Mitsubishi CEO Thanks Outlander PHEV Buyers For Making Plug-In SUV Europe’s #1 Selling Electric Car

DEC 7 2015 BY MARK KANE 37

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

In Europe, Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV was the best selling plug-in electric car in 2013 and in 2014 (with nearly 20,000 units sold).

Year 2015 shouldn’t be different as Outlander PHEV is improving its position and received reinforcement in the form of the 2016 refresh.

This year, sales will easily exceed 25,000 (as the model is already just a whisker under that number through November). Other plug-in hybrid or all-electric models will be left behind by around 10,000 units or so. (Golf GTE ~12,000 through November)

The Outlander’s 12 kWh lithium-ion battery isn’t that big, but electric AWD and a combination of other features makes this SUV special, which is clearly reflected in sales volume.

Mitsubishi chairman and CEO Osamu Masuko is thankful to all the staff in Europe for making Outlander PHEV  the#1 plug-in electric car in Europe (by the way, there’s a chance it could be #1 in Japan this year too).

“Mr. Mitsubishi is in town to say thank you. Osamu Masuko, chairman and CEO of Mitsubishi Motors since last June, has arrived at Heathrow and will soon head 100 miles west down the M4 to the headquarters of his UK importer in Cirencester, Gloucestershire, to congratulate bosses and staff on a key role in establishing the Mitsubishi Outlander plug-in hybrid SUV as Europe’s best-selling electric car.”

Meanwhile, the U.S. is still awaiting its chance to order the Outlander PHEV (Spring 2016 – May). Perhaps Mitsubishi is just double checking whether or not Americans still like SUVs.

Source: Autocar

Categories: Mitsubishi

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37 Comments on "Mitsubishi CEO Thanks Outlander PHEV Buyers For Making Plug-In SUV Europe’s #1 Selling Electric Car"

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I predict that a lot of people in the US will be heading to Mitsubishi showrooms this spring who have never considered the brand before.

I’ll definitely be one of them!

Same here. However, with all the new PHEV SUV’s coming in 2016, Mitsu has lost it’s chance to gain significant marketshare. At this point in the North American market, the only thing it can compete on is price. It can’t compete on brand, technology, or style.

If and when Hyundai comes out with it’s PHEV CUV/SUV, it will be game over for Mitsu.

Well, we don’t really know when, where, at what cost and what production levels there might be a SUV Hyundai.

So Mitsubishi will be able to comfortably sell a lot of Outlanders before any competition shows up.

Just for kicks, I called the 6 closest Mitsu dealers closest to me in KS. Only 1 knew what the Outlander PHEV was…and 3 tried to talk me out of it when I told them it had a plug…

They’ll face a fight from dealers here…sadly.

Were you talking to salespeople?

Salespeople can only get a commission today on the cars that they can sell today. And with the churn in salespeople in the industry these days, any Mitsubishi salesperson you spoke to today, may be selling BMW’s tomorrow.

They are going to jam you into what they have now, and very few actually care about cultivating your business 6 months from now. It is the nature of car sales.

And it isn’t just electrics. I ran into the same thing almost a decade ago, when BMW was rumored to be getting ready to announce the 1-Series, and I went in asking about it. 3 dealerships, none knew anything, but all tried to sell me on 3-Series coupes they had in stock.

It’s kind of astonishing to think about what a similar success a PHEV Tucson could have been at this point, instead of the FCV that has sold (leased) all of 80 units here in the US over the past year.

I guess Hyundai is content to cede the “high mpg SUV” segment to everyone else.

A lot? Or a lot *of us*?

The general public doesn’t care Mitsubishi’s, and they care even less about electrified vehicles. Most wouldn’t even consider EVs, and those that would, have concerns about the added cost and life of the batteries. When the worlds best selling electric car has demonstrated that it requires a $5500 repair between 3 and 8 years (depending on where you live), it puts a bad taste in peoples mouths.

If Mitsubishi can sell the car at the same price as the gas version, maybe people who would otherwise get a standard Outlander might consider going electric.

