466 mile driving and 7UK gallon of petrol consumed.
For 14 days I have been driving with my Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV between my work in Soderhamn, about 15 miles (one way) and some longer trips at 45 miles. During this time, the temperature was very low, around 12-23 degrees C below zero all the time ( 5 to – 9 deg F). To Soderhamn I can drive on pure electricity but since it is winter and cold I need to varm the cabin in the car. I usually preheat the car for 20 min before I leave which keeps the warmth for 9-12 miles when it’s that cold, but then I have to start the ICE to get heat in the cabin again. That means the ICE needs fuel even though I theoretically would not need to run on any fuel. In summer, this will probably not be a problem. So after 14 days, it was time to refuel for the first time again. I filled it up with 7UK gallons, resulting in 65 MPG. I think that is OK, considering the given temperature those days and the size of the car, an SUV on almost 2 tonnes. It can only get better when the temperature outside rises.
MPG at 155 miles without charging
I have now made a trip between my home and Arlanda airport and back, a trip of about 310 miles in total. The temperature during this trip was around 0 deg C (30 F) On the way down I did run out of battery as expected. On the way back I had to drive without electric power (except for short periods when the battery was charged in descents and braking). The route was mostly highway at speeds around 60-75 mph I had the ECO mode button which limits how much power the engine get when I press the gas pedal. During this trip the MPG ended up at approx 33 MPG
Ever since I got my Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV plug-in hybrid delivered in December, me and the workshop did not succeed in getting the Outlander Remote App to work with my car. It is used to start the heat/AC in the car via Wifi. I’ve managed to get it to work with my old cell phone Sony Xperia Z1 but I do not want to run around with two phones. That is why I have now acquired the Outlander PHEV SMS remote app. With the app installed, I can start the heat/cold with a text message instead. It provides several benefits. The range to start the pre heater has increased from 10-50 meters to unlimited as long you have reception. With wifi you can´t be too far away from the car. You can also set the heating on for longer than 30 minutes, which is the limit of the Outlander Remote App. Then there’s an addition to the app (SMS Utility) where you can track where the car is and a function that sends a text message if the car is moving. This is whats needed for the SMS feature to work :
An additional smartphone that is always in the car.
It must have the Outlander Remote App and Outlander PHEV SMS remote installed
An old smartphone is something that most people have at home, otherwise you can buy it very cheap. Your phone must be able to send and receive SMS. I have therefore acquired a prepaid phone card to it. I have it connected to a charger, and it is located in the center console of the car. The app costs 27 Euro and is available in Google play.
Your regular cell phone.
It just needs to be able to send SMS. No other app is needed.
The interface to the Outlander PHEV SMS remote is not the prettiest but it doesn’t matter, the phone stays in the car and you don´t have to look at it after it has been set up.
You can acheive the same thing with theTasker app and a script but I don´t mind paying to get a working solution. I got a tip about this from one of my blog readers Johan. The script comes originally from this forum: http://insideoutlander.boards.net/thread/478/tasker-programs-remote-control-phev.
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Mitsubishi Remote App does not work with Samsung Galaxy S6 and S5 mini
It is now completely confirmed that Mitsubishi Remote App is not compatible with Samsung S6 and S5 mini. It is certainly more phones that don’t work but these are the two I tried with no success. Ever since I could pick up my Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV in december and then the seller failed to match the car with my phone, I have repeatedly tried to get it to work. I got some time at the workshop in order to check it, and yesterday I got the vehicle back with the answer that Mitsubishi has not yet done the phone compatible because it is too new (released in april 2015). Mitsubishi Sweden had no help or a good answer to give. Dealer Thunbergs car is obviously distraught that they were unable to solve it and that they have not been informed that some phones do not work. I have managed to match the car with my Ipad Air 1 and my old mobile phone Sony Xperia Z1 without problems.
