Every night around 9 p.m., Terry Krech sets out in her Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV to deliver an essential service to Twin Cities-area residents, and returns home around 3 a.m.
She gives them a sober, safe and comfortable ride, a sounding board if they want to talk or a smooth jazz soundtrack if they do not, and keeps the streets safe for another night. If you ask her, she has found her calling in life – her dream job.
If you ask her partner, children and grandchildren, she is a hero. If you ask her passengers, well, she maintains a five-star rating, so she must be doing something right.
In two short years, Terry racked up 160,000 miles in her 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, driving between 150-250 miles each day, averaging 35 MPG, and providing more than 10,000 rides.
Why stop at 160,000 miles? She recently traded in her PHEV for a newer model, a 2019 PHEV, at White Bear Mitsubishi in White Bear, Minnesota, Terry talked about her PHEV experience.
You say you have found your calling. Tell us about that.
Terry: I like to think that I have a purpose in my life and that is to help people get home safely. I mainly drive between 9 p.m. and 3 a.m., because that’s when people need rides the most. I will say that it requires patience – and a sense of humor – but I have both! I worked as closing-shift manager for a drive-through, fast-food restaurant for almost 20 years. Been there, done that… had a few sandwiches thrown in my face!
What is your most memorable experience in the PHEV?
Terry: Once, right around 5,500 rides, I picked up a group of guys in their mid-twenties, who were out having a good time. I like to listen to a local jazz station while driving. I find it relaxes people who are just coming out of a loud bar and may have been over-served. Anyway, one of them asked me to turn it up. Turns out, he had never listened to jazz music, and man, did it blow his mind. I said, “what do you mean? It’s jazz, man!” For the full 12-minute ride, we listened and laughed and had a great time. Best ride ever.
You don’t consider yourself to be tech-savvy. You don’t even own a laptop. What drew you to an electric vehicle?
Terry: This is my full-time job, so fuel economy and efficiency are important to me. I typically get 35 MPG, often 38-40 MPG. I track everything in my notebook – expenses, dates, times, distances. I can switch back and forth between eco mode, battery-save mode, and battery-charge mode using the regenerative braking system, just by clicking buttons. That makes it easy (and fun) to operate, even for me. Reliability is also important to me, and electric motors tend to last a long time.
And why the Mitsubishi PHEV specifically?
Terry: I feel incredibly safe in the vehicle, especially in the snow. I regularly get compliments about the car from my riders.
But you only had your PHEV for two years. What prompted the trade-in?
Terry: I think my first PHEV could have made it to 600,000 miles! But the guys at White Bear Mitsubishi – shout out to Dave K.! – gave me the chance to get into a new model at almost the same payment, so I took him up on the offer.
I picked up my 2019 on my birthday. They gave me a cake and sang and everything!
On sale early this year, the 2021 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV will see major revisions, highlighted by a completely new powertrain, and a host of updates to each trim level. The updated internal combustion engine has increased displacement and greater horsepower, and the larger and more refined electric drive system offers greater all-electric range and speed of operation.
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