Otherwise, no. There aren’t large numbers of EV folks out there who would flock to Mitsubishi dealerships. And with gas as cheap as it is now, there won’t be for a while.

I do think that relative to EV/PHEVs in the US, the Outlander PHEV will see good sales because it’s a unique and high-demand product among us. But they are tackling a very niche market. If they see any success at all, Subaru will retaliate with a much better product. I hope to see a Forester PHEV or EV soon.

“When the worlds best selling electric car has demonstrated that it requires a $5500 repair between 3 and 8 years, it puts a bad taste in peoples mouths.”

Where did you get that impression? Especially since the oldest Leafs are only 4 years old?

Less than 1% of Leafs have had to have their battery replaced, and outside of the blazing hot parts of the US, that number drops to around 0.01%.

I fear we are getting very crossed wires here and no thanks to InsideEVs utterly moronic stance on insisting that they refer to PHEVs (and hybrids in general) as ‘EVs’.

Let me make it clear for those of you who find it difficult to figure out if a vehicle is an ‘electric vehicle’ or not; an EV has no exhaust pipe! MW

Setting aside the ‘dig’ at the site, we have never referred “hybrids in general” to EVs. In fact we have a specific “no hybrid…just plug-in” vehicle policy around here to not muddy the waters.

For all plug-ins we use the term “EV” a little fast and loose…but that isn’t because we want to, it is about making the stories accessible to all people.

The majority of visitors are just brushing up with plug-ins for the first time – and a title like “PHEV adoption in EU hits 1 in 120” means nothing. PEV, NEV, PHEV, etc just don’t translate right now.

Outside the ‘hardcore’ enthusiasts for the tech, the term “PHEV” has no recognition value-and the term PHEV will not be put into search engines by there majority of readers – just EV. So stories containing other (more technically accurate) acronyms will not be displayed at all – or read.

…that is just a reality/compromise of the business. Someday when adoption gets much higher than .5-1%, that will change.

I am a LEAF and Honda guy but will def replace my honda for this anytime.

7 months + and so far so good for me,

More electric range would have been nice but other than that it’s been great !

can you tell a little about your real world electric range and fuel efficiency?

Electric range currently around 23 miles on pretty undulating ground. A little more during warmer months of around 27 miles.

Fuel efficiency if 73mpge less electricity cost which takes in down to about 60mpge.

Pretty good for a car that weighs 4067lbs !

Would you please share your mpg once the electric is depleted.

As another owner in the UK, and having owned the car for around 18 months, I reckon on about 35 mpg when battery depleted. But as most of my journeys are under 20 miles, the equivalent journey cost is that of a 70+ mpg car, taking electricity and fuel costs together.

Thank you for your reply and information!

Sorry for not replying sooner !

It all depends on how you drive the car, I get around 50mpg but I drive ultra conservative and travel mostly at 50mph sometimes 55mph on motorways (Freeway), the vast majority will not get more than about 43mpg tops on petrol alone and less with a heavy foot !

Alan, thanks for following up. I know it’s hard to track conversations here. I appreciate the info!

The CHAdeMO port is just cool and unique on PHEV ! In Europe many supermarkets, ikea have CHAdeMO, just easy fast charge some miles.

I guess it’s no surprise at the silence coming out of the bleachers with regard to the Outlander being called an ‘electric car’— had it been a GM-made EREV, the jeers would be deafening.

The Outlander is the perfect electrifying success story. They built something, because they had to and now every 4th Mitsubishi in Europe is a Outlander-Plug-In. Of course, lots of those sales are made in countries with incentives, but even in Germany, where there are no incentives, more than 40% of all Outlanders are plug ins.
People, often, don’t get the whole picture if they see the sales figures of a particular model. The car market is big and sometimes a car which doesn’t sell in high quantities compared to the market size, can still be a success for the sigle company.

Hey GM, time to make that voltec SUV. If Mitsubishi can sell it, you can too!!

How about Voltec Drive in the Uplander? Would that be an attention getter? How about if it had just 35 miles AER? How about an on ICE rating of maybe 35 to 38 mpg? Would those figures work?

