ITV tunes in to Plug-in Hybrids

UK commercial television network ITV has added 4 plug-in hybrid electric vehicles to its outside broadcasting fleet (OB), beaming images back to the studios of the Good Morning Britain and This Morning programmes.

The broadcaster’s ITV Studios Daytime division is using the specially converted Mitsubishi Outlander PHEVs, their first hybrid vehicles and all have been tailored to its bespoke specification by Mitsubishi Special Vehicle Operations (MSVO).

ITV also believes its new Mitsubishis to be the first vehicles of their size and type to be equipped with an auto-pointing satellite dish, which works to detect and pull an internet signal into the on-board transmission equipment in areas where there is weak or non-existent coverage.

As ITV’s pioneering ‘Sat Car’ concept, which has been made possible due to new technology making the on-board transmission equipment smaller. The petrol/electric hybrid SUVs replace the traditional diesel ‘Sat Truck’ and, more recently, ‘Sat Van’ that the broadcaster has previously used.

The improved efficiency and environmental benefits of the Outlanders help the broadcaster drive to be more environmentally-friendly across all aspects of its business, spanning reusable drink containers right through to the use of low emission vehicles.

The expertise of MSVO also played a major role in ITV’s decision. Working with ITV’s system integrator BWS (Broadcast Wireless Systems), each Mitsubishi is equipped with a roof-mounted, auto-pointing Cobham satellite dish, power invertor, split charging system and a selection of audio-visual and communications kit. Completing each vehicle is magnetic programme branding.

From the initial placing of the order to ITV taking delivery of the completed vehicles took only four weeks.

Tim Guilder, Technology Manager, ITV Studios Daytime, said:

“With ITV Studios Daytime requiring its own mini fleet of OB vehicles and with us keen to develop the more efficient ‘Sat Car’ concept, the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV was the perfect choice.

At initial discussions we did consider rival hybrid vehicles, but the Outlander PHEV really stood out and we knew it would be able to handle all our kit and the challenging driving conditions that our crews sometimes face. Also, only Mitsubishi really understood what we wanted to achieve and had the in-house resources to perform our essential modifications.”

He continued: “Feedback from the camera crews has been excellent. They’re finding the Mitsubishis to be very comfortable and many have commented on the sheer amount of equipment that can be carried and how, unlike with some of our previous vehicles, the roof-mounted satellite dish doesn’t affect the handling.”

The PHEV offers a choice of six versions – 3h, Juro, 4h, 4hs, 5h and 5hs – and costs from £32,305 OTR. There is also a dedicated commercial version.

The Founder of driveEV. A driving and new technology fan enjoying learning all about the future of motoring. I drive a BMW i3.