EV / Hybrid / PHEV Tips N Tricks

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EV / Hybrid / PHEV Tips N Tricks

Postby pfennigcat » Wed May 09, 2018 2:37 pm

I'm using a 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV as my tow vehicle. This is the first model year offered in the USA, but has been used in the EU and elsewhere for years. Despite being a plugin electric vehicle, it actually has a 1500 lb (1500 kg in the EU) official tow rating. Plenty to tow my whale: http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=40&t=70281

I wanted to start this thread to discuss electrical tips/tricks with the Outlander PHEV and other PHEVs / EVs as TVs. For example I think I will likely be pretty exclusively using 115v with my trailer because of my choice of TV. Of course, with my trailer there isn't a lot of electricity needed.... but I'll use standard 115v string lights when camping, 115v fans for cooling. I may even eventually add a 5k BTU AC with hose connections, run off the car when there's no hookup available.

2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV
Official Details:
  • 1500 lb tow rating (USA), over twice that in EU
  • 12 kWh drive battery, 300v
  • 12 hour charge with L1 charger, 4 hours with L2 charger, or 20 mins to 80% charge with a DC fast charger
  • Built in 1500w inverter pulling from main battery (not the 12v accessory battery), only in GT trim
  • The EU 7 pin wiring harness has an always-on 12v power source, even if the car is off.
  • - Unclear if this pulls from the very small 12v accessory battery or from the main drive battery (former seems likely)
  • - Unclear if US model has an easy 12v mod
  • The Japanese model (only) can actually hook up to house circuit as an emergency generator in case of blackouts
  • The car must be "on" (drive mode) for the inverter to function.
  • The electronic parking brake must be 'on' when putting the car in drive mode to run the inverter else the running lights will also be on and consuming power (who wants to go camping with their headlights on all the time?).
  • The engine will automatically start and charge the battery for about 3 minutes if it gets too low due to the inverter. This repeats every ten to fifteen minutes (depends on load I'm sure -- I had a resistance heater plugged in to suck the watts for testing).
  • Once the car is "on" (drive mode) to act as a big automatic generator, you don't need to keep the key in the car. It'll just beep at you when you take it out but will keep acting as a generator.
  • If you arrive at your destination with low battery, there is a Charge mode which will run the engine to charge the battery more fully (to avoid the short cycling of the engine to keep low levels of battery power)

Are there similar capabilities in any other EV/PHEVs available today that can tow a tiny trailer and contribute electrically rather than just with motive force? Anyone towing with a Prius Plugin/Prime, Volt, Mini all4, Kia Niro, Volvo XC90 PHEV, Ford CMAX energi, BMW xDrive40e, Chrysler Pacifica hybrid or similar with tips to share?
I _think_ the Pacifica, Volvo, CMax, and Niro are closest to the Outlander as far as battery capacity goes (most PHEVs are much lower at this time), but I don't know if they have the ability to act as a generator / power source for trailer camping.
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Re: EV / Hybrid / PHEV Tips N Tricks

Postby pfennigcat » Fri Jun 29, 2018 11:27 am

Towed from Austin to Durango CO, and back down to Ruidoso nicely. To be honest, didn't need to use the caRs electrical capabilites really since we camped in RV spots with electrical service (charged the TV overnight each time!).

Except that one time...... within a few miles of home, somewhere, the whale's top hatch blew off (my fault, not properly latched and I didn't check). It was recovered by friends luckily, and didn't hurt anyone or anything. But Wee Frilly had a big hole in her head :(. Stopped at the next home despot, got a piece of 1/8 ply cut to size in the store.... bought a $30 drill and was able to craft a new hatch in the parking lot using the car for juice. Probably could have found a plug they'd let us use, but it was still pretty awesome. Even covered it in blue duct tape so it looked intentional :R
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