Mitsubishi Remote App is, at least in Sweden, a very important part of the operation and ownership of the car. It is with the app and ONLY with it you can start for the heater in the car. It starts the heating system in your car and warming up the car so that you have a hot car to get to winter time. In the summer the AC started using the app. It is incredibly poorly by Mitsubishi that does not have a working solution for one of the world’s largest mobile phone manufacturer. The app was updated the other day (13 January 2016) for the first time in a year, it shows how often Mitsubishi is working on updates to the app. They should inform their dealers about the limitation it poses for the buyer if they have a Samsung or any other model that does not work. Should you buy a Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, make sure you get the test to register the phone with the car before purchase. You can just reset the pairing after it succeeded.
Cannot the plug-in hybrid handle the winter cold ?
Yesterday I noticed something interesting and at the same time worrying. The EV drive mode did not work properly at -20 degrees celsius (-4 F). Lets start from the beginning …
To heat the interior of the car in winter and cold temperatures the petrol engine has to generate the heat. Now it can feel like a loss to have an electric car that needs to use the gasoline engine in winter. You can then use the pre-heater to heat the cabin before leaving. The heater is using the car’s driving battery to power the heater, therefore it is best to do this during charging so as not to jeopardise the range on EV drive If you have a 16A charger it will charge at the same rate as the pre-heater uses battery. If you have a 10A charger it will not keep up with the required charging.
I usually pre-heat for 30 min and the heat produced lasts for 15 minutes, depending on outside temperature, without additional heat from the petrol engine, especially when using the seat heaters and steering wheel heating.
To ensure that the petrol engine is not enabled you can put the ventilation and heating system in the OFF position.
Yesterday, for the first time this winter the temperature was -20 degrees Celsius (-4 F). I had had my Outlander in garage overnight where the temperature was -6 degrees C (21 F). I used the pre-heat for 30 minutes just before departure. With EV drive only I drove toward Soderhamn, 25 km south and started the ventilation and heating system when I got half way to bring up the heat in the car again. At that time the petrol engine started, as it should. When I reached the desired temperature I turned the ventilation and heating system off again and the petrol engine was shut down and I ran only on EV drive.
During the day the car is parked in Soderhamn in -20 degrees temperatures (-4 F). When I´m, about to leave for home the car is fully charged and before leaving I pre-heated the car in 30 minutes. HOWEVER when I try using the same procedure as before with the ventilation and heating system switched off I didn’t manage to get the petrol engine to stop. The entire trip is made with the engine running and the only time it shuts off for a short period is in a steep downhill. The battery meter shows full but the meter for the estimated range for EV drive shows just three strokes. No numbers. When I get home the battery meter is full. The route I run, I run at a speeds of 40-65 mph. The symbols for energy flow displays the arrows between the gasoline engine and battery and battery to wheel the whole trip. I don’t get why it’s like this, the battery is full so the petrol engine should not have to charge the battery and I have the ventilation off. It has something to do with the battery capacity degradation in severe cold I believe.
This morning it was -10 degrees (14 deg F) outside and I had the car parked in the garage overnight. The battery was not fully charged and I wasn’t running for the heater because I got an error message when I tried to do it. I put a car heater in for 10 min instead. Also this time I was able to make the whole journey in pure EV mode without starting the petrol engine.
When I was leaving for home in the evening, it was -15 degrees (5 deg F), I had preheated the car for 30 min and it was almost fully charged. The petrol engine started in the beginning but after a few minutes I was able to turn off the fan and therefore the petrol engine. It seems that -20 degrees (-4 F) is the limit for the batteries . It says something in the manual that at temperatures below -15 C, there might be a problem with starting and limited power. I also noticed that brake regeneration effect didn´t work as well. The car didn´t slow down as much at B5 like before.
Luckily we don’t have these low temperatures that often.
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Can you achieve 156 MPG in an Outlander plug-in hybrid?
