California Delays Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV’s US Debut To Late 2015, Early 2016 (Update: ARB Response)

MAY 16 2014 BY STATIK 41

California is generally credited for kick starting (and maintaining) the plug-in revolution for not only the United States but largely for the rest of the world as well, so we don’t want to be too unnecessarily hard on them for hampering the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV’s introduction into America.  Still, we can’t say we aren’t a little disappointed.

Yet, that is what seems to have happened to the plug-in extended range SUV according to Mitsubishi, as California regulators have asked that all newly introduced plug-in extended range hybrids be equipped with a battery monitoring unit which can diagnose a PHEV’s battery systems and notify the driver of any system/degradation issues in the pack as well as report on emission concerns.

UPDATE: ARB statement refuting Mitsubishi’s statement below

2015 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Gets A Slight Refresh When It Goes On Sale Later This Month In Japan

2015 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Gets A Slight Refresh When It Goes On Sale Later This Month In Japan

New 2015 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Interior Option Coming Soon In Japan...Not So Much In The US

New 2015 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Interior Option Coming Soon In Japan…Not So Much In The US

According to a report in the Automotive News, Mitsubishi is now working with the US request to comply but it will further delay the Outlander PHEV’s into the US.

Tetsuya Tobe, manager of product planning at Mitsu stated that, “They think that deterioration of the battery might affect emissions.”

The Outlander PHEV which was originally scheduled to arrive in the US this year had been delayed by the company to the first quarter of 2015 due to massive (and unexpected) demand elsewhere in the world that maxed out Mitsubishi’s lithium battery production for the vehicle.

The company is saying that the engineering and addition of this monitor will likely push the vehicles US introduction back to late 2015 or early 2016“according to Mr. Tobe.

UPDATE:  Dave Clegern at ARB sent us a note saying that that the hold up on the Mitsubishi PHEV was not caused directly by themselves:

ARB did not “hamper” Mitsubishi in this effort. The company was offered the means to go forward with certification and made its own decision not to do so at this time. This is the same certification mechanism offered to any automaker.

As you know, ARB and Californians have been extremely supportive of PHEVs, and this agency will continue to be. California has committed to putting 1.5 million ZEVs on our roads by 2025, and is part of an 8 state collaborative which just release its Action Plan to put 3.3 million ZEVs on the road collectively by the same date.

We welcome Mitsubishi’s efforts, and those of other automakers, to help achieve these goals.

Attempting to get to the bottom of the situation as to what exacting happened and how, we then asked ARB, in response to their statement, when Mitsu was made aware the Outlander didn’t comply as it stands?   And did they actually petition to bring the Outlander to California in early 2015 and then found out they couldn’t by ARB, or did they simply choose not to go through the process?

ARB said they were “unable to say anymore” as their “certification process often involves confidential business information and as a result we simply can’t discuss the process.”

Mitsubishi Corporate Slide Illustrates Production Changes For The Outlander PHEV

Mitsubishi Corporate Slide Illustrates Production Changes For The Outlander PHEV

Even without US sales, Mitsubishi says it expects to sell 48,000 units of the Outlander PHEV in fiscal 2014; which for them began April 1st of this year.

Why 48,000?  Because that is the absolute limit on the amount of batteries the company’s newly doubled in size plant can provide for the plug-in Outlander..

Automotive News, hat tip to Lindsay!

Categories: Mitsubishi

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41 Comments on "California Delays Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV’s US Debut To Late 2015, Early 2016 (Update: ARB Response)"

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Martin
Guest

Thats no good for the 2014 i miev as well. Which is even more disappointing coz that would have been a fair amount of bev sales.

Dan Gallagher
Guest

I guess you mean that there will be fewer sales because of fewer customers in the store (or brand loyalty dropping) without the PHEV Outlander? Because, as far as I see this should have nothing to do with the 2014 iMiev, which has been added on the mitsubishicars.com site to “Build and Price” in just the past few days.

Brian
Guest
Brian

“California regulators have asked that all newly introduced plug-in extended range hybrids…”

Explain to me how this affects the BEV i-MiEV?

offib
Guest
offib

I’d check again. Mitusbishi realeased the i-MiEV today! They’re already in dealers according to the i-MiEV forum.

I was very excited for this, but the leasing has worried me. They want $350/month for it. I don’t know if this includes or excludes the federal $7500 tax credit.

Spec9
Guest
Spec9

$350 a month for an i-Miev? You have got to be joking.

Assaf
Guest

Maybe it’s $0 down?

Still a bit pricey vs. the total MSRP.

Maybe they want to encourage ppl to buy them outright rather than lease.

