So its been a long while since I felt the need to share my experiences with the Outlander PHEV. A work colleague/friend of mine was asking some probing questions which has prompted me to do a better write up rather than a few sentences by text message.
Overall I am very happy with the PHEV although coming from a German brand, there a many little annoyances you have to live with which the German attention to detail have resolved many moons ago.
The example that comes to mind immediately is the closing of windows when the ignition is off. You can’t. You have to switch the car back on, then close the windows, then switch the car back off, a first world problem I know, but still annoying (unless I am missing something). There are few other examples but nothing you can’t get used to, but still easily fixed with a software update.
The question my colleague asked is in regards to charging in public. He was giving me a lift to North City Mitsubishi Chingford which I have found has better transport links than Mack at Chelmsford. (The reason for the visit is a pending topic for another blog post to follow soon). On the way he was asking a few questions and when there had a good look around the cars new and second hand. The next day he seemed to have done some research and wanted to know more about charging in public.
I can’t count the number of times I have planned my journey to incorporate a stop at a charge station only to be let down for various reasons. For example my Source card not covering the area or finding a Range Rover Sport parked in the electric bay at Ikea or at the motorway services with a multiple broken down chargers or even something as innocent as A Nissan leaf using the only charge point. The last example I am more than happy to sacrifice a top up for a more committed green warrior than myself – maximum respect to anyone who ventures out the front door having to rely on finding a working charge point or waiting for a car swap out which I understand Nissan do if you run out of juice.
I end up find myself having conversations trying to not get annoyed by the state of the public chargers. Why do Ikea make it a premium parking spot? Surely if it was away from the front door stashed on the peripheries of the site then the self important and decorum-free mob, which seem to judge you on how expensive you car is, would not choose to park in the charging bays.
aaaaand,,,,, breathe….. In conclusion my opinion is that charging in public is nothing more than a public inconvenience.
So back to my friend, he suggested he was going to charge his car in public only, I made sure he did not base any purchase on this premise. The only viable way I would recommend using an all electric car or even PHEV is if you have a driveway and have a charging point installed. Apparently the home chargers are no longer free and cost between £200- £300, so c’mon Baz stop being tight and charge it on your driveway.
I usually try to include a picture of some sort so will add a shot of the next non-electric car parked in an electric bay.