Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Driving Down the Electric Avenue

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Driving Down the Electric Avenue

Article excerpt

I HAVE moved house, something probably about as interesting to you the colour of my socks. But bear with me. My new home has a socket, not the one for the whole property of course otherwise it would be useless for my collection of antique hair dryers. No it has an outside power source. Which mean I can enjoy the green relief of driving electric cars, something previously restricted to the charge it came with.

About enough to get to the pub. I had considered using the extension lead for my lawn mower but according to an electrician friend I risked at best constantly tripping the consumer board and at worst a Three Mile Islandstyle meltdown. This is the main drawback of the electric car. Not everyone has a suitable home charging option or indeed a small wheel and a suitably energetic rodent to drive around with them. As for public charging points they are still scarce as bat's glasses. To celebrate being able to join the right-on ampsters of electric avenue I have been driving Mitsubishi's plugin hybrid Outlander, the PHEV, a good sized 4x4 which offers the option of tackling challenging country slopes by two-litre petrol power or with the silence of the lambs. We should get the nitty-gritty over with first because the PHEV is much the same as any other Outlander to look at inside and out and you will be keen to know just how its three-way power split works. The GX4hs trim costs PS35,000 with grant and while it retains the functional feel of all Outlander cabins it is comfortable.

Eerily soon electric power only. Speed is not the point, 62mph comes up in 11 seconds via a CVT automatic gearbox. Practicality is a bigger seller; loads of space, seven seats fully equipped right down to the sat nav and powered tailgate. Most of the safety and convenience features you know about from more soot-stained versions. …

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