Posts Tagged ‘electric vehicles’
We’ve all been wondering how the auto industry is going to come back from the global pandemic that was the coronavirus. With the economy struggling to get back up and many auto manufacturers skittish about what the future holds, there are several automakers hitting the ground running. Three of these automakers belong to the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, and after a recent news conference, we’re now learning about the new plans the Alliance has to bounce back. It all comes down to a new strategy, a type of “Follow the Leader” agenda.
Initially, when Renault-Nissan added Mitsubishi Motors to the Alliance, the plan was to stay the course. The new Alliance would consist of three automotive brands, but each automaker continued to act as a competitor. At the same time, platforms and technologies were to be developed that could be shared across the three automakers, and some vehicles would even be rebadged. After the effects of the Coronavirus thrashing the automotive industry, many automakers are searching for ways to pick up themselves, but Renault, Nissan, and Mitsubishi Motors are leaning into their counterparts for support.
Ever since the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance was formed in 2017, and later announced Alliance 2022 and its six-year plan, there hasn’t been a lot of word on what is going on. Yes, we hear about the occasional investment the Alliance makes through Alliance 2022, a $1 billion fundraising campaign started to help develop new startups and entrepreneurs in technology for self-driving robotaxis, car sharing networks, new EV batteries, and new forms of EV charging. Aside from that, there hasn’t been much talk about plans for 2022, two years away. When we take a look at the past few years, progress has slowly been building, and after a meeting between the top leaders of each automaker, the three agreed to share new medium-term business plans around May 2020.
This is great news! Assuming the six-year plan started in 2018 (although it’s more like five years if it ends in 2022), the Alliance is at the halfway point and thus has new plans to put into play at the halfway point. Nissan Motor Co., Renault SA, and Mitsubishi Motors Corp. (MMC) have all agreed to share their respective new medium-term business plans following an agreement at a meeting held between the top leaders of the three-way automotive alliance at Nissan’s headquarters in Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture, south of Tokyo. Nissan President Makoto Uchida had this to say –
“Under the plans, one with the greatest competitiveness will lead the other two in each category, such as compact cars and electric vehicles.”
Simply put, the Alliance is turning into a triangle of sorts. One automaker with success and already proving to be a competitive name in the industry will share technology and success with the other two so that they may also be successful while still remaining competitive internally as well as externally. This is abundantly clear with Mitsubishi Motors, initially slated to be in charge of plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) development. We could say the automaker is already well on its way with concepts like the Mitsubishi Engelberg Tourer at the 2019 Geneva International Motor Show, or the Mi-TECH concept at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show, a plug-in hybrid electric engine that replaces the need for an internal combustion engine with a lightweight, compact gas turbine engine-generator powerful enough to drive a small SUV, and able to be powered by various fuel sources, including diesel, kerosene, and alcohol.
When it came to electric vehicle technology, Mitsubishi Motors had okay success with the i-MieV, but the Nissan Leaf has been a success story for all-electric vehicles and Nissan. As luck would have it, Nissan also recently announced the development of a new cross-brand EV platform that will not only be available to all three automakers for future all-electric and battery-electric vehicles, but will also be flexible. This means that the new platform can be utilized by either automaker, and changed based on the size, style, and purpose of its intended use, and most likely different powertrains as well.
Could we see an electric Mitsubishi Mirage? The next-gen Mitsubishi Mirage is supposed to be based on the Nissan Juke, and if electric vehicles and compact cars are on the docket for mid-term business plans, is it really such a farfetched idea? We don’t think so. Tell us your thoughts. Join the discussion about the promising new business plans on Miami Lakes Mitsubishi social media.
Photo Source/Copyright: nippon.com
Renault-Nissan brought Mitsubishi Motors into the fold back in 2016 to create the new Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance. Over a year, Mitsubishi Motors finished producing its last in-house vehicle, the 2018 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross, and started to use Nissan’s resources to get a running start as part of the alliance. In January 2018, the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance began a new funding campaign called “Alliance Ventures” to invest $1 billion in order to support open innovation, start-ups, and entrepreneurs in technology with a focus on autonomous systems, electric vehicles (EVs), connectivity, and artificial intelligence. The fund will last five years, and to start things off, $200 million was allocated for the first year’s budget – $50 million of that budget has already been spent in the last five months. Here’s a list of all five investments.
Being that all three automakers are from the other side of the hemisphere, with Mitsubishi Motors and Nissan settled in Japan, and Renault in France, the investments started overseas. The first was with the DiDi Auto Alliance. Founded by DiDi, an artificial intelligence and autonomous technology conglomerate in China, the DiDi Auto Alliance is an intelligent ride-sharing alliance working on providing new smart mobility solutions in China. The main goal of the DiDi Auto Alliance aims to unite all its members to transform the business model of the automotive industry and become the largest full-capacity vehicle operator platform in the world by providing services like auto leasing and sales, auto finance, auto service, fleet operation, and car-sharing solutions. The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance struck a deal to help fund the DiDi Auto Alliance in exchange for their automotive services.
