Even if it is not available in the United States, Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-in Hybrid is doing really well in Europe and Japan, more than 33,000 models having been sold around the world.
Mitsubishi has delivered 15,000 vehicles in Japan and 18,000 cars in Europe. According to Fuminori Kojima, Mitsubishi Motors North America’s senior manager of incentives, the most sales were made in Netherlands, where 6,000 units were purchased partly because of the generous incentives for plug-in hybrids there.
The Outlander PHEV requires at least 95 octane of unleaded fuel, which means 91 octane premium fuel in the U.S. Rumor has it that the US version of this car will be completely different. The Outlander has a 12-kWh battery and should have an EV range of around 30 miles. It is yet undecided whether it will have a CHAdeMO fast-charging port in the United States, and also if it is going to have a 3.3 or 6.6 kW onboard charger.
Kojima said that the Outlander will arrive in the United States in October or November 2015 as it still needs to be tested and homologated for the U.S. The real problem remains though that Mitsubishi cannot build enough cars. “The battery production is limited. So that’s why, the first focus is the domestic market and Europe showed more demand. We’d like to have it in the U.S. as soon as possible.” Another thing is that Europe does not only have better incentives, but also the charging infrastructure is more built up in Europe.
Since the new breed was introduced in 2010, overall plug-in vehicle sales have doubled. Last year, almost 50,000 were sold in Europe, with Renault Zoe EV, Outlander PHEV and Volvo V60 Plug-in making the top 3.
By Gabriela Florea