What Fuels You: An Electric Road Trip & Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Review

Erika Gilsdorf, an award-winning international video producer, has been traveling solo around the U.S. in a Mitsubishi Outlander plug-in electric hybrid as part of a project called What Fuels You: An Electric Road Trip. This video series aims to compile interviews, stories, and experiences about the people and projects responsible for driving positive change for the planet. By sharing these feel-good photos, videos, posts, and conversations, Erika hopes to educate and inspire others to enact change in their own ways. 

This is Erika’s first time embarking on a solo road trip and the first time she’ll be driving an electric vehicle. Even more exciting – she’ll be towing and living in a 120 sq. ft. tiny home for the entire trip! To support her journey, she’s backed by the What Fuels You team and is partnering with The National Wildlife Refuge Association (and featuring wildlife refuges along the way) and the Center for Responsible Travel.

Erika started her adventure in the fall of 2020 in Minnesota. Since then, she’s driven to the Pacific Northwest and traveled down the coast and into Nevada and Arizona. Most recently, she’s made it to Colorado, where we met and spoke with her about her experience driving and charging an electric vehicle.

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Erika has been driving a Mitsubishi Outlander SUV plug-in electric hybrid (PHEV). She chose this car because of its 1500 lb. towing capacity for her tiny home and due to the potential lack of charging infrastructure around certain parts of the U.S., including remote areas where most Wildlife Refuges exist. It has a 74 mpge total range, has 4WD, is very comfortable, and has an array of great safety features. Erika also remarked that it feels safe, is fun to drive, and is customizable to your individual needs. This car was also recommended by the Lung Association in Minnesota and is affordable for everyday people at a starting price of $36,295, an aspect crucial to electric vehicle adoption. 

Erika in front of her Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV which tows her tiny home (Garden of the Gods, Colorado Springs)
The inside of Erika's 120 sq. ft. tiny home

Charging has been simple, too. Even though Erika’s never charged an EV before, she’s found it straightforward and has taken advantage of ChargePoint’s charging app to find fast chargers along the road. Plus, the Outlander syncs ChargePoint to Apple CarPlay for hands-free charging location assist. When charging, it’s the same amount of time she would’ve stopped for gas and to rest before her next long stretch of driving. The car charges fully in 25 minutes on a DC fast charger and while charging stations were easy to come by along the west coast, Erika noted the lack of charging infrastructure in Arizona and Nevada. When we spoke with her, she hadn’t charged in Colorado yet, but planned to charge in Denver and Boulder, two locations with an abundance of charging options. After Colorado, Erika will drive through the Rockies, then go Southeast in the spring, the Midwest next summer, and will finish the series in the Northeast. 

Because of her great EV driving experience, Erika told us she will never buy a gas car again! The knowledge that you can drive emissions-free, charge frequently (and for free) from renewable energy sources, and get an electric vehicle for a comparable price to non-EVs on the market was enough to sway her decision. Erika said EVs are “fun, quiet, and cool” and we agree! Do you plan to drive electric? If so, take the pledge

For more information about What Fuels You: An Electric Road Trip, go here. Follow along with Erika’s journey by reading her blog. If you have a story you want to share or have additional questions, contact her and the team here

Check out their social media channels: 

Website:  https://www.whatfuelsyouusa.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/whatfuelsyouUSA

YouTube:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgOjNEdhr7Nj7b_Ur_6zjcQ

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/whatfuelsyouusa/