Mitsubishi Won’t Do An Electric SUV: Committed To PHEVs

NOV 10 2018 BY MARK KANE 73

Mitsubishi is committed to PHEVs

Mitsubishi believes in electrification, but at least for the near-term and SUVs, it’s betting on plug-in hybrid over all-electric models.

According to Autocar, the company has no plans for an all-electric SUV and in general bespoke BEV models. The path for Mitsubishi is to introduce some models with different powertrain options – hybrid, plug-in hybrid or all-electric.

“Battery EVs have a limitation in terms of range at the moment, and in some countries, that might not be the answer,” said Mitsubishi’s strategy boss, Vincent Cobee. He added that the firm would add full-electric models to its range, alongside extending its PHEV powertrain to other models.”

“Cobee reiterated that the firm will not develop a bespoke range of EV-specific models in the future, instead offering battery EV, hybrid and PHEV versions of its models.”

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV will get a new-generation version and it’s already known that the Japanese manufacturer intends to increase the all-electric range from 31 miles (50 km) to 50-60 miles (80-96.5 km).

That should be enough to cover most daily driving profiles.

Interestingly, there will be no PHEV package for the L200 pick-up, because “technology is not yet cost-effective or beneficial to commercial vehicles”. Maybe in the next decade.

Source: Autocar

Categories: Mitsubishi


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73 Comments on "Mitsubishi Won’t Do An Electric SUV: Committed To PHEVs"

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Good for you, Mitsu!
Embrace your irrelevant status!

They can’t afford the engineering or the battery costs. Electrification has been a real eye-opener about ICE vehicle margins.

Maybe, and they are doing a lot better in several other markets than they are in the US, but I thought the whole point of getting semi-acquired by Renault/Nissan was to be able to do larger investments. EVs should certainly be a good chunk of that.

actually I think it’s more feasible for companies to offer ICE, PHEV, and BEV versions of their cars. As battery pack weight & space shrinks, the reengineering involved declines too

Such compromises will *always* be worse in terms of efficiency, cost, and space utilisation.

“Such compromises will *always* be worse in terms of efficiency, cost, and space utilisation.“

That statement goes against established business theory known as disruptive innovation. The technology sucketh at first but gets (way) better over time.

I’m not sure what your point is? What I’m saying is that even with improving battery technology, dedicated BEV platforms will always be superior to platforms encompassing multiple power trains…

From a sales and positioning perspective, it is a disaster – I’ve done the analysis … OEMs are better off launching PHEV or BEV only models. Offering multiple versions at this stage of the market weakens the brand position of the individual models, and the EV versions suffer against standalone competitors. This will be hurt Mitsubishi significantly in the US.

Mitsubishi Outlander is currently the only PHEV of its size for sale (at that price point) in the US. The next competing vehicle is the PHEV Chrysler minivan.

There are more expensive PHEV SUV’s for sale but their battery only range is dismal.

You are, of course, entitled to your opinion based off your own analysis.

The Outlander PHEV was a turning point for UK plug-in sales. They are not irrelevant they are just doing things a progressive step at a time.

Yeah, that’s all very well but they will just be disrupted and go bankrupt because information technologies don’t do things progressively one step at a time.

Model3 Owned- Niro EV TBD -Past-500e and Spark EV,

Not really; there’s always third party solutions that will step in — with a cost to margins, but the cost of R+D just isn’t there for Mitsubishi. Tesla had the opportunity to do this on speculation and capital markets at scale. They JUST got over the line from the investor standpoint.

Doing that with a legacy company simply cannot happen–too much investor drag


Reality check: Mitsu sells way more cars than Tesla.

Let me know when Tesla sells more cars/year than Mitsubishi. I guess not before 2025 – if Tesla even survives that long.

Mitsubishi Motors Corporation sold 1,030,454 vehicles in 2017. Tesla will sell up to 300 000 cars in 2018 and up to 600 000 in 2019.

Actually, should be around 250,000 in 2018. 2019 is harder to say, but probably some 450,000; maybe 500,000.

Yup. The absolute rosiest outlook for Tesla is 255K in 2018 (globally, not just in the US). Somewhere between 200K and 250K is much more likely, given Model 3s are not going to sell in any volume outside the US until next year.

Model 3 won’t be selling at all outside US and Canada until next year. Still, it should be very close to 250,000 even worst-case.

lol still pushing the “Tesla will go bankrupt soon” meme

Interestingly, there will be no PHEV package for the L200 pick-up, because “technology is not yet cost-effective or beneficial to commercial vehicles”.

