Mitsubishi Motors Corp (MMC) has been pretty quiet lately. Pre-Coronavirus, lots of automotive companies were working on new technology and mobility projects to get ready for the next step to take in the automotive industry after alternative fuel vehicles and self-driving autonomous cars. A mobile ecosystem is next on the list, offering every consumer some form of transportation. All of that took a step back when COVID-19 shut down automotive manufacturing plants for months, and the reduction in sales automakers forced many of them to shelve new concepts and tech development and focus on releasing new vehicles. With Renault and Nissan behind Mitsubishi Motors in the Renault-Nissan-Alliance, the sister company, Mitsubishi Electric, is able to stay focused on its tasks – like the construction of possibly the world’s first net zero-energy building (ZEB).
The 2020 Consumer Electronics Show is one of the most sought after exhibits every year, and because it takes place so early in the year (January 7-10, 2020), consumers are able to get a good look at appliances, electronics, products, and technologies soon coming to the market. Simultaneously, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) also attracts many automakers looking to show off their new tech and features coming soon to new models. One automotive corporation, in particular, Mitsubishi Motors Corp, tends to show up to CES 2020 with their sister company Mitsubishi Electric. After the recent partnership betweenMitsubishi Motors Corp and MaaS Global Oy, we’re seeing a lot of interesting concepts from Mitsubishi Electric at CES 2020.
Mobility for Everyone
The core of the partnership between MMC and MaaS Global Oy is to create an ecosystem of mobility where every consumer has access to some form of private or public transportation. MaaS Global already has a handle on that with its Whim app in Finland – consumers can sign up for various plans that will give them access to buses, trams, taxis, cars, bicycles, and more transportation services. Working on self-driving and autonomous technology, one interesting concept from MMC and MaaS Global is personal mobile living spaces. On the outside, they look like windowless vans, but on the inside, it can be a miniature office or living room. The vehicle drives itself with the use of a radar and camera fusion piloting system that helps it recognize other cars, pedestrians, and bicyclists, and puts together the best routes to avoid obstacles in real-time.
With 2019 closing out, things are starting to wind down. Automakers have been having many celebrations with all the award shows and “Best of” lists that have been going on. Some automakers are already preparing for 2020 and beyond. One of these would be Mitsubishi Motors, having spent most of 2019 presenting concept after concept, device after device. The automaker had some of its own successes in 2019 as well, and most recently was named an innovator for the eco-friendly house displayed at the 2019 Geneva International Motor Show, theDendo Drive House.
In a nutshell, the Dendo Drive House (DDH) is a self-sustaining home. The DDH is the first system designed to make use of renewable energy for a cleaner, greener ecosystem while also fulfilling the needs of the everyday consumer at home. An entire house powered via electricity converted from solar energy collected via solar panels equipped around the building. Plus, through the use of a bi-directional charger, the house can recharge the battery of a plug-in hybrid in the garage and use that as a backup generator if the house were to use up all of its energy.
During the spring, one of the largest auto shows took place all the way on the other side of the world in Switzerland. Yes, it was the2019 Geneva International Motor Show, during which time many automakers and technology companies unveil all sorts of new cars and commercial products. There was one automaker that we could say stole the show, and that’s Mitsubishi Motors with their Dendo Drive House, an eco-friendly system that acts as a house as well as a very large battery. This new housing system quickly gained a lot of attention and opened the doors for Mitsubishi with the resources available to the automaker through the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance. Furthermore, with theAlliance Ventures funding campaign,Mitsubishi was able to invest in The Mobility House. Now, Mitsubishi Motors was honored as a HIVE 50 Innovator by Hanley Wood Magazine for the innovative Dendo Drive House.
The Dendo Drive House (DDH), in short, is a home system that makes use of renewable energy for a cleaner, greener ecosystem, while also fulfilling the needs of the everyday consumer in their everyday home. Because the DDH is a house first and a technological advancement second, the entire house is powered via electricity converted from solar energy. Solar energy is collected via solar panels equipped around the home. This energy is then converted into electricity and stored in a large home battery. This battery, when fully charged, is able to power the entire house and many of the daily appliances consumers use all day. With the use of a bi-directional charger, the house can also make use of any extra energy generated after the battery is completely charged.
With all the storms that hit South Florida, and especially crazy hurricanes like Dorian that left everyone in an anxious fit, one would think there would be some sort of disaster transportation unit to help. Yes, there are many organizations out there like the Red Cross and FEMA, but they can only do so much to help. Why isn’t the government stepping up? Why aren’t local businesses doing their part? Maybe it’s just the way it is, but our neighbors in the east are changing things – Mitsubishi Motors especially. Signing their second agreement with Shizuoka Prefecture and four affiliated dealers in the prefecture, Mitsubishi Motors Corp (MMC) and the aforementioned parties have agreed to provide services and units during disasters and disaster recovery. They do this through the use of their Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, and Dendo Drive House technology.
