Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Was Top Selling Plug-In Car In Europe In 2015

1 year ago by Mark Kane 30

2016 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

2016 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

2016 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

2016 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

Mitsubishi did it again – their Outlander PHEV was the best selling plug-in electric car in Europe for 2015, just like it was in 2014.

Mitsubishi stated that 30,873 Outlander PHEV (up 55% year-over-year) were sold in 2015, which is some 59% of all Outlander sales in Europe. The conventional version accounted for just 41% (obv).

But even more amazing is that nearly 18% of total Mitsubishi sales in Europe were plug-ins.

In total, some 59,000 Outlander PHEVs have been sold in Europe to date, including over 6,000 in December 2015, according to our estimations.  The Outlander PHEV arrives in the US (finally) in August of this year.

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30 responses to "Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Was Top Selling Plug-In Car In Europe In 2015"

  1. ggpa says:

    Mitsubishi does well because other automakers do not compete in the SUV PHEV segment.

    I hope that changes soon.

    1. Just_Chris says:

      Volvo, Merc, BMW and Porsche all offer PHEV SUV’s. I am also sure there are those waiting for the model X in the EU.

      The reason that the Outlander sells so well is price, it costs the same as a regular mid range SUV. It’s not cheap but if you were planning to buy an X3, X5,a Lexus hybrid SUV or any of the other vehicles in the same price / segment then Outland looks like a pretty good deal. There is pretty much no other plug in vehicle that can compete toe to toe on price with other vehicles in their class.

      1. Nix says:

        “The reason that the Outlander sells so well is price, it costs the same as a regular mid range SUV.”

        ^^ This.

        Customers have the choice of a diesel Outlander or the PHEV for basically the same price or less in many EU markets. This is the strength of the moderate range PHEV.

        Longer range PHEV’s are great, but they don’t do anybody any good if people don’t buy them. The number one challenge for EV’s and PHEV’s is to get actual buyer into actual seats of actual electric vehicles. That’s where the Outlander PHEV has just the right size battery. It is the right size to be price competitive.

      2. ggpa says:

        And what is the EV range in PHEVs from “Merc, BMW and Porsche”?

    2. goaterguy says:

      We in the US see Mitsubishi as a low cost entry tier brand while the rest of the world sees it as it is, a reliable, honest brand with tough vehicles.

      1. Boris says:

        People stopped buying Mitsubishis in Europe long time ago too. I went to take a look at the Outlander PHEV, but I didn’t really like the exterior and the interior so I didn’t test drive it 🙁

      2. Simon says:

        As a UK driver, I never would have considered Mitsubishi before but the economics of the PHEV were just so attractive. As a business owner wanting a company car both the competitive price and low tax bracket were compelling.

        Aside from the truly awful entertainment system, I’ve been very happy with it. To the extent that I prefer it to the Volvo XC60 I had before, which was a surprise.

  2. Speculawyer says:

    And the universe will never know why it is still not sold in the USA.

    (They must get a higher profit margin in Japan and Europe.)

    (And at this point, I could almost go conspiracy theory and wonder if US carmakers pushed them to delay its release to protect their SUV profit margins for a year or two.)

    1. MikeM says:

      Paying off other producers to delay production of generic drugs is a long standing tradition in the pharma industry.

      Must admit I’d never thought of it in connection with the auto biz. but I don’t think such conspiracy is totally off the radar.

    2. scottf200 says:

      California Delays Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV’s US Debut To Late 2015, Early 2016
      http://insideevs.com/california-delays-mitsubishi-outlander-phevs-us-debut/

  3. ModernMarvelFan says:

    It could be #1 PEV in the US too if it wanted…

    Heck, it would be #1 PEV in the world if it is avaiable in China, EU and US…

    The facts speak for itself. People want SUVs/Crossover. Make them electric, people will buy it.

    In fact, a PHEV SUV saves even more $ for buyers in terms of fuel cost than an econ box PHEV compared to its ICE version.

    Why GM hasn’t offered a Voltec Equinox is what bothers me the most. That is my biggest complain with GM.

    I am almost giving up on Mitsubishi as it continues to delay Outlander PHEV and closing Mitsubishi dealers across the US…

    1. Speculawyer says:

      At this point I would not be surprised to learn that there was some unspoken agreement that no one would make a plug-in hybrid SUV in the USA for while. This would allow the automakers to make big profits a few years before having to struggle with the thinner profits of PHEVs.

      1. ModernMarvelFan says:

        Well, Model X is here. So is Volvo XC90PHEV and soon X5 PHEV and Mercedez Benz and VW models will follow.

        I think the reason is that every automaker’s SUV/Crossover production line is cranked up to the max right now. They are selling everything they can make, why bother to make something that makes less profit and cost more to make and take up capacity from a more profitable model?

        1. Speculawyer says:

          Yeah but those all cost more than $70K or so. Thus, they don’t compete with the mainstream American SUVs. The Outlander PHEV would.

      2. J says:

        When Ford updated the Edge there was a rumor of a possible energi model so I bet they have that sitting on the shelf ready to go if a competitor appears.
        The equinox is really long in the tooth to change to a plugin. The next gen should be shown soon and GM would have completely blown it if it didn’t accommodate some of the voltec drive train.

        1. ModernMarvelFan says:

          “The equinox is really long in the tooth to change to a plugin.”

          Agreed.

          That is why I expected it when the new one comes next year.