UPS thinks differently…

I believe Mitsubishi are producing the inline 48v motor 16kw 200nm for Mercedes new range of mild hybrids.

This should go into the L200 immediately.

PHEV’s will quickly start becoming irrelevant 2 years from now.

No they won’t, ICE cars that aren’t PHEV will be the first to die. No matter how bad we want EVs to take over, there will be many use cases for PHEVs for many years to come and they will sell accordingly.

Do Not Read Between The Lines

No, really, I think he’s right. There are two reasons.

The credit systems in China and the USA, along with incentive structures in Europe, strongly favor BEV.

The rapid reduction in battery costs has narrowed the difference in the cost of the EV powertrains.

If PEV cost reductions stall, manufacturers will lose a lot less less discounting BEVs to meet mandates.
If PEVs continue to get cheaper, BEVs will end up cheaper than PHEVs.

I believe China’s goals is too take a dominant position in vehicle and battery Manufacturing, and most of the world is making it easy for them to take over.

Totally agree — though I think it will take a bit more than two years…

PHEVs are going to be more expensive than BEVs and ICEs/mild hybrids. They are very complex machines both in terms of mechanical and software engineering.

They CAN be much simpler, with a slight decrease in efficiency. See below.

Dirt cheap ICE only cars will be sold longer than PHEV’s. Yes, that is my prediction.

The PHEV is simply at a huge cost disadvantage against both the pure ICE cars and pure BEV’s since it has to carry both drivetrains. And I’m not even speaking of the packaging challenges that a dual drivetrain poses.

They will morph over time.

The first thing that should go is the expensive multi speed transmissions. Replaced willth electric motors front and rear. The ICe can be lightweighted for occasional duties and coupled into one of the electric drive units to blend and add acceleration once the electric acceleration tapers off above ~30mph at full throttle.

For the reasons that majority of daily driving is less than 30miles,weight and expense I don’t see any need for electric range to go beyond 40miles. Entering youbdestination into the Satnav should be able to work with the vehicle to determine the best use of the electric range.

Overtime, as battery power density,cost size and weight improve the ICE will become like an appendix.

At the moment Vehicle makers supply contracts or business cases have them obligated to stick the expensive transmissions into all they can sell.

FWIW the Outlander does not have a multi speed transmission.

It’s a single speed with electric motors front and rear.

The ICE part of the Outlander is a multi-speed transmission. Having driven one for over three years, I can tell when the thing wants to change up (around 40mph on mine).
Most of my driving is done on Electric power and charged up at home. If I’m on a long trip I’ll stop and charge (often for free) while I take a break.

“Overtime, as battery power density,cost size and weight improve the ICE will become like an appendix.”

That’s a range extender. BMW i3 ReX was there in 2013, but nobody else (or BMW itself) moved beyond.

It seems I need to give a bit of an explanation.

First of all, note my exact words. I didn’t say “PHEV’s are irrelevant 2 years from now”, what I said is that 2 years from now, interest will start declining and fewer new PHEV models will be announced, if any.

– Batteries are becoming cheaper and cheaper. Why haul along a complex fossil fuel burning machine that becomes a financial liability with age, when the same money buys you enough batteries to go >400 km on a charge?
– 175 kW CCS is being rolled out today, in 2 years from now it will be standard for new fast chargers. Existing locations will be upgraded (see what Fastned is doing)
– Faster charging (>100 kW) will also be the norm on BEV’s.



– Stricter emission demands and incentive stuctures will favour BEV’s over PHEV’s. This already happened in The Netherlands where PHEV sales have slowed to a trickle.
– In nearly every market, BEV sales are growing faster than PHEV sales.

Note that with my bullet points 2 and 3, every BEV will be as attractive and universally usable as a Tesla is nowadays. How many will choose a PHEV if every BEV is as convenient as a Tesla?

(please Inside EV’s, it’s ok to truncate longer posts, but dont’ kill the formatting please)

I agree that most of what you’ve said is possible, but considering how far behind the market demand most manufacturers are, I think it’ll be at least five years before your vision comes true. Most manufacturers still have a lot of PHEVs coming down the line, and they’re going to take a while to realise that BEVs can do the job better. Also PHEVs will continue to get better, what with a good chunk of the next crop promising >80 km WLTP range.

All that said, I still think PHEVs should be banned as company cars unless there’s a system put in place to guarantee that they’re actually charged!