Running with a consumption of 156 mpg with the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV plug-in hybrid is that even possible? Mitsubishi promises a very low consumption and it is achieved through lab results that all cars must undergo in order to have a comparable standard. In reality, of course, that consumption is very hard to achieve. All energy-consuming equipment such as air conditioning, heated chairs and head lamps are disconnected in the lab tests. The Australian auto test-site "The Motor Report, however, has managed to achieve 156 mpg in a reality test. The test was carried out during the summer, at a distance of 80 kilometres of highway, hills, roundabouts and traffic lights. They turned off the climate control to save electricity. They came to the conclusion that the optimum speed for the electric engines was 37mph and to try to keep the speed in steep hills was the best for electricity consumption. Legs without hills were done at 50 mph as far as possible to keep the consumption down. They used the regenerative braking as much as possible instead of the usual brakes. Even the acceleration was extremely careful in order to save energy.
This is not really a true reality test, because who wants to go in 37mph uphill and 50 mph on flat stretches and accelerate 0-50 mph in 20 seconds? But they have shown that it is possible and what it takes to achieve it and if you have that in mind when running you can save a lot of petrol.
Lab tests are performed in a temperature of + 20 degrees celsius and in our country (sweden), there are not many months we have such temperatures. Something that saves consumption in winter is to preheat the car with the Mitsubishi Remote App before leaving and when the vehicle is charging. That way the car don´t need the petrol engine to warm the Interior. To ensure that no gasoline engine starts, you can put the fan in the "OFF" position. However, you will need to start the fan and therefore gasoline engine again when the temperature begins to drop in the compartment.
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460 mile with plug-in hybrid-Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV
Now I have made a trip that this car is not really intended for. We made a trip to Kalix for Christmas celebrations. The trip was 460 miles and took 8.5 hours. We packed the car full of suitcases and gifts, the boot swallowed it all very well. Our children (4 and 7 years old) were placed in the the back seat in booster seats. The space in the back is a little worse than in our Subaru Legacy station wagon from 2010. It gets pretty crowded for an adult to sit in the middle between the booster seats. In the front seats my wife and I sits very comfortable . I’m very happy with the choice to not have full leather seats, I have not yet felt the need to keep the heat on in the front seats. The Comfort Tech fabric seems to work. In our old Subaru with full leather seats I had the heat constantly on so as not to freeze.
My wife always has cold hands and she´s loving the steering wheel heater. In the tray between the front seats there is a USB outlet where we plug in a USB flash drive with music which can be controlled from the radio. When we get tired of the music we hook up my smartphone with Spotify via Bluetooth and it works very well to control with the radio.
In the tray between the front seats, there is also a 12 volt outlet where we plug in charger for cell phones and DVD players. Unfortunately a fuse had gone in our house during the night so the car was not fully loaded at startup. Since the battery capacity is not enough to run on electric drive the whole journey I try to save it by pressing the Save button and start the electric power only at distances where the petrol engine would consume the most, such as slopes and city driving.
The car feels solid and stable and there are no problems overtaking on a slushy E4. The acceleration is actually really good, something I was a bit worried before I bought the car. Since the range of the electric drive is about 30 miles, this is not a stretch when the car is performing its best. I stop along the road at a gas station to fill it up with petrol, the consumption is around 8 lit/100 km (35 mpg) It had probably been a little better if the battery has been fully charged from the beginning. The car is fully loaded and it’s winter so the capacity of the battery is reduced, moreover, we are charging DVD players, mobile phones and listening to the radio and that also consumes electricity.
I’ve now been running 620 miles totally in this car and I notice that the studded winter tyres Pirelli Winter Carve Edge is not the tyres to recommend for this car. The noise from the wheels are too strong. The question is, however, if it is the brand of the tires that matter. I have had contact with a guy who also recently bought a Mitsubishi Outlander plug-in hybrid and he had Good Year studded tires on his car that he immediately switched for friction tyres due to the noise. So maybe friction tires is recommended for this car model. It´s a pity that the tires are going to ruin the whole experience.
For two weeks i´ve been waiting for the winter wheels that I ordered separately to arrive and last Friday they were delivered to me.
I contacted Emil at Thunbergs Car in Soderhamn to schedule a time to fit the winter wheels.