Does anyone remember theDendo Drive House presentation by Mitsubishi during the 2019 International Geneva Motor Show? That was something else. Mitsubishi took their neutral-energy project with ENGIE and Hitachi Europe and downsized it into the size of a house. ENGIE, a Building Energy Management System (BEMS) outfitted with solar panels that collect and store energy in the building’s electric grid for use throughout the day was one part of the equation. When the building runs out of power, either due to longer winter nights or an emergency situation, through the use of a bi-directional vehicle-to-everything V2X charger from Hitachi, ENGIE is able to stay powered. This is because ENGIE is also able to collect and store excess energy converted through the V2X charger to charge up the Outlander PHEV and then take that energy back when necessary.
Already an award-winning vehicle, Mitsubishi has taken plug-in hybrids by storm with theamazing sales of the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV. Hoping to bring the automaker more recognition as a new leading auto brand in plug-in hybrid technology, along with theRenault-Nissan Alliance and Alliance Ventures, the 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is getting some upgrades. Most of these additions consumers will find on the high-end trims in the lineup, such as the SEL and GT trims. For example, the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV SEL trim is now equipped with Forward Collision Mitigation, Automatic High Beams, and Lane Departure Warning on the 2020 model.
The 2019 Geneva International Motor Show brought us a lot of great concepts, and although a month ago, some vehicles are still be talked about as the details start to sink in. Largely taking the spotlight at Geneva were hybrid and electric vehicles. Nearly every automaker had one to display, and that meant an automaker had to do really stand out to get some deserved attention. Mitsubishi Motors achieved this by not just bringing a new plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) concept to the show, but brought a PHEV that could boast high-performance, off-road action, and even came with its own house. Whether the concept becomes a reality is another story.
Taking a look at the Engelberg Tourer, and it screams rugged. The design is sharp and could pass for a luxury SUV in the right light. The box on the roof for extra cargo, shaped like a snowboard, gives way to a well-known ski resort in Switzerland, what the concept is named after. Made for active lifestyles, the Engelberg Tourer could be well suited for winter seasons, and for those who like to go off-road year-round, the Engelberg Tourer is known as a Twin-Motor 4WD plug-in hybrid system.
Back in 2017, Mitsubishi Motors joined the Renault-Nissan Alliance to form what is now the Renault-Nissan Alliance, where each automaker in competition with the other, but is not independent of the other. More of a joint venture than a merger, each automaker is working to create technologies and platforms that could be shared between all three companies. At the same time, each automaker is set out to make a better vehicle than the other. The current focus? Crossovers, SUVs, alternative fuel technology, and autonomous technology.
Known as “Alliance 2022”, the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance started a six-year plan. With the plan heavily relying on cross-brand platform sharing and the sharing of powertrains, electrification, connectivity, and autonomous drive technologies. By 2022, the alliance has sale projections that land somewhere over 14 million units sold in a year. It’s a pretty big number, but so far, it doesn’t seem impossible. Over the course of 2018, and after the 2019 Geneva International Motor Show, Mitsubishi Motors alone clearly has some big plans.
Mitsubishi Motors couldn’t keep a lid on it when it came to their spotlight at the 2019 Geneva International Motor Show. They hadnew models and concepts, like the2020 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport and the new crossover with an interesting name, theMitsubishi Engelberg Tourer. Mitsubishi also has a few technology exhibits, one of which includes new connectivity in their vehicles, but the one that’s really getting our attention is the Dendo Drive House.
The Future is Here
Yes, we did talk a little about theDendo Drive House (DDH) when the promo first went live. Mitsubishi came out with another promo for the Geneva Motor Show and we can now see all the benefits and glory of the DDH. Think about it. Everyone is trying to find new ways to go green and be eco-friendly. Even automakers are looking into alternative fuel vehicles while keeping costs down and extending the range of the vehicle. Many automakers and technology companies want to allow consumers to connect their smartphone, house, and car together.
The DDH is taking that in a more literal sense with a clean and green ecosystem. Serving first and foremost as a house, the DDH can generate, store, and share solar-power-converted electric energy. It can do this because it is equipped with solar panels that can then store the collected energy into one of two batteries – a large home battery or a car battery. No, not the car battery, but the kind of battery one would find in a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. With Mitsubishi Motors behind the DDH, one can guess where this is going.
Heads up, because the Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) has let loose a bunch of information on what they’re bringing to the 2019 Geneva Motor Show with a hot new press release. We’re talking new concept models, new technology, and ground-breaking stuff. Mitsubishi Electric surprised it with some of the tech they’re working on at the2019 Consumer Electronics Show and autonomous technology. Now, Mitsubishi Motors is going to be showcasing the results of their 2018neutral-energy project.
Fruits of their Labor
Can we just say we called this? Back when we talked about the partnership between Mitsubishi Motors, Hitachi Europe, and ENGIE, they were working on renewable energy, also known as recycled energy that could be used, collected, stored, and used again. All three had a part to play in this project: ENGIE had designed their headquarters office building in La Défense, France as a Building Energy Management System (BEMS), Hitachi brought vehicle-to-everything V2X charger, and Mitsubishi Motors used the Outlander PHEV.