Please don’t split posts. Clicking the “read more” button is considerably less annoying than dealing with split posts…

Sad to hear
My prediction is that they will regret this desision In a few years. And a lot of their customers will embrace other more forward thinking companies before mitsubishi can start the catching up game

I’m pretty sure they are already doing the “catching up game” — just don’t want to admit it…

They are the only one with phev suv. How can they catch up when they are the only one?

He is obviously talking about BEVs.

They are in the Renault – Nissan – Mitsubishi alliance so they will probably let Renault and Nissan develop the EV specific platforms and concentrate PHEV platform.

What part of Mitsubishi statement are you exactly sad about? I didn’t find anything outrageous.

Sigh. As a college kid I was blown away when the 3000GT-VR4 came out.

I don’t understand why a decent BEV Grand Tourer is such a hard ask.

I would have titled the story “Outlander PHEV electric range extended from 31 to 50-60 miles”. That’s the real story. Getting an AWD SUV to get range similar to the Volt would be a GREAT move forward for reducing gas consumption.

Presumably they get more clicks and comments/interactions if they post negative stories than incremental updates.

It is impossible for the world to produce enough pure EVs to achieve the required emission reductions to combat Climate Change. A PHEV like the Outlander is driven almost entirely in EV mode and therefore reduces emissions almost as much as a pure EV. We need more PHEVs.

It’s not impossible. It just requires serious commitment.

It is possible, but you have to take note of the most underappreciated part of Elon Musk’s secret master plan: The Tesla Network. If this takes off and the other driverless Uber-like services also use BEV’s, we can use the limited battery supply far more efficiently and force a huge number of privately-owned ICE cars into an early retirement.

Tony Seba and others are huge believers in this scenario, but of course, success is not guaranteed.

Not really possible in reasonable time. Fully working SAE L5 autonomy will take 20-25 years from today (completely ignoring the cost of required sensors, which still open). Nobody knows what the necessary SW will need to handle, and the problem is as difficult as the “strong AI” problems (pass the Turing Test for an unlimited time).
That aside, most drivers I know want cars for the convenience, and treat them as extensions of their home. They keep gym equipment there, baby bags etc. I will not trust an unknown car seat to transport my kids, and (dis)connecting my own for every time isn’t reasonable.
Eventually pure BEVs will make the most sense, but until then, there are 2-3 cargenerations where PHEVs will feel a significant need.

Essentially this is saying that no BEV SUV’s from Mitsubishi, Renault and Nissan … as the three are an Alliance with shared sourcing!

A sad day to remember … as we look back a decade from now. Given SUV popularity globally, am sure a number other auto manufacturer will step up to fill this large void in the market place. The Alliance will trail, or quietly fade into history.

A real shame. As good as the Outlander is, you looses the 6th and 7th seats when going to PHEV due to shoehorning the technology in.

I am not sure that they are talking about 10 year plans.

No, that’s not necessarily what it means. It could easily mean that the alliance will split focus: As the partner with most limited funding, Mitsu will make do with PHEVs, while the others invest more and have multiple BEV types.
Note the (completely wrong) statement above
“technology is not yet cost-effective or beneficial to commercial vehicles”
when both Nissan _and_ Renault are already selling electric vans (now 2nd-gen).

I think it is safe to say that the BEV/PHEV mix in most countries is quickly changing so that BEVs will be dominant (>70%) in the next year or two. Sounds like a bad time to start rolling out a new line of PHEVs. Especially if someone like Hyundai or GM decides to compete with an attractive small SUV.

At some point the extra space, cost and weight of the ICE has to be a bigger “cost” than a bigger battery. My rough guess is that the ICE drivetrain costs about the same as adding the equivalent of 20-25 kWh to the battery.

Agreed. The Outlander PHEV starts at the same price the base model 3 will sell for.

While the price might be the same, the carry capacity is totally different. Mine has the rear seats folded down most of the time. Yesterday I carried a load of Ash from my woodland home. This will be cut and burnt this winter. The Ash trees needed to be felled to try to limit the spread of the Ash borer beetle.
Not easy to do that with a Model 3.
People have different use cases so comparing just on price really does not work in reality.(IMHO)

But the Outlander is a far more practical vehicle. Bigger vehicles have always been more expensive than smaller ones.

Not that I think PHEV is necessarily the answer economically, but it is more so for bigger vehicles right now.

Huh? That’s weird. Above I was saying the same thing as Mike, but look at how many downvotes I got versus Mike’s upvotes.

