are pictures!

Image

Image Thanks for that, back to the Kombi conversion I guess.

T1 Terry

Outlander PHEV Field trip

Posted: Mon, 08 Dec 2014, 21:13
by crustovich
Thanks Rob,

Yes I was very impressed with the adaptive cruise control, only comes on the top model (the Aspire) but well worth the extra in my opinion.

Outlander PHEV Field trip

Posted: Mon, 08 Dec 2014, 21:43
by crustovich
I agree with you Reecho.
Especially since it applies to a 4wd, which you would imagine would only come into it's own in the bush (unless you're in Toorak) a long way from power points, it should be based on use to exhaustion of all fuel sources to get a true indication.
Also based on my field trip the advertised combined range of 824km is a bit of a stretch.
Certainly based on my current usage, (until I can get a power-point to use out at the airport, or make a solar cover), is not going to have you reaching for the stubbies and some sauce any time soon....