The plug-in petrol-electric Mitsubishi Outlander, the only vehicle of its type in New Zealand, has joined the list of vehicles approved for use by government fleets.
The hybrid SUV (above) is the latest to be added to the ‘All of Government’ catalogue of 87 vehicle types from seven carmakers: Toyota, Mitsubishi, Ford, Holden, Hyundai, Mazda, and Suzuki. The seven supply more than 250 government agencies.
Three petrol-electric hybrids are now on the Government list, but the Outlander is the only plug-in variant, meaning its battery pack can be charged at appointed charge stations or at home, or via its petrol engine while on the move. The two other hybrids use only their petrol engines to charge the battery pack.
Mitsubishi Motors NZ fleet sales manager Tony Johnston said the Outlander PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle) mostly “drives on low-cost electricity, recharging its batteries from the grid when stationary and, when necessary, from its petrol engine”.
“The car’s range per tank is typically a thousand kilometres or more, so it’s eminently suitable for intercity driving as well as urban use. The one I drive sees a petrol station once a month at most”, Johnston said.
The government’s latest vehicle contract goes through to June 2020 and is based on the total cost of ownership over five years/100,000km. It is future-proofed to include hybrids and electric vehicles.
Said Johnston: “Total cost of ownership isn’t something the average motorist worries about overmuch, but when you’re managing a big fleet it’s a very big part of the decision-making process. In the case of the public sector we’re talking a very large fleet, with potentially millions of dollars to be saved”.
The seven government suppliers must offer a minimum three-year/100,000km warranty, an extended four-year/100,000km option, a service plan, and a roadside assistance plan. Passenger vehicles must have a five-star crash safety rating and light commercials a four-star rating.
Toyota is the biggest contributor to the government fleet with 28 vehicle types, followed by Mitsubishi with 15 and Mazda and Holden with 12 each. Holden is the only supplier in the ‘specialist’ category – police vehicles and ministerial limousines.
Toyota supplies 5 passenger cars and 23 light commercials; Mitsubishi 8 cars and 7 commercials; Mazda 3 cars and 9 commercials; Ford 3 cars and 4 commercials; Hyundai 5 cars and 2 commercials; Suzuki 2 cars and 4 commercials; Holden 6 cars and 6 ‘special’ vehicles.