Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Becomes UK’s #1 Selling Plug-In Electric Car, Knocks Nissan LEAF To #2

3 years ago by Mark Kane 29

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

Mitsubishi Outlander GX5 PHEV

Mitsubishi Outlander GX5 PHEV

Mitsubishi announced that Outlander PHEV sales reached 10,000 in the UK in less than one year.

This makes the Japanese SUV the best selling plug-in electric vehicle in the UK – above all other plug-in hybrids and all-electric models, including the Nissan LEAF, which has been available in the UK since 2011.

“Less than one year from launch the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV has now overtaken every other plug-in hybrid and pure electric car, even passing vehicles that have been on sale since 2011, such as the Nissan Leaf, to become the UK’s favourite plug-in vehicle.”

“By the end of March, sales of the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV will have passed the 10,000 mark.”

If we extract 10,000 from the nearly 30,000 plug-in electric vehicles sold in UK, it seems that the Outlander PHEV has a strong market share. We also note acceleration of sales from 5,370 in 2014 in the UK to some new record levels, because getting to 10,000 from 5,370 means some 4,630 were sold recently.

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV was also the best selling plug-in electric car in Europe in 2014 (almost 20,000 compared to the second best Nissan LEAF with 15,000). Although we understand the difference between the two models, which are not the direct competitors – the numbers stand just for the sake of comparison.

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Cutaway

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Cutaway

Mitsubishi Motors’ UK Managing Director, Lance Bradley said:

“This is certainly a satisfying achievement for us but more significantly it is an indication that this newly developing market is beginning to decide which electric vehicle technology delivers the right balance of low emission driving, value for money, economy and practicality.”

Here is more on general growth of Mitsubishi sales in UK, as well as videos presenting why the Outlander PHEV finds so many takers:

“Mitsubishi’s Outlander Plug-in electric vehicle (PHEV) has transformed the plug-in market. The Outlander PHEV has an all-electric range of up to 32.5 miles and phenomenal economy and environmental credentials. It emits just 44g/km of CO2 and the official combined fuel consumption figure is 148mpg. And, critically, it is available at the same price to the customer as the equivalent specification Outlander diesel.

The company is seeing a strong and sustained period of growth. Mitsubishi Motors’ UK passenger car sales for February 2015 are 178 per cent up on the same month last year against a market that is up 12 per cent, according to latest figures released by the SMMT.”

“February retail sales for Outlander diesel and Shogun are equally impressive, up 67 per cent and 77 per cent respectively compared with 2014.”

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29 responses to "Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Becomes UK’s #1 Selling Plug-In Electric Car, Knocks Nissan LEAF To #2"

  1. tftf says:

    So much for PHEVs are neither this nor that and will not gain acceptance in the marketplace.

    I think PHEVs will continue to have neck-to-neck sales numbers compared to BEVs or even beat them, especially in the SUV and CUV categories.

    The number of new PHEV models coming to showrooms within 12-24 months (especially SUVs and large sedans) is amazing.

    1. QCO says:

      The Mitsubishi comment about the Outlander being the “right balance of low emission driving, value for money, economy and practicality” is a pretty good supporting summary for PHEVs being a viable compromise compared to a sub 100 mile BEV.

      It may change in the future, but zero emissions in exchange for significant value and practicality limitations is too much for many people. Better they drive a low emissions PHEV than stick with ICE vehicles.

    2. Assaf says:

      @tftf, you are setting up a straw man.

      It is very rare to hear, surely in mainstream circle, an argument that PHEVs won’t get acceptance.

      Rather, this conventional-wisdom judgment is typically leveled at BEVs – and proven wrong by the success of Model S, Leaf, and now others.

      Long-term, assuming battery size/price improvements can make >200-mile SUVs/minivans/pickups/trucks a reality, PHEVs might become a niche market (possibly fuel-cell PHEVs being more common than ICE PHEVs).

      But we’re not there yet, and PHEVs are certainly an important part of the EV picture for the coming couple of decades.

  2. scottf200 says:

    Thanks to the state of CA / CARB for keeping this out of the USA because nobody wants it. 🙂

    1. Big Solar says:

      I thought it was coming here? Now its not?

      1. Scramjett says:

        I think he’s being facetious. First Mitsu promised to bring it last year, then they said it would be Fall of this year due to battery shortages…
        http://www.plugincars.com/mitsubishi-delays-outlander-plug-till-2015-cites-battery-supply-woes-128451.html

        Then they tried to blame CARB…
        http://insideevs.com/california-delays-mitsubishi-outlander-phevs-us-debut/

        And then they decided to bump it back to Spring of next year to coincide with the refreshed Outlander…
        http://insideevs.com/mitsubishi-outlander-phev-u-s-launch-set-q2-2016/

        It’s almost comical.

    2. Spider-Dan says:

      More like, thanks to Mitsubishi’s genius leadership team for prioritizing battery packs for crappy i-MiEVs over bringing a PHEV SUV to the world’s biggest SUV market (a market that currently has zero plugin SUVs).

      1. Assaf says:

        …a market where they’ll have stiffer competition, smaller margins and a more spoiled-ass customer base to contend with.

        No, seems like between Japan and Europe they’re already selling all the Outlander-P they can crank out, and making $$ hand over fist.

        Also, by the relative volumes the Outlander PHEV is clearly prioritized now over the i-MiEV in battery allocation.

        1. Scramjett says:

          So…what? You’re saying that any PHEV SUV in the US is doomed and no auto manufacturer is going to bother selling one and that Outlander PHEV is vaporware for the US while selling like crazy abroad?

          1. Mikael says:

            No one has talked about the US… they were talking about the largest SUV market, China.