On Tuesday morning we met again to sign the final papers and to get some information and getting started tips. Everything was working fine until we tried to pair the Mitsubishi's Outlander PHEV smartphone app to the car´s wifi. The app is used to with wifi control loading timer, reprogram time charge to start or monitor the charging cycle with your phone. You can also activate the function that cools or heats the Interior. Suitable in the winter if you want a warm car before your journey. No matter how we tried we did not get the app to sync with the car's wifi. Thunbergs Car is going to contact Mitsubishi who hopefully will solve it.
Today I´m going on a trip to Gavle, around 90 km along the motorway. Unfortunately, it seems that I ordered the winter wheels from hell! Now that I have got a quiet car it is the tyres are making a lot of noise. I really hope that there is some running-in problems with the tires and that they get better with time. Too bad that the tires are ruining the overall experience. When I was about to buy the tires I was looking specifically for tires that wouldn't make that much noise. I ordered Pirelli Winter Carving Edge. There is a resonance noise that increases with speed. We'll see how it develops. The car is not quite fully charged when I leave for Gavle and after about 35 km the battery meter starts getting closer to the bottom. It is about 5 degrees (C) below zero out there so the petrol engine is warming the Interior every now and then. I start the stereo to dampen some of the wheel noice and after fiddeling with the sound setup of the stereo, I think the sound from stereo sounds really good even though I haven't got the Rockford Fosgate package in my model. The rest of the trip, I use the paddles behind the steering wheel to set the Brake Energy Regeneration System that recharges the battery. It works well to use as engine breaking and to recover energy when driving down-hill or to reduce speed before an exit or similar. I stop at a gravel pit to take some pictures of the car, then I quickly move on, I´m in a little bit of a hurry today. All in all, I drive 200 kilometers this day and I have no possibility to charge the car during the day.
The next day begins with a fully charged battery since I charged the car during the night. At first I do mostly highway driving, about 50 km, then a little city driving in 10 km. I'm going to photograph a house for sale in Stugsund outside Söderhamn. Then I drive back home again, it'll be about 100 km in total. I look at the average MPG meter and it reads 47 MPG. If this is good or bad I don´t know, it takes a little more time to evaluate it and maybe see how much petrol I have to refuel in a month. It's not in those longer distances that the car perfoms the best fuel economy and low consumption, it is the short commuter journeys under 50 km which is the optimal distance. 47mpg is roughly the same as my previous car Subaru Legacy Diesel used . However, it is a smaller car than the Mitsubishi Outlander.
UPDATE 14 January 2016
It is now completely confirmed that Mitsubishi Remote App is not compatible with Samsung S6 and S5 mini. It is certainly more phones that don't work but these are the two I tried with no success. Ever since I could pick up my Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV in december and then the seller failed to match the car with my phone, I have repeatedly tried to get it to work. I got some time at the workshop in order to check it, and yesterday I got the vehicle back with the answer that Mitsubishi has not yet done the phone compatible because it is too new (released in april 2015). Mitsubishi Sweden had no help or a good answer to give. Dealer Thunbergs car is obviously distraught that they were unable to solve it and that they have not been informed that some phones do not work. I have managed to match the car with my Ipad Air 1 and my old mobile phone Sony Xperia Z1 without problems.
Mitsubishi Remote App is, at least in Sweden, a very important part of the operation and ownership of the car. It is with the app and ONLY with it you can start for the heater in the car. It starts the heating system in your car and warming up the car so that you have a hot car to get to winter time. In the summer the AC started using the app. It is incredibly poorly by Mitsubishi that does not have a working solution for one of the world's largest mobile phone manufacturer. They should inform their dealers if the limitation it poses for the buyer if they have a Samsung or any other model that does not work.
Mitsubishi Outlander plug-in hybrid by the model year 2016 claims to have 100 updates. But what are they really? A lot of it are just garnish with chrome details and different materials used. Others are parts of the engine that has been updated. The former model has been quite anonymous and Mitsubishi has therefore updated the bodywork and called it “Dynamic Shield”. I like it since I wasn’t so fond of the previous model’s design. The front has been updated with a new grille with chrome and the rear looks wider than its predecessor and it has red glass on the rear lights instead of the previous white. The Interior has been updated with more comfortable chairs, new leather interior of higher quality, goggles pocket in the roof, enhanced graphics on the display, Auto-Dimming Rearview Mirror, LED interior lighting , the heated steering wheel is new and 360-degree rear view camera as well. In order to increase the comfort Mitsubishi has updated the suspension and body rigidity, tires and rims are new. The car has better insulation at different places and better sound-proofed windows has been installed.The window defroster has been improved.
