Is the Mitsubishi Outlander Setting the Stage For a Transition to EVs

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The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, or plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, has been very successful overseas, and has had some success stateside as well. Recently entered into the 2020 Rebelle Rally, the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV will be making history with the first year the Rally set up a round for hybrid and electric vehicles to recognize and honor the highest-finishing battery-powered electric vehicle (BEV) and hybrid or plug-in hybrid electric vehicle in each car segment. Some automotive publications call PHEVs the perfect transition vehicle for going electric, and with such success behind the Outlander PHEV, many wonder if Mitsubishi will return to all-electric vehicles one day.

According to a recent survey conducted by Kadence International in the United Kingdom (UK), 1,035 Mitsubishi drivers agree that a plug-in hybrid has changed their mind about vehicles that need to occasionally recharge, and are a great midway point to purchasing an all-electric vehicle. The total group was made up of three categories, with 48-percent of Outlander PHEV drivers who considered the PHEV to be an electric vehicle (EV), 9-percent of ICE drivers considering making the switch to an all-electric vehicle. 23-percent of drivers considered a PHEV, but the main concern isn’t actually needing to recharge – it’s driving range.

“This latest research reinforces the fact that PHEVs are a gateway to an all-EV future. Consumers still harbour concerns about pure electric vehicle range, affordability and relying on the nascent nature of the charging infrastructure in the UK, all of which can be addressed by PHEVs while these issues are resolved over time. In the interim, PHEVs can help both the industry and government make an immediate impact on climate change and air quality, especially in urban areas, and speed up the acceptance of electrified vehicles” – Rob Lindley, Managing Director of Mitsubishi Motors in the UK

Let’s look at some stats. The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV was last recorded with an all-electric range of 22 miles should the driver rely on just the electric motor. If using both, the electric motor and 2.0-liter 4-cylinder, drivers get nearly 75 MPGe (miles per gallon equivalent for PHEVs), and a total range of 310 miles. It’s in no way bad, but it could be better. Last we heard about the Outlander PHEV, a Nissan platform was going to be used, or Nissan technology, to improve the vehicle in the coming years. Thanks to Mitsubishi Motors being a part of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, the automaker gets to share some of the new tech being developed.

At the same time, During the 2019 Geneva International Motor Show, Mitsubishi showed off its newest concept, the Engelberg Tourer. Said to replace the Outlander PHEV altogether, the Engelberg Tourer was expected to provide drivers with an all-electric range of 43 miles and a total range of 434 miles. It’s a large improvement, but is it enough? With some PHEVs able to drive up to 500 miles, the Engelberg Tourer is close to the competition, but it may not be enough to drive EV sales. The last EV to come from Mitsubishi was the i-MiEV, now discontinued in the U.S. The i-MiEV was the first all-electric vehicle in the world to be highway capable, so Mitsubishi definitely had something there, but the U.S. was not yet ready to give up internal combustion engines.

With the new technology available to Mitsubishi Motors, a new electric vehicle is possible, but the Engelberg Tourer is more likely. Could it be the new C/D segment car coming from Mitsubishi? We’ll find out soon enough. Follow along with us on Miami Lakes Mitsubishi social media. Curious about the Outlander PHEV? Ask us about at-home test drives.

Photo Source/Copyright: MitsubishiCars.com

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