SPRINTS AND HURDLES
Believe the industry hype and we are on a path to an electric car future, ready or not. For the record, I’m in the “not” camp because Australia has the fifth cheapest petrol on the planet, endures high electricity costs and lacks charging infrastructure.
But I’m spending a few months with the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, Australia’s biggest-selling plug-in hybrid – because, to date, it’s an electric car with the fewest compromises.
It’s a family SUV that, in theory, can travel up to 50km on electricity alone and then a further 450km on petrol power when the battery runs flat.
The first hurdle: I can’t charge it when I take it home. I have on-street parking and don’t want to leave a power cord as a trip hazard across the footpath.
Second hurdle: the company representing the electric charge point at the car park near work won’t answer the phone for me to sign up and create an account.
Third hurdle: Mitsubishi sent a card to unlock the electric charge point but I got only one use out of it. It’s been disconnected during maintenance. Hope it’s reconnected soon.
I’ve also noticed the electric-only driving range is optimistic. On full charge the car says I have 32km of range. But that runs out after about 20km of city driving.
These challenges aside, I love the idea of not having to stop for petrol and have the car charging while I’m working or sleeping.
And I love the refinement and seamless acceleration from the electric motor and the practicality of an SUV.
Meanwhile, I’m hoping to find somewhere to charge the Mitsubishi, otherwise we’re going to be testing a petrol car carrying a useless battery pack and electric motor.