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Could a Plug-In Mitsubishi Beat the Volt’s Efficiency?

Japanese automaker says its all-wheel-drive Outlander PHEV can travel at least 34 miles on electric power.

2014 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV (c) MitsubishiBy next year, Mitsubishi will sell a plug-in hybrid that may match the efficiency of the Chevrolet Volt.

The 2014 Outlander PHEV, as we’ve outlined earlier, is based on a new generation of the company’s midsize SUV set to debut next year. Mitsubishi says the Outlander PHEV can travel at least 34 miles on electric-only power, which would make it the second-best-performi​ng plug-in on the market.

In accordance with Japanese government tests, Mitsubishi says the electric range is “over 55 km [34 mi],” although the EPA’s procedures for EVs and plug-in hybrids are not equivalent. Whatever it scores, the Outlander PHEV will be the only plug-in hybrid on sale with all-wheel drive.

But beating the Volt is a tough challenge. Chevrolet tweaked the Volt’s battery capacity for the 2012 model year, yielding 38 EPA-certified miles on electric power, the highest in the class by a considerable margin. Behind it are the $100,000 Fisker Karma (32 miles), the Ford Fusion Energi (20 miles), the Toyota Prius plug-in (11 miles) and the Honda Accord Plug-in Hybrid (10 to 15 miles).


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