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Western Power has begun its transition to a low-emission light fleet with the leasing of Mitsubishi Outlander hybrids.

The WP light fleet travels 30 million kilometres ever year due to the company’s extensive electricity network, covering over 255,000 km.sq.

The armada of top-spec Outlander Exceed plug-in SUVs will maintain their 5-star ANCAP safety rating into next year when the body moves to EuroNCAP standards enforcing autonomous emergency braking (AEB) for five stars.

They also come with driver emergency call and location technology which notifies a central contact point at any time a safety concern arises on the job. The system automatically notifies the Western Power safety team in the event of an accident.

WP Fleet Team Leader Tim Roberts said this state-of-the-art feature will help keep their drivers safe in a desolate, remote workplace.

“This technology allows driver to notify us any time, any place if there is a safety concern and we can respond quickly,” he said.

With the fuel savings and flexible leasing program, WP expects to save the community and its bottom line about $38 million in the next five years.

“Leasing, rather than buying vehicles, keeps us lean as a business,” Roberts added. “We can upscale and downscale as we need to make sure we’ve always got the right vehicle for the job.”

Outlander PHEV offers Western Power the advantage of both an ordinary AC mains connection or a new DC fast charge socket that allows a full charge in about 20 minutes.

“The Outlanders plug into a standard power point for easy charging. they combine fuel and battery technology to reduce our emissions footprint.”

Using the standard AC outlet, a full charge from empty takes 6.5 hours overnight offering emission-free driving to WP drivers with a combined fuel economy cycle (based on ADR 81/02 lab tests) of 1.7l/100km according to Mitsubishi Australia.

The AWD Outlander PHEV also allows for three driving modes using either the standalone electric motors  and battery (albeit with a short range), the electric system in series with the petrol drivetrain or using both systems in parallel.

The Outlander also comes with a reversing camera and sensors on both spec levels, and collision avoidance features also include lane departure warning and adaptive cruise on top-spec Exceed.