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Mitsubishi Pins EV Hopes on Outlander Plug-in Hybrid

Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-in Hybrid

Mitsubishi’s U.K. division believes the upcoming Outlander plug-in hybrid SUV will be the company’s most important car sold in decades, according to U.K.’s Car Dealer magazine. In an article posted today, the magazine quoted Toby Marshall, Mitsubishi sales and marketing director, saying, “We can sell as many as we want.” This is not the first time Mitsubishi has pinned big hopes on plug-in cars—which have not yet materialized.

In the period leading up to the introduction of the Nissan LEAF and Chevy Volt, circa 2010, the small Mitsubishi i-MiEV—its name has since been reduced to lowercase “i”—was considered one of the frontrunners in the EV market. And in January 2011, Mitsubishi garnered headlines for announcing bold environmental initiatives for 2015 and 2020, using EVs to rebrand its entire line of automobiles. The goal at the time was to launch six new electrified models by 2015—including two new plug-in hybrids in 2012, a new EV in 2013, and yet another new EV in 2014.

We’re almost done with 2012, and there’s little evidence that Mitsubishi will hit any of these goals. Through November 2012, the company has sold only 511 units of the Mitsubishi i in the United States (adding to 80 sales from 2011).
Back to Drawing Board: Shift from EV to PHEV

In the report by Car Dealer magazine, Mitsubishi’s Marshall hinted that the Outlander plug-in hybrid would be priced “under £40,000” after incentives in the U.K.—which translates to about US $65,000. (It’s hard to predict how the Outlander will be priced in the U.S. based on European pricing.)


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