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Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV: Dealers need to lay AFV groundwork now

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

Factsheet

Price: £39,500

Engine: 2.4-litre petrol plus electric motors

Gearbox: 4wd, automatic

Performance: 0-62mph 10.5secs, top speed 106mph

Efficiency: 139mpg

Emissions: 40.3g/km CO2

Review

I wrote last time about getting a smug feeling from driving around on electric power in the PHEV. I’ve since learned that even people I know who normally have little interest in new cars ask questions about the practicalities of PHEV life. But plenty of my friends who change their cars frequently have formed opinions about electric and hybrid cars – sometimes misguided opinions.

It strikes me that there must be a great opportunity for franchised dealers and manufacturers to lead a proper consumer education initiative. Take a long-term view. Many of your customers (and staff) will be driving new powertrains in two model cycles’ time, whether or not they currently like the idea. Enlighten them. We need to start building the desire now. Persuading people to change their beliefs takes time.

The NFDA has launched the government-backed Electric Vehicle Approved (EVA) scheme, supported by OLEV and the Energy Saving Trust, to help set EV experts apart. Dealers, you should find customer
advocates too. Let them counter the criticism.

So what if I cannot get 30 miles out of town without the Outlander’s petrol engine kicking in? I know I’ll first drive almost silently past my kids’ school without pumping out more particulates for them to breathe in at playtime. And the more people that can do the same, the better.

Isn’t that worth some effort?

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