A France-based company, Kalray, has also received funding from Alliance Ventures, being that their current goals are very similar to those of the alliance. In addition to their plug-in electric hybrid vehicles, the alliance plans to develop fifteen models with autonomous features by 2022; Kalray is working on developing a microprocessor that can be used in autonomous driving. Sounds like the perfect match and a smart investment.
Mitsubishi Motors is really turning heads these days. Joining Nissan-Renault in the Nissan-Renault-Mitsubishi Alliance was probably the step up they needed, because ever since something new is coming from Mitsubishi that will surely make a statement. The first surprise was the all in-house 2018 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross, the return of their Eclipse nameplate on a crossover. Over the last year, they’ve been working with the alliance to match the objectives of other automakers. Alternative fuel, self-driving cars, interconnected lifestyles – Mitsubishi Motors is getting in all of it. Next up, a platform that allows smart appliances to talk to each other!
The Venture and Technology
In mid-January 2018, the Nissan-Renault-Mitsubishi Alliance announced a new funding campaign called “Alliance Ventures”. Set to invest $1 billion in order to support open innovation, start-ups, and entrepreneurs in technology, their focus is on autonomous systems, electric vehicles (EVs), connectivity, and artificial intelligence. $200 billion was allocated for the first year’s budget, and we can see some of that money going into partnerships they’re seeking to build a fleet of Robotaxis.
Mitsubishi hasn’t been in the spotlight in the U.S. too much in the last few years, but that’s about to change. Mitsubishi has finally decided to bring the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV to the U.S., and considering that it is the number one selling PHEV in the U.K. and Europe and it’s only the fourth PHEV in the world to sell more than 100,000 units globally, it’s probably going to bring Mitsubishi’s name into the automobile market a little more.
Why the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV?
There are a couple unique traits the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV offers that have made it a success overseas. The Outlander PHEV is one of the most versatile PHEV vehicles on the market because it has a spacious cabin and it offers consumers all-wheel-drive, something that isn’t common in the PHEV world. Not only do owners have the convenience of being able to carry five passengers and cargo and drive in road conditions or challenging terrains other vehicles can’t, owners also have the ability to do all of that without paying a steep price for fuel or driving around a large SUV that emits a lot of tailpipe emissions.
Cost to Drive Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV
Thanks to the electric powertrain and the gas powertrain, drivers of the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV save a lot of money in fuel costs. When using the electric and gas powertrain, the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV has a combined city/highway fuel economy of 74 MPGe, which is excellent. The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV can also be driven just on electricity for up to 22 miles, so that means an individual with a daily commute of 20 miles or less, can drive their PHEV for just the cost to charge it up at home, or about $1.59 per mile. Fueleconomy.gov estimates that the average driver spends about $1,200 in fuel costs in one year and in comparison to the average vehicle, the average driver driving the Outlander PHEV saves about $1,000 in fuel costs in five years.
Fuel Costs and Tailpipe Emissions Compared to the Competition
The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is considered a compact crossover, and that vehicle segment is quite competitive. There are about 16 vehicles in the non-luxury compact crossover segment, and the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is the only PHEV option. That means, the Outlander PHEV is the compact crossover that can be powered by pure electricity, which results in less harmful tailpipe emissions and a more fuel efficient ride. Though, the Outlander PHEV is the only plug-in option, there are two compact crossovers that are available as hybrids, and they are definitely great vehicles, too.
The two compact crossover options are the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid and the Nissan Rogue Hybrid, and both of those are available with all-wheel-drive. The Toyota RAV4 Hybrid AWD has an average fuel economy of 34 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway and the Nissan Rogue Hybrid AWD has an average fuel economy of 31 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway.
However, since both vehicles are hybrids, neither model can be driven on pure electricity, so owners are always responsible for filling up at the gas pump. Fueleconomy.gov estimates that the average driver of the Nissan Rogue Hybrid AWD spends about $1,150 in fuel costs each year and the average driver of the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid AWD spends about $1,200 in fuel costs each year, which is the same cost as the Outlander PHEV.
When it comes to emissions and annual petroleum consumption, the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is significantly better than both compact crossover hybrid options. The Toyota RAV4 Hybrid AWD consumes an average 10.3 barrels of petroleum per year and the Nissan Rogue AWD Hybrid AWD consumes an average of 10 barrels, which is a far cry from the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV’s average of 6.8 barrels per year.
Additionally, the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid AWD releases an average of 275 grams of tailpipe CO2 emissions per mile and the Nissan Rogue Hybrid AWD releases an average of 276 grams of tailpipe CO2 emissions per mile, and again, that’s significantly more than the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV’s average of 176 grams.
Come by Miami Lakes Mitsubishi to test drive a Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV for yourself. We’re conveniently located in Miami Lakes between Miami and Fort Lauderdale and we are open seven days a week.
Photo Credit: Mitsubishicars.com