Bloggin
Guest
Bloggin

They don’t show a lease price for the new MiEV yet. But the $350/mo price is with 0 down.

Like the Spark EV, it comes with a slow 3.3kW onboard charger but with DC fast charging standard.

It has a combined EPA range of just 62 miles with a small 16 kWh air cooled battery pack and tiny 66 hp motor with just 145 kb-ft torque.

At $23k it is the least expensive EV, but requires you to drive around in an egg.

Big Solar
Guest
Big Solar

I love my egg, only thing I would like better is an avacardo.

offib
Guest
offib

Unfortunately, that’s what I’m seeing on their site: http://www.mitsubishicars.com/build/2014/EV44/trims/ES/1AT

But Jay has recently told me that this shouldn’t be taken seriously, they’ll likely have a $99 – $199 per month lease with a $0 to $2000 deposit shortly. Remember the shock we had when some BMW dealers tried to lease the i3 at around $900/month?
He says that as soon as stocks are built up, all that Mitsubishi has to do is send them all to Georgia!

Jesse Gurr
Guest
Jesse Gurr

“This payment calculator is provided for reference purposes only and does not imply that Mitsubishi Motors offers such APR/Term for the given vehicle. Estimated payment does not include applicable taxes, title, registration, license, documentary fees or any other local acquisition fees. For actual pricing, terms, and program availability, see your Mitsubishi Dealer. Calculation Example used: 1.90% for 72 months.”

Always gotta read the fine print…

See Through
Guest

If you lease, the cost should reflect the $7500 the leasing bank will get. You aren’t the buyer, so you won’t get the $7500 credit. You might get other rebates though, like CA $2500 rebate.

Big Solar
Guest
Big Solar

The Imievs will be here this month!

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater
Guest
Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

I wonder if the Model X will end up debuting in USA first given all these delays..

Anton Wahlman
Guest
Anton Wahlman

That depends on what’s meant by “debuting”. You mean volume shipments to non-de-facto-beta consumers? Or do you mean introducing the car? (February 9, 2012) Why not the Volvo XC90?

See Through
Guest

US is again playing dirty tricks. It claims to be ‘free market’, but comes up with these dirty rules that only the US companies are able to meet. Obviously, the popularity of Outlander PHEV in Europe has scared the hell out of CA, as it also houses Tesla. CA, Tesla and other plug-ins in US are now peeing in their pants.

MichaelG
Guest
MichaelG

Can’t blame the US for this, it’s all on CA and its CARB regulations. Claims of Free Market died there around the time of the first Gov Brown administration 30 years ago. Sell these in the other 40 or so non-CARB allied states where Mitsubishi has dealerships and SUVs/minivans/pickups are still the vehicles of choice and you’ll make a dent in gas consumption.

Gibber
Guest
Gibber

If it wasn’t already bad enough to be a Mitsubishi dealer, it just became a lot worse….

evnow
Guest
evnow

Mitsu brought this upon themselves by delaying the introduction. It made zero sense from the beginning to introduce the vehicle in US later than Europe.

Nix
Guest
Nix

Actually, Mitsubishi absolute did the right thing to push to get the Outlander pre-orders all delivered in The Netherlands last year. That is because the Dutch PHEV incentive was set to expire at the end of last year, and Mitsubishi really needed to deliver before the end of the year, or face a lot of backlash.

It was the right call, with approx 8,200 units delivered to Dutch owners by the end of the year that they potentially could have lost as sales in the long term, if they sent those units to the US instead.

The last I checked, Mitsubishi qualified as a “intermediate volume” auto company in California, and has more time to bring ZEV cars to the market than the large volume companies. So delaying US sales doesn’t hurt their ZEV requirements either.

Based upon the rules and regulations in all the nations they sell in, they are making the logical choices based upon these laws they don’t control.

vike
Guest
vike

This is the first I’d heard of the expiring tax credit in the Netherlands. That makes the U.S. delay a lot more understandable. But this new development with California is bad, bad news. I wonder how much longer Mitsu dealers can hang on with the current product mix.

Dan Gallagher
Guest

And … it’s not clear from this article, but do other EREV/PHEV vehicles (Volt, Energi, …) already have these pack degradation systems on board, or is this a new requirement that may affect those vehicles also?

If they do and this is an old requirement, that’s some bad planning on Mitsubishi’s part and explains, perhaps, why they haven’t introduced the vehicle yet.

If it’s not new, then this is a much bigger story than just delaying the PHEV Outlander.

