In the fleet frame
Mitsubishi is looking to attract company car drivers with its new plug-in hybrid Outlander SUV, which it says can save employees and companies many thousands of pounds.
The new car, which uses a suite of batteries to give it a 30 mile range and four-wheel drive ability before a 2.0-litre petrol engine kicks in, is rated at 44g/km of CO2, and crucially has little price premium over the diesel version, unlike the Volvo V60 PHEV which costs nearly £45,000 after the Government grant.
The entry level Outlander starts at £28,249 after the grant, and with 5% BiK to pay, no congestion charge, no VED, 100% write down allowance in the first year and lowered NICs, managing director Lance Bradley believes the firm have a good chance of attracting fleets.
‘Higher rate tax payers could only pay just over £600 a year in tax for an Outlander, and that could be a saving over three years of £7,000-11,000 in tax over many of its rivals,’ he said. ‘It’s a game changer for us, and the fact there is no compromise on cabin or boot space and the range of up to 32 miles, means that for many drivers it could be the perfect company car. We’re very excited about the opportunities for the car, and are actively talking to fleets about the possibilities for it.’
The Outlander has an official combined MPG of 148mpg, although in real world conditions Mitsubishi are saying that drivers who regularly do more than around 100 miles a day may be better off with a diesel option. However, with the ability to charge at work and overnight, commuters may hardly use any petrol.
Residuals have been predicted at the same level as the diesel version, and Bradley is happy about that.
‘One of the messages we’re trying to get across about this car is that although it is a plug-in hybrid, it should be treated as just another SUV. It’s not odd, or unusual, or a risk, in any way so for the RV guides to have given a figure the same as the diesel is very pleasing for us.’
Quick Driving Verdict
‘The Outlander PHEV is one of the most significant cars to launch in the UK this year: good EV range, smooth changeover to petrol when needed and with no feeling that you’re driving anything out of the ordinary. For company car drivers looking for a vehicle around £30,000, this has to be a major consideration now. And the price has laid down a gauntlet to the rest of the EV makers to start selling their cars at real world prices. The Outlander PHEV was launched as FW goes to press. For a full review, see next month’s issue.’ Steve Moody