            1. Spider-Dan says:

              The largest SUV market (in actual sales, not potential future sales) is still the United States.

        2. Spider-Dan says:

          No, they won’t have “stiffer competition.” They’ll have no competition, because there is no one else currently offering a plugin SUV. That’s the point.

          And when you have no competition, the problem of “lower margins” is rather easily resolved. Just ask Tesla.

      2. Mikael says:

        Hmm… The worlds largest SUV market is China. And as far as I know the Outlander PHEV is not going there soon.

        But you can at least be happy that the BYD Tang is on sale and will soon start deliveries. 🙂

      3. Ocean Railroader says:

        Mitsubishi should start asking their battery maker to double their battery capacity or build their own giga factory. In that if they are making 50,000 of them a year they could easily support the demand for a giga factory.

        1. Todd says:

          They did in fact they bought the battery company 6 months ago and increased output 400%

  3. Miggy says:

    I think Mitsubishi can only make about 50,000 Outlander PHEV’s per year and they are selling all they can make. Hope they start selling to the USA soon.
    Best Buy for 2015
    http://www.themotorreport.com.au/60726/tmr-best-buy-2015-mitsubishi-outlander-phev
    Photos of the updated Outlander available in a few weeks, where it is already being sold.
    http://www.themotorreport.com.au/61042/mitsubishi-outlander-2015-styling-update-revealed-ahead-of-april-launch

    1. Scramjett says:

      Thank god! It doesn’t have the concepts ugly butt!

  4. David Murray says:

    I wonder how many of these they’d have sold in the USA last year if they had been available the entire year in all markets. I’m willing to bet it would have sold 30K to 40K.

  5. RAV4 EV AZ says:

    If this is not a wake up call to Mitisubshi to pull the US launch date back in then I do not know what is. This alone should justify the battery ramp up.

    Come on Mitisubshi- Pull a rabbit out of your hat and get this into the U.S. market this year.

  6. Ambulator says:

    You think GM is kicking themselves for skipping the MPV5 for the ELR?

    1. Speculawyer says:

      They should be. They really screwed that up. Everyone (rightly IMHO) saw the ELR as a gussied up Volt and didn’t want to pay 2X the price of a Volt for the ELR. Had they put the Voltec drivetrain in an SUV or CUV and priced it the 40s to 50s, they could have sold a LOT of them.

      1. Jeff Songster says:

        Especially true since the Mitsu is essentially running the same specs as the volt… about 35 electric miles… shows how a PHEV SUV would have sold… better than an undersized sedan. My young daughter never wanted to ride in back seat again after a test drive in Volt.

  7. Stephen says:

    PHEVs have favorable tax status for company car users in the UK compared to ICE. I wonder how many of these will not be plugged in, just like the Volts in USA company fleets.

    1. Just_Chris says:

      I actually think this will be, on balance, a good thing in an abstract kind of way.

      The person who buys a Leaf is only going to want an electric car and will probably be replacing a very efficient hatchback. The person who buys a outlander PHEV for tax reasons probably wanted a V8 land cruiser. Even if they only bought the Outlander for tax reasons at least it is one less “12 mpg land boat” that will take 10 years to pass through the used car market before being scrapped.

      In addition, and more importantly, it introduces someone to the concept of plugging their car in instead of paying insane amounts on petrol or at least lets them know about the technology. If they are cheap enough to worry about paying tax they are probably cheap enough to worry about running costs.

  8. Speculawyer says:

    It still seems crazy that this vehicle is not yet available in the USA. The best explanation I’ve seen for that fact is that they had limited capacity (largely due to not enough batteries), so they focused on selling them in Europe where there were some incentives that were expiring and they get a better profit margin.

    This story about CARB appears to me as nothing but an attempt to manipulated the CARB rules with the promise of bringing this popular vehicle.

  9. lzl says:

    I used to be skeptical of PHEV until I began to read of many customers’ testimonial of how their Volt have helped them reduced their gas consumption to as much just filling up their tank once a year. I am beginning to see GM’s logic behind the Volt and am now a believer! However BEV will still be my first love.

    Anyway glad that the market is heating up and the battle against OIL is ongoing.

  10. Anthony Castro says:

    2 words,…

    Lancer “EV”olution

    That would be a good looking EV. Stick a 30kWh battery pack in there(beat the Soul EV) and wow. Mitsubishi would have a winner.

    Anyone else think so?

  11. Lensman says:

    I don’t understand why people are so quick to accuse Mitsubishi of dishonesty about the problems with CARB compliance. The fact seems to be that the Outlander PHEV — just like other compelling EVs — is production constrained by the available battery supply. So long as Mitsubishi can’t increase production of these cars, why should it go to the trouble and expense of designing a new version just to comply with counterproductive, senselessly restrictive CARB regulations?

    It’s just good business practice for Mitsubishi to sell the car where it can make the best profit margin. I certainly hope the world’s best-selling plug-in SUV will come to our fair shores soon, but until they can secure a better supply of batteries, I can hardly blame Mitsubishi for ignoring a market that has been made difficult to enter for no valid or sensible reason.

    The proper place for anger to be directed is at CARB, for not revising their senselessly restrictive, counterproductive regulations.

  12. Martin T says:

    Mitsubishi has stated under the current presidents watch not one red dime to wards lancer – a market segment with too much competition and Minimal profit.

    They have found their Nirvana and are currently pouring all their resources and money into it.

    Plus from the Vids they Know how to market it and make it sell. The issue they currently have is making enough of them and refreshing it on the next model change.

    GM take note Mitsu. is onto to something.

    Japan and Europe that is where it will sell Well. USA and Australia – they are only just waking up to what it could do for them.