US Launch of Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Delayed to 2015

4 years ago by Eric Loveday 30

Outlander PHEV US Launch Pushed Back to 2015

Outlander PHEV US Launch Pushed Back to 2015

The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV has been plagued with setbacks (battery issues mainly…all of which have been corrected now) since the beginning.

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Cutaway

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Cutaway

It’s currently available in both Japan and Europe and is supposedly selling so rapidly in those two regions that Mitsubishi has decided to delay its launch in the US.

We were expecting this formal announcement to come at some point in time, as all of our sources suggested the Outlander PHEVs arrival in the US would not be even close to on schedule.

The issue is on the supply side, according to Mitsubishi communications representative Amanda Savercool:

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV's 12 kWh Lithium Battery Has Been the Source of Multiple Delays

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV’s 12 kWh Lithium Battery Has Been the Source of Multiple Delays

“The reason for this vehicle being introduced in 2015 rather than in 2014 is because we have received overwhelming demand from Japan and Europe and the battery supply unfortunately cannot keep up with the demand.”

Those batteries come from Lithium Energy Japan, a joint venture between Mitsubishi and GS Yuasa.  So, in a way, Mitsubishi can be partially blamed for this US delay, but international demand for the Outlander PHEV has been way above Mitsubishi’s initial expectations.

Fortunately, production of the Outlander PHEV is now pumping along at 4,000 units per month, so demand is getting fulfilled, but Mitsubishi still has some catching up to do.

Savercool adds that Mitsubishi wants to ensure that the Outlander PHEV is as safe as possible before launching it in the US:

“In addition, we are taking cautious steps to implement U.S. safety regulations including adoption of the new lithium-ion battery cell monitoring system.  With this new system, we will be able to monitor/safeguard the integrity of each individual lithium-ion battery cell. This all-new design will ensure the quality, function and integrity of the lithium-ion battery system to an unprecedented level of accuracy and safety.”

Outlander PHEV Interior

Outlander PHEV Interior

If you’re still intent on waiting for the US arrival of the much anticipated Outlander PHEV, then here’s a basic look at what to expect when it makes its debut in the US:

  • 25 miles of electric-only range (EPA estimate)
  • 4WD plug-in hybrid SUV
  • $40,000 estimated price in US

Source: GM-Volt

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30 responses to "US Launch of Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Delayed to 2015"

  1. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

    “In addition, we are taking cautious steps to implement U.S. safety regulations including adoption of the new lithium-ion battery cell monitoring system. With this new system, we will be able to monitor/safeguard the integrity of each individual lithium-ion battery cell. This all-new design will ensure the quality, function and integrity of the lithium-ion battery system to an unprecedented level of accuracy and safety.”

    By which they mean “We don’t want the AZ Leaf thing to happen to us”?

    1. Suprise Cat says:

      No. It’s the same battery pack technology Mitsubishi already use in the i-Miev, which have been proven to withstand cold and warm climates around the world since 4 years.

    2. Tom says:

      More like, “We don’t want another battery fire like we had earlier…”

  2. Just_Chris says:

    4000 a month? at what point do you reckon people are going to say plugin’s are a runaway sucess that is purely held back by battery production capacity.

  3. Jared says:

    Oh NOOOO!!! What if someone else beats them to the punch with a 7 seater CUV with a plug?

    I have been saying that the first 7-seater plug-in around $40k (after tax credit) would get my money: sounds like my money COULD actually be staying with an American brand.

    1. Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

      I can’t imagine the Model X coming in at $40k, or costing any less than the Model S, unless Tesla plays a segmenting game or gimps the X unduly.

      1. KenZ says:

        Agreed. The X should cost _way_ more than the S. I’d be very very surprised if the base X comes in less than 80k, and let’s be serious anyway: they’ll sell performance/signature series variants first.

    2. Suprise Cat says:

      The Outlander PHEV is not available as 7 seater. It’s 5 seater only. Only the standard Outlander is available with 7 seats.

  4. zilm says:

    Europe is country? omg

    1. kdawg says:

      Where does it say that?

      1. Jay Cole says:

        Yes where does it say that zilm?

        Sidenote: We in no way edited out that Japan and Europe were accidently grouped as countries; as we are professionals and have yet to make any kind of writing guffaw to date.

        /100% perfect record still intact

        1. zilm says:

          oh damn it was sarcasm
          i never read all the lines

          MOD EDIT (statik): that’s how we roll, (=

        2. Dong says:

          You missed a comma after “yes”.

