Mastering winter electrically - the Mitsubishi Plug-in Hybrid Outlander in the endurance test

AutoHub tests the Mitsubishi Outlander plug-in hybrid in everyday life. Range, reliability of technology and benefits - we look very closely!

It's the third winter we'll experience with the plug-in Hybrid Outlander. While in the summer the petrol engine is often silent, the daily routine is 90% for the plug-in Hybrid Outlander a purely electric, it changes in the cold months. Is that good or bad?

How do you drive electrically in winter and when does it no longer make sense?

The Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-in Hybrid with its combination of a 121 HP petrol engine and the two 82 HP electric motors could be exactly the right solution for purely electric winter operation, if, yes, if the petrol engine fails in winter. But as soon as it gets cold, the plug-in hybrid Outlander starts its gasoline engine earlier and more often. And there is a good reason for that.

19-21 ° is the normal average interior temperature for many drivers. It makes you feel good, you do not need winter boots, no thick jackets and scarf and gloves can stay out of the way. However, to achieve this 19-20 °, you need to heat properly. And here we come to the point of the logic of operation that has been taught to the PHEV Outlander, which ensures that in winter the petrol engine also starts when the batteries are actually still full.

The heating would draw 7 kW - if you did not use the waste heat from the petrol engine. 7 kW for warm feet and hands. 7 kW missing from the propulsion. And: it is operational protection for the engine. Starting the engine for the first time heats the engine oil. Wear protection for winter operation. The scenario is clear: drive off with a cold engine (frost?), Purely electric to the highway and then kick-down to accelerate? You may be able to do that, but it makes more sense to give the engine the opportunity to warm up. And exactly these two processes are handled by the operating strategy of the PHEV Outlander at low temperatures. The engine generates more than enough waste heat to warm the interior and at the same time the periphery of the engine warms up. Water and oil circuit. As soon as a load is demanded, the engine does not have to deliver the power from the cold shock.

The 2017 model year will bring a change in strategy. A “pure EV” button will be added. Will that also change operations in winter? We will have to test that, there are no statements on this yet. If you still want to drive electrically to the maximum, because you also know, for example, that you do not need full load and will not wake the petrol engine from its hibernation, you have to pay attention to the following with the 2013-2016 models:

So the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV drives purely electrically in winter:

Method 1: Heating, air conditioning completely off. If you park your vehicle in a garage in winter, you will be able to live with this method. As long as the heater and the entire air-conditioning system fails, the Outlander PHEV drives purely electrically. The seat heating here ensures a little heat. However, this solution is not ideal. Depending on how warm you are packed yourself, depending on the weather, the windows fog quite quickly.

Method 2: I prefer method 2 much better and we used it that way. The auxiliary heating works electrically. With the software update in winter 2015, the preheating time for the interior was increased from 10 minutes to 20 and optionally 30 minutes. With a preheating time of 30 minutes, we got the vehicle completely free of ice even in the harshest winter, the interior was properly preheated and, depending on the temperature, we were able to run the air conditioning. If the interior is preheated enough, the engine will not start even if the air conditioning is switched on. Because it was the heater that wanted to warm up the cabin with the waste heat from the gasoline engine.

With the now possible pre-heating time of up to 30 minutes, this reaction is eliminated, the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV can be moved purely electrically in winter. The absolute minimum distance was here, with use of light and heating and snow-covered road at 19 kilometers.

[= ””]Do You Have Questions? Comments or wishes for our long-term test vehicle? Write us! 

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