It’s been over a year since the Honda Fit EV hit the market, and although sales have been decent, Honda has limited the Fit EV to select markets in California. Yes, the Fit EV is currently a compliance vehicle – built by Honda in order to satisfy the California Air and Resource Board requirements that a certain percentage of vehicle sales be zero emissions vehicles. Plug-in hybrid vehicles are increasing in popularity. That may seem strange to Fit EV enthusiasts, but there are some interesting points to bring up.

As more plug-in vehicles become available, it is becoming increasingly obvious that people aren’t willing to commit to a fully electric vehicle. Enter the plug-in hybrid vehicle. These are vehicles that operate like a hybrid vehicle, but have the option to charge a small battery pack (small compared to a full electric vehicle) by plugging the vehicle in. This battery pack allows the vehicle to operate like a fully electric vehicle for a short distance (20-30 miles usually).

The upcoming Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is one of these vehicles. First going on sale in January 2013 in Japan, it has been selling like hot cakes. It is the world’s first plug-in hybrid 4 wheel drive capable vehicle, and it is also the first plug-in hybrid SUV.

Set to go on sale in early 2014 in the US, the Outlander PHEV is a vehicle to keep an eye on.

View the Outlander PHEV forum to see what owners are saying.