          1. Jay Cole says:

            …I hate you all, lol

  5. Rick Danger says:

    Isn’t it amazing that GM just couldn’t make a case for putting the Voltec drive train in a vehicle like this? They just couldn’t see it selling.

    1. I’ve been saying this for 3 years now. A Voltec Equinox with a 25mi AER for ~$45K (They should be able to do it for $10K more than a Volt) would be a huge success. I know there would be one in my garage.

  6. Cavaron says:

    Tesla will be happy, Model X can sore even more…

  7. David Murray says:

    4,000 per month is an impressive number being zero of those are USA sales. Makes me wonder how many they’d be selling if they could meet demand and were also selling in the USA.

    Still, I think the EV range is a bit low. It could be worse (Toyota, cough, Ford, cough) but could be a lot better too. Being this is a larger vehicle there should be extra room somewhere for a 40-mile battery pack. Perhaps they should have a high-end version that has more range? That would be a nice addition to the US market version since people in the USA tend to commute further.

    1. Rick Danger says:

      Thus far, nobody but Tesla has been smart enough to figure that out, David, and they found out real quick that, when offering 3 different range models, almost no one wanted the one with the lowest range.

      1. Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

        Seems to me that Tesla should standardize on a single battery configuration and software limit its range. That should bring costs down due to scale and reduce the number of configurations (and related settings, such as suspension tweaks due to differing weights and distributions), as well as make resale more flexible.. Take a 40kWh model in trade, so the dealer now has a used vehicle that can be sold as a 40kWh, 60kWh or 85kWh depending on which fetches the best price.

        (this is, of course, in lieu of offering a separate battery lease, which I’d still like to see.. Buy the car, lease the battery, trade the battery in for improved tech over time..)

        1. That is exactly what Tesla did with the few 40kWh Tesla Model S cars that were sold; they are actually 60kWh cars with Supercharger hardware.

          Once the owner pays Tesla a hefty few, they get the whole 60kWh and Supercharger access. Otherwise, they drive a far cheaper 40kWh car with potentially very long life due to low cycles on the cells.

          It would not be wise to do the same for the 85kWh pack, but when battery swapping is available, you will be able to buy a 60kWh for the weekly commute, and swap in an 85kWh battery for the weekend retreat.

        2. Rick Danger says:

          That’s exactly what Tesla did on the few 40 kwh Model S’s they sold; They took 60 kwh models and limited the range via software, so an owner could later upgrade it easily.

          1. Rick Danger says:

            LOL! Tony, I thought I posted twice for a sec. 🙂
            The rest of your post is spot-on too.

            1. Mike says:

              The risk of software limiting is that once enough of them are out there someone will hack it and then everyone can have the large battery without paying for it. It’s likely easier to deal with the hassle of producing different size packs than it is to play the Microsoft game of always trying to keep changing your software to stay one step ahead of hackers?

  8. JoeJoeJoe says:

    Damn. That was actually likely our next vehicle, and we’d planned for getting one next summer. Well, hopefully someone else comes out with something 4WD; not only can we not afford an X, but it is horrendous as an SUV because you can’t put a roof rack on it, so no skis on the roof, no kayaks, no windsurfers/surfboards, no bikes on the roof (and no, bikes/skis on the back of a vehicle are not really acceptable to me). The Model X: where “sport” means golf or trail running. Don’t even get me started on what will happen when you open those falcon doors in a windy snowstorm with 6″ on the roof. Clearly the designers either don’t go to Tahoe, or are fair weather snowboarders.

  9. Joule Thief says:

    Joe, I’m completely with you on this one. Very disappointing news indeed. The Model X and Rav4 don’t meet those type of outdoor needs. Like you, I want to be able to take it on long range off-roading trips. Are any ski resorts getting superchargers :p. The idea of getting another EV and then renting an SUV for these trips isn’t all the appealing to me.

    Makes you wonder now how Mitsubishi will be fairing a year from now. IMO this was an injection they needed sooner than later here…

  10. Spec says:

    What the heck, Mitz? You had the plug-in SUV market all to yourself but now you choked! You are going let the Tesla Model X and perhaps even the BMW X5 snap up sales.

    1. Schmeltz says:

      I wonder if Mitsu isn’t waiting around to see if they indeed will stay in the U.S. market, or up and leave altogether like Suzuki, Isuzu, etc. They are already making this vehicle in ohter markets, so their excuses for a U.S. delay seem pretty shallow to me. We’ll see I guess.

      I think as a company in the U.S., their days are numbered imho.

      1. Rick Danger says:

        I think you may be exactly right Schmeltz.