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Mitsubishi has claimed the Government could “significantly advance” its Road to Zero ambition if it were to incentivise drivers to take on plug-in hybrids.

The Japanese manufacturer around half of an average week’s mileage could be covered on electric power alone following a survey of Outlander PHEV owners.

It said that while Outlander PHEV owners’ average weekly mileage was 179.2 miles, an average of 90.6 miles are driven in EV mode each week, where the car is being driven only by its batteries and electric motors.

Mitsubishi reacted angrily when the Government withdrew its Plug-in Car Grant support for PHEVs last November and this research was released a day after registration statistics showed the number of zero-emission capable PHEVs registered in the first four months of 2019 had fallen by a third compared with the same period in 2018.

And Mitsubishi stressed the advantage of a plug-in hybrid meant that drivers are “overcoming the issues facing pure electric vehicles for the immediate future; those of limited electric range, relatively long charging times and the nascent nature of the charging infrastructure in the UK.”

Plug-In Hybrid Badge

However, the firm added: “Plug-in hybrid vehicles have an additional benefit in that they help familiarise consumers with electric vehicles, providing the perfect segue to a pure electric future. In fact, the survey reveals that 25% of current Outlander PHEV owners surveyed are most likely to consider a pure electric vehicle for their next purchase.”

The survey also found that 90% of Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV owners questioned charge their vehicles at least two to three times per week, with 68% charging every day, while its findings showed that 97% of Outlander PHEV owners normally charge their vehicles at home with 23% using public charging points.

Crucially, Mitsubishi said, this goes against the misconception that PHEVs hog public charging points and prevent pure EVs from being able to be recharged.