US Launch of Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Delayed to 2015
The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV has been plagued with setbacks (battery issues mainly…all of which have been corrected now) since the beginning.
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:
“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.”
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