I’m not at all complaining or feeling wronged. I simply fail to see the logic. Ah well, maybe it was my choice of words that irked some people. 🙂

Don’t worry about votes, the voting system is being gamed by trolls probably using VPNs. It’s very easy to do.

Didn’t get that impression thus far… Frankly, who’d bother?

I think the difference is that he made an argument, while you just stated your opinion as fact…

We’re very far from that yet. the per-kWh _cell_ cost to manufacturers is currently $150 (possibly less for Tesla) or more. 25kWh of battery is therefore ~$4K just for the cells, and in pack form you need to add ~%20-%25%, not including the TMS.
The price to the consumer of a brand-new ICE engine for an average economy car is $1500. The cost to the manufacturer is probably 30% less, so around $1000. Add a couple of $100s for the transmission, and an ICE drivetrain is below $1500 in cost — far less than half of that 25kWh battery capacity.
We’ll get to the point you mention, but it’ll take 15-20 years from today, maybe a bit more.

I don’t see why a PHEV pickup is such Rocket Science. The main complaint with Lutz’s VIAMOTORS is not any criticism of the truck (which is much less complicated than even his first VOLT – it having a plain old genset, batteries, and a single drive motor connected to the same old 4wd transfer case), but just the simple fact that THEY ARE NOT MAKING MANY. Cookbook for Mitsubishi: 1). Put in your favorite GENSET (Mitsubishi engine close-coupled to a Remy Alternator). 2). Get LG to sell you its 60 kwh battery and throw it in between the frame rails. Give Nissan $10 per vehicle royalty if its too much of a look alike to their new Leaf. 3). Put a Remy AC motor (and requisite inverter) in place of the transaxle/transmission- and in the transaxle case have the differential gears there. 4). Charge it with what ever L2 Charging module you’ve got, and cool it however you think best – although water cooling may be the simplest and overall cheapest for good performance. You’d have an 80 mile All electric range vehicle, as well as an engine that would run at its sweet spot only on longer trips. The… Read more »

VIA doesn’t exist any more for any practical purpose. In theory, they’ve turned into a distributor for a Chinese EV company.

If the AER range is increased to 60 miles it would be fine. Realistically there’s no prevalent reliable charging infrastructure in US yet! Probably won’t be until another 10 years. You don’t want to be stuck in the middle of nowhere to endanger your own safety.

RIP – Mitsubishi.

We’ll see how Outlander will do against Tesla’s upcoming Model Y. Poor Mitsubishi…

When will that be eh? 2020/2021? When will it come to Europe or the rest of the world? 2022 or even 2023?
I agree with you that the Model Y may well be a threat but at the moment, there is really nothing to compete with the Outlander that has at least a 10kWh battery.
If Mitsubishi can’t see the writing on the wall then yes, they are doomed.

I believe the Model Y will be available worldwide by end of 2021 at the latest. It won’t be an order of magnitude increase in volume like the Model 3 was — so they shouldn’t have nearly as much trouble scaling up.

Also, Model Y is not the only contender. The VW ID. CROZZ hitting the market in 2020 should actually be a more direct competitor I’d guess?

(Another one is the Volvo XC40 — though that one will likely be worse value, being an ICE conversion…)

And of course there are likely to be a bunch of others as well from GM, Nissan etc. coming in 2020 – 2021, that haven’t seen concrete announcements yet.

The XC40 is built on a modular system, it’s not an ice conversion.

Realistically though the XC40 is not remotely comparable to the Outlander. It’s like comparing a GLA to a CRV. It’s a lot smaller for one, and a premium vehicle.

The Model Y is also going to be a premium vehicle costing significantly more than the Outlander, and may well be smaller too (CUV conversions are usually shorter than their Sedan counterparts.

As seems to be how to lose there advantage phev ute med duty would be very popular how manny tradis utes are sold per year
Manny do local area all the time major fuel saving
Mitsushi were ahead of the rest but seem to have no idea
Like telsa just staying with 60 kw model s for a few yearss
They should have had a longer tange 3 years ago l am sure
People would have paid the extra instead they up graded the ice and minor ev upgrade and there asx phev would have sold well never got past conspect stage

On other works, let Tesla do it first, then we will follow.

Making 3 options for each vehicle seems like a strange decision, because recent history has told us that an EV built on an ICE chassis, as opposed to from the ground-up to be an EV, is not as good. Less aerodynamic, less efficient use of capacity, poorer weight distribution, and so on.