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

March 19, 2021

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/

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