Mitsi PHEVer as plug-in hits target

Mitsi PHEVer as plug-in hits target

Things mightn’t be too special at Mitsubishi these days – now under control of Nissan after being caught out for manipulating its fuel economy data.

But for the first time since those raging Evolutions, it’s got a vehicle that’s hit a market sweet spot – and that’s the Outlander PHEV.

Its global target for the big PHEV was 100,000 vehicles – and it’s smashed it, since it went on sale in some markets in 2012.

Mitsubishi Motors NZ’s Daniel Cook said that when the popular SUV range added plug-in hybrid electric vehicle option in 2014 it had very solid initial sales on ‘early adopter’ enthusiasm, followed by a lull.

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“Over the last year or so, it’s had a big resurgence,” Cook said, “especially with the government there’s now a lot of talkability around plug-ins and electric vehicles – the technology is becoming more commonplace…probably not quite common yet, but definitely getting that way and will continue to do so.”

Outlander – in all variants – currently sells around 100 SUVs a month, Cook told Autotalk, and of that 20% are plug-ins.

“While 20 a month doesn’t sound like a lot, in the plug-in and electric world it’s pretty good. Outlander PHEV gives Mitsubishi a 60% share of that [new] market, which we’re obviously very pleased with,” Cook said.

The UK has also been a killer marketplace for the plug-in off-roader, accounting for more than 20% of its global sales. Mitsubishi Motors UK’s sales sheets now put one in every two cars sold as a plug-in.

The PHEV, with one petrol engine and two-electric motors, has massive range compared to straight electric vehicles and is still easily capable of returning a planet-cuddling 42g/km of CO2 and 1.8L/100km. In New Zealand, the VRX variant of the PHEV kicks it off from $59,990.

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