          The new Equinox is sharing the same platform as Volt. So, it would be natural to drop the Voltec into it to make it first affordable PHEV crossover…

      3. tom911 says:

        Agreed Speculawyer!

      4. Nix says:

        Speculawyer, with all due respect, that’s crazy talk. =)

        The profit margin on SUV’s is much higher than on compact and midsize sedans. If ICE car makers were seeking profits, there is much more money to work with if they were making SUV’s.

        Sometimes the real answer is much more boring than the conspiracy. The factors that have led to the cars we have now are easy to enumerate:

        1) Smaller pure EV cars require fewer batteries to achieve a reasonable highway range than a larger SUV. With batteries being such a major cost in an EV, installing the least amount of battery possible lowers their cost.

        2) CARB mandated that Large and Intermediate Volume Manufacturers produce pure BEV’s in order to meet their ZEV credit mandate. These credits are given per vehicle regardless of size. So they don’t get extra ZEV credits for putting out an SUV with larger batteries.

        Put 1 and 2 together, and the obvious path for all Large and Intermediate Volume Manufacturers is to produce as many small vehicles with short range as they can to maximize the most ZEV credits for the least amount of batteries. PHEV’s were not much of an option as a pure compliance car, as PHEV’s could not be used to satisfy the full ZEV credit mandate.

        3) For smaller manufactures, CARB has different rules. They are allowed to meet their entire ZEV mandate with PHEV’s, and they have until 2018 to meet their mandate.

        http://insideevs.com/california-lays-out-zev-mandate-for-smaller-automakers/

        PHEV’s can use even less batteries than a small BEV. So even with the more complex drivetrain, companies have had hybrid drivetrains for nearly 2 decades now, so adding a small plug in battery to existing hybrid battery is likely less of a design challenge than making a good pure EV that can compete with big car companies.

        Combine that with SUV’s and luxury cars having a higher profit margin than compact and mid-size sedans, and it just makes sense that we will get more PHEV SUV’s and luxury cars in the next few years than we’ve seen for years.

        Sometimes the conspiracy is that all the bean counters from every company all count the same beans the same way and all get the same results.

        1. Speculawyer says:

          1) That deals with BEVs . . . I don’t expect a BEV SUV from anyone but Tesla until battery prices drop steeply.

          2) Yes, they need to make BEVs for the CARB rules. But that doesn’t stop them from ALSO making an SUV PHEV like the Outlander.

          I think simple answer is that most companies don’t want to make a PHEV SUV because:
          1) It costs a lot to develop.
          2) They won’t sell many such that it will lose money.
          3) It will take away marketshare from their profitable SUVs.

          But the question is why doesn’t Mitsubishi, who already has the Outlander PHEV developed and doesn’t have a big ICE SUV marketshare to lose in the USA, bring over the Outlander PHEV to the USA?

          Hence, my nonconspiracy main theory of: they are supply limited and they get bigger profits in Japan and Europe.

          But the conspiracy theory is still a bit tempting.

          1. Just_chris says:

            It is not a conspiracy Mitsubishi has to get its co2 emissions per eu vehicle down to 95 g/km or face penalties it can’t afford post 2021. To do this it needs a whole range of phev’s, this is the first, it builds a customer base and gets them moving they will need more they will Likely take them all to the us 2nd they need the eu sales to stay afloat. They can handle long us delays and still keep going.

    2. John says:

      In the UK, if you order now (before government subsidy drops to £2500), you can “take delivery within 9 months”. It looks like they are strongly production limited and simply choose markets with best roi.

      1. Alan says:

        Got mine last April with a 3 week wait !

      2. Jessica says:

        Not true at all. The reason Mitsubishi is stating 9 months is that you can still benefit from the grant up to 9 months as long as you ordered it before the government cut off date. The idea is that if a fleet/retail customer was planning on buying one later in the year they can order it now and still benefit from the full grant price.

      3. Speculawyer says:

        That is the theory I really believe. But since it is so frustrating, the conspiracy theory is fun to throw out there.

  4. Rick Bronson says:

    Please launch it in USA at least in MY 2017, there is a huge market for such vehicles and Volt and i3 has already shown the way.

  5. Ct200h says:

    Mitsubishi says August , I bet it’s December .

    1. Rich says:

      Dec. of 2017. I doubt we’ll see it in the USA in 2016.

    2. Nix says:

      Previously Mitsubishi has responded very strongly to providing cars to nations based upon what incentives those nations provide. This was a big issue with the Netherlands, and they chose to provide cars to them instead of opening the US market, causing the first delay of the Outback PHEV to the US market.

      The UK has recently changed their incentives, so I expect Mitsubishi to respond to that also.

      Here in the US, the Outlander PHEV doesn’t qualify for full incentive due to the smaller battery. So they are responding to US incentives too (negatively).

      If there are more delays, it will be because other nations have made it more lucrative for them to do business in those nations instead of the US. If the US isn’t competitive with other markets, we lose. We reap what we sow.

  6. ClarksonCote says:

    I’m anxious to see how this model will do in the US. It certainly seems promising, though I wonder if the limited EV range inside our large United States will also limit the interest from prospective owners.

    Time will tell!

  7. Alan says:

    It’s a fantastic car but I fear by the time they get this to you guys in the US, there will be someone thinking of putting a Volt like battery in one of these SUV’s giving them longer EV range.

    This will most likely be happening over the next 2-3 years IMO.