The blog describes our trips and experiences towing a Goldstream Crown camper around with our Mitsubishi Outlander Plug in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV).

Monday, February 20, 2017

Castlemaine to home.

We fully charged the PHEV overnight. We intended to stay around for most of Sunday but impending rain saw us pack up, hitch up and go in search of a late breakfast/lunch.

(This picture taken when we arrived and it was sunny.)

I left our site and immediately hit "save". Shortly after the battery range was around 37km (we normally see 48km when not towing).

We stopped for lunch and when we restarted, I allowed the PHEV to run battery powered until the range got down to around 15km again - then hit "save". This time it gradually dropped to 10km then stayed there.
The trip home involved a drop of about 500 meters overall for the 150km trip. We still had 10km remaining when we backed into our driveway at home - I should have used the battery energy but I wanted some spare.

Since it was just plain cold on Sunday, my better half had the heater on for the entire trip home. Her side was set to 25 degrees. It was anywhere from 11 to 14 degrees outside. Since our PHEV is the standard ZJ (not Aspire), we don't have engine coolant heating so it was all electric. While it subtracted 10km off the electric range (when the aircon button was pressed) I don't believe it impacted the overall economy much.

The trip home showed us 10.6 l/100km petrol usage. (The trip to Castlemaine used 11.1 l/100km). I'm really happy with that petrol consumption (a bit of battery help notwithstanding). The Super Snipe would have used over 20 l/100km going up the Calder. Other folks have quoted similar figures towing up the Calder in modern 4WDs.

Now the interesting bits.

Using the Info->Trip vehicle energy flow graphic (not ours) and the Power meter on the left of the speedo cluster (below), the following observations were made.

The power meter (left gauge) has a 90 degree wide section of the dial coloured green. I'll call the point where it transitions from Charge to Eco (blue to green), 0 degrees. Needle vertical I'll call 90 degrees.

(These picture are not from our PHEV.)
All the following observations were made at 100km/h on cruise control (so my foot didn't mess it around to much - the hills provide the slow moving input). Save or Charge didn't appear to matter.

At 100 km/h the motor is coupled to the front wheels in all cases.
From 0 to 40 (or 45) degrees (power meter needle) the motor also charges the battery - very slowly.
From 45 to around 60 degrees the battery is not used or charged at all.
From 60 degrees up, the battery is called upon to help run the vehicle.

This changes if you slow down. The speed at which the following takes place varies depending on the size of the hill (the load).
So at slower speeds (~=80km/h) or higher power demand, the motor uncouples from the front wheels, starts reving a lot and confines itself to running the generator. The wheels are then powered from the battery/generator. Essentially it becomes a CVT. This strategy appears to be because the motor can not provide as much generator power at lower revs (I'm guessing about 2500-2600RPM for 100km/h while the engine is coupled to the front wheels) so is better off un-coupling from the wheels and running the generator at higher RPM.

I'd love to know what the generator power is - I can't appear to find anything about it - I suspect 60kw.

I'll be using this blog to log ODO and petrol fillups from now on so:
First ever fill ODO13228
Castlemaine: ODO 13699, 26.44 L(Unl91).

Caravan distance: ~300km

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