ClarksonCote
Guest

I’m curious too. How would a Gen 2 Volt be affected by this, or existing Volt/Energi/PiP?

ydnas7
Guest
ydnas7

Its seems like a new requirement, only the Nissan LEAF provides a battery degradation readout on on the dash (and a rough version at that) something like the FFE requires a stop at the dealers to get a battery degradation readout….

For PHEV like Volt, PiP, there are no battery degration reports publicly known. (but they must exist?)

Then there is the validity of such reports anyway, how accurate is permissible,etc. This takes time to calibrate, incremental improvements to batteries reset the requirements.

Its a great idea, but it costs far for time and money than is apparent.

And what are implications of say using a widening SOC to maintain capacity? how does the regulations handle that?
etc etc etc

scottf200
Guest
scottf200

FYI, still getting over 40 EV miles in my 2011 Volt after 3 summers.

TomArt
Guest
TomArt

That’s a very good question! Jay??

kdawg
Guest

So it takes 1.5 to 2 years to add something this simple? I think there’s more going on here.

Mart Shearer
Guest
Mart Shearer

Not unusual at all for the government of California to mandate what can’t be done.

Josh
Guest

I am pretty sure there will be people on Mars before Outlander PHEV crosses the Pacific.

Leafer
Guest
Leafer

There will be cities on Mars…..

this vehicle has had more bad luck than is possible.
by them time it gets here it will be old school and need a redesign

Mitsubishi cant win in the USA

Nix
Guest
Nix

Mitsubishi already has plans to do a significant face lift on the Outlander for 2016, with:

“all of the sheet metal from the windshield forward will be restyled on the 2016 Outlander, adopting the brand’s new identity. Specifically, the grille, headlights and front fascia will be new, as will the hood and front fenders.”

http://www.edmunds.com/car-news/mitsubishis-future-plans-include-hybrids-major-model-overhaul.html

Since they are talking about the “brand’s new identity”, I would expect the new front end to resemble the Outlander Sport shown in the pictures on the edmunds site. I think that new nose would help them with sales in the US, considering the ho-hum response the current aesthetics get from US consumers.

Spec9
Guest
Spec9

The design is not great but at least it is not terrible.

The iMiEV is in dire need of a redesign. The egg does not sell. It also needs a bigger battery. But . . . since you can it up brand new for around $13K after incentives . . . I guess you can’t complain. It is like a free car considering it costs nothing to drive.

Jay Donnaway
Guest
Jay Donnaway

So if Outlander PHEV production is still constrained even after doubling battery production capacity, how will this affect the re-introduction of the i-MiEV? Having insufficient inventory could screw up that re-release yet again!

arne-nl
Guest
arne-nl

They sent all Outlanders here so we have to suffer those mastodonts. Petrol consumption for the average driver likely comparable to a non plugin Prius.

Hardly a green car, more a tax evasion device.

vike
Guest
vike

This CARB move is insane, and utterly counter-productive in terms of promoting electrification. Since this new rule apparently doesn’t affect incumbents like the Volt or C-Max Energi, it reeks of an effort to keep the Outlander P-HEV away from American shores for yet another year. Great news for GM and Ford, bad news for PHEV shoppers looking for a usable family road trip vehicle, and terrible news for Mitsubishi dealers.

Leader
Guest
Leader

You have to wonder if this new requirement is what is holding up the BMW i3 Rex release

Heck any car would be affected , all cars emit more pollution as they age

Nick
Guest
Nick

> all cars emit more pollution as they age

Electric cars don’t.

That’s what the ILEV (Inherently low emissions vehicle) classification is for.

Patrick Connor
Guest

If CA wants this additional information, sell them in the rest of the country first. Then have a mid-year model update for CA.

vike
Guest
vike

@Patrick: Exactly right. I’ve been stewing over this the last few days, and I really wish Mitsu would just launch the O-PHEV in the rest of the country while they work on this CARB nonsense. California has screwed over EV buyers nationwide by not setting a 50-state availability requirement for ZEV offerings (I’d even settle for 48), allowing BEV cheats like GM and Fiat to get away with their hand-built compliance sleds. It’s more than fair play that the rest of us get first dibs at the first really useful PHEV while Californians are left waiting for CARB to dither over whether they should be allowed to have it.

Leafer
Guest
Leafer

i bet that this reg has all the I3 Rex cars stuck in port
thousnads are sitting and not one has been shipped to a dealer for retail sale
bet we hear of a software update

vike
Guest
vike

Well, as Patrick notes above, that’s no reason not to ship the i3 Rex to the rest of the country. Given that, there must be some other problem – I don’t think CARB could require this for existing inventories of a car already approved for sale.

Bigk
Guest
Bigk

Why can’t the rest of the U S get the current version of the PHEV while Mitsu readies a California – compliant version?