After the test runs I made with Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV plug-in hybrid and the calculations I made on the economy and the comparison I made to other cars it is now decided that I will buy a Outlander as my company car. Buying a diesel car could have been an option but the cars in the same size and with all-wheel drive loses on a much higher tax value, a higher fuel consumption on the routes I will be driving and it also feels right with a plug-in hybrid in this "protect the environment age".
Today I have been to Thunbergs car, a car dealer in Söderhamn and signed the lease for the car. I chose the GXh3+ model since the GXh3 model I was going for would not arrive until February 2016 which would mean that I would get a lower Plug in Car Grant support from the Government. In Sweden it will be lowered by half in 2016. The GX4h model also has full leather seats which I don't like, I think it will be too cold in winter and too hot in summer. GX3h and GX3h+ models only have leather on the sides of the seats while middle part is of a different fabric, which Mitsubishi calls Comfort Tech. It is a functional material which Mitsubishi claims to be neither too cold during cold days or too hot during hot days. I like that better, we'll see how it works in reality. However, I have to wait to pick up the car since the winter tires that I ordered separately have not arrived yet. All I could do was to stare longingly at the car in car showroom. At the end of next week I should have the car and more updates on the blog are coming after that.
Time for the second test run of the new Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV plug-in Hybrid. I went to Thunbergs car, a car dealer in Söderhamn again to borrow an Outlander for 24 hours. The car dealer I met with is driving his Outlander PHEV between Sundsvall and Söderhamn (150 km) on a weekly basis and he was really happy with the car (he's biased, I know). He said there was a big difference comfort wise and with the Interior if you compare the previous model (2014). I recieve the key and put in my pocket, it is a remote keyless entry system with a start button next to the steering wheel. If you have the key with you it is enough to press a button on one of the front doors or the trunk to lock/unlock all doors. Similarly, you can press a button in the cockpit to do the car ready to run.
I start the steering wheel heater and head off on the highway on my way home to Lindefallet 25 km to the North. It's between Lindefallet and Söderhamn and Lindefallet and Hudiksvall I will be driving the car most of the time, and hopefully the range of 32 miles will be sufficient to drive large part of the route on battery power. The gasoline engine, however, will still be starting occasionally to heat the car interior and recharge the battery while driving when needed.
It's a strange feeling to drive away when the car is completely silent, one wonders if it is running, but on the highway, it's the sound of the wheels I´m hearing, except when I accelerate hard, then you hear the sound of the engine and it´s like a large sewing machine revving into overdrive. The car that I´m driving (the GX4h) has leather seats, navigation, electric front seat, 360 Camera with Steering Wheel Switch and 18-inch wheels. The Multi Communication System in the middle of the dashboard has a touch screen where you can choose to see the consumption of electricity and petrol or how the power is distributed between the battery, wheels and petrol engine. It's hard to keep your eyes from the display because you want to see how often the petrol engine is starting and when it's just battery power.
Arriving in Lindefallet it is time to test the car in its proper environment. It's an SUV so the forest roads in Lindefallet will be a good test. I'll take a trip up to the Linde Lake. The roads are icy and very slippery and I'm having trouble just to walk there, but the car drives without problems, very good indeed. I stop and take some pictures of the car in a beautiful pine forest, a shingle field and a clear-cut area. This is the right element for the car, it´s moving quietly along the road on battery power only. I´m driving with ease on the steep, bumpy and slippery, forest roads.
The Rear-view camera comes very handy in the woods when I´m going to turn on a small forest road. This particular model has 360 camera where you can see the car from a bird's eye view.You can see around the entire car. The audio system is equipped with Rockford Fosgate speakers and Subwoofer (only the GX4h model has this) but I keep it turned off, I want to listen to the silence.