What about the charging options? Would it work with just 3.6 kW, or would it need at least 7.6 kW? What if CCS was included? Would that improve the uptake?

I can see these things taking off in the west Kootenays in BC. My city of Nelson has Subaru as the unofficial car of choice given our mountainous roads, outdoorsy folk and evironmentally conscious citizens. That may change to the Outlander PHEV in the coming years.

The problem will be dealerships though. Outside of Vancouver and Kelowna areas there really aren’t any dealers. Almost makes me want to open a Mitsu dealer here if they do intend to follow through on their plans to electrify various sizes of SUVs in the coming years!!

I find it interesting that the reviews from the EV scene aren’t that positive and yet it’s a popular vehicle. Perhaps its the new Prius?
I don’t call it an EV because there isn’t a EV-only mode (but you can theoretically avoid the ICE kicking in).

It’s because it’s an AWD SUV.
I’ve argued for years here at inside EVs that many Americans want AWD and they love SUVs. Yet all the EVs are small 2WD hatchbacks

This is what people want. An AWD SUV. I wish it had better AER.

my current plan is to get a Bolt and this. But I’m terrified to rely on a 2WF

I’m terrified to rely on a 2WD in winter.

Wish us luck!

Why? There is no problem getting through winters on 2WD. In most countries that crosses the arctic circle a large majority of sales are 2WD.

Well, you probably have a good reason but most people don’t.

Pretty sure there is an EV only mode in the Outlander – can an owner chime in please?

No there isn’t an EV only mode, but the ICE only kicks in when extra power needed (eg steep hills or fast acceleration ), or when in battery save or charge mode when set by the driver, Useful if you want to preserve EV for urban driving at start or end of journey for example.

Has anybody actually test driven the US version of the Outlander PHEV?

As far as I know, Mitsubishi hasn’t let anybody drive the US version yet.

I really wish I could share everyone’s enthusiasm for this vehicle. It is extremely popular here in the UK. But I just think people who buy them are deluded. It is a *big* vehicle – not perhaps by US standards but certainly by EU ones. Therefore it is automatically *not* environmentally friendly – contray to what a lot of owners believe. Even the Tesla MS (another big car) has the advantage of a very low Cd – better than most vehicles on the road. Further more, it still has an ICE in it and so it still has all the disadvantages that entails – servicing, stinky exhaust etc. But the worst thing is – from a *real* EV drivers perspective – they are always hogging the rapid chargers… and perhaps because the drivers are deluding themselves they seem to revel in the fact that they are denying real EV drivers the means to progress their journey when, instead, the Outlander driver could just give up the RC and go and put some stinky fuel in it instead and be on their way! However, the *worst* thing about the Outlander is the fact that Mitsubishi – who developed the drive train… Read more »
Of course you are correct in stating that the vehicle is not the most environmentally friendly vehicle given it’s size but to accuse buyers of being deluded is out of order ! Firstly, here in the UK the majority of buyers will almost certainly be company car drivers given the car is only 5% BIK for tax purposes and therefore make it literally one of the cheapest family cars to run. Second, not everyone wants to drive around in Twizzy or a Mini Cooper, some have needs to transport Disabled scooters & Wheelchairs such as myself for my wife, others for towing, using bike carriers or simply for more comfort. The fact that you can save the electric mileage for in town driving at each end of journey as often is the case makes the vehicle a little more environmentally friendly than the vast majority of vehicles churning out Diesel or CO2 in towns for people to choke to death on ! I average after electricity costs just over 60mpge which for such a sizeable vehicle is better than the vast majority of vehicles on the road in Europe for “real world” driving. It’s not perfect but until battery technology… Read more »

Agree 100%!

Martin, you are right that the pricing doesn’t make sense and the i-MiEV would be fine for many of the Outlander buyers. I’ve put on over 67,000 MiEV miles thus far, sometimes towing a tent trailer or carrying up to four bicycles on the hitch mount, and often making full use of the 50 cubic foot flat-floored rear end. That’s the same cargo capacity as the Outlander Sport, but a quarter less than the larger Outlander.