Category Archives: Availability

Now US Outlander PHEV is delayed because of battery shortage

First there is all the drama of the battery fires. Now, Mitsubishi says the Outlander PHEV production is way behind because of a battery shortage, likely partly caused by the production delay while they investigated the fires.

Mitsubishi has been ramping up the production of their battery packs from 2000 units per month, to 4000 units per month. Now they plan a further production increase to 5000 units per month in April 2014.

The increase will allow Mitsubishi to produce around 60,000 plug-in vehicles per year, up from the 30,000 they are making a year right now.

Since the Mitsubishi Outlander plug-in hybrid electric vehicle has been selling like hotcakes, and using up all available battery production, Mitsubishi has decided to delay the US launch until 2015 when battery production has reached full capacity.

Mitsubishi has already sold over 11,500 of the Outlander PHEVs worldwide since the January 2013 introduction.

After 5 months, production restarts for Outlander PHEV

It’s been almost 5 months since Mitsubishi temporarily cancelled production on the Outlander Plug-in hybrid. In case you don’t remember why, they cancelled production because of 2 cases of the vehicle’s battery pack overheating, and in one case, causing a small fire. Both incidents happened at Japanese dealerships, and no one was hurt.

After a month of investigation, Mitsubishi determined the batteries had become compromised during a screening test process when some of the cells had been dropped. The fall caused damage that lead the batteries to be more susceptible to overheating. 5 months later, Mitsubishi has announced it has come up with a new screening process. Everyone has been trained, equipment has been swapped out, and the production lines are ready to roll.

Now, Mitsubishi has to work through the almost 18,000 order backlog. In September, a second facility will come online and production will double to 4,000 units a month. At that rate, it shouldn’t be too long before Mitsubishi is able to fill all of their orders for the 2014 Outlander PHEV.

Mitsubishi Outlander traction battery

Outlander PHEV demand means delays for other countries

Current reports put Japanese order for the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV at around 8000 units, and demand in the Netherlands is more than 10,000. Wow. I think it’s safe to say that demand is outpacing Mitsubishi’s expectations. Mitsubishi is currently building 500 vehicles a week, so at that rate they can only fill the current demand for Japan and Netherlands by the end of the year, let alone any more need from those countries or any of the other countries Mitsubishi said would get the Outlander PHEV in late 2013 and early 2014.

Australians were supposed to get the Outlander PHEV later in 2013, but according to a recent press announcement, Mitsubishi Australia will not get the Outlander PHEV until later next year due to unexpectedly high demand in Japan. The Outlander PHEV was originally due in showrooms in Australia in May, but this announcement means it will arrive up to 8 months later than planned. This likely means the launch in the US in January 2014 will be pushed back as well.

Mitsubishi Australia’s Corporate Communications Manager told press that 2 Outlander PHEV plug-in hybrids will be in Australia for marketing and press activities in June, but the first Australian-spec versions will arrive in January 2014.

There’s also a rumor that Mitsubishi Motors Australia is lobbying hard for an entry-level of the Outlander PHEV that could mean a price of less than $40,000. If the request for an entry-level version was granted, it would bring plug-in hybrid technology to Australian customers for much less than expected. With the entry-level AWD Outlnader costing around $33,390, the Outlander PHEV ES could be priced as low as $38,990. That will make Australia’s first plug-in SUV considerably cheaper than any other PHEV currently available, including Holden’s ($59,990 plus ORCs) and Porsche’s upcoming Panamera S E-Hybrid, which will cost about $300,000.

“We don’t see it (the PHEV variant) will have a huge premium,” said Beale, head of Mitsubishi Motors Australia Communications. “We’re looking at bringing in a low to mid-spec model, and we’re negotiating a similar jump in price as the one that exists between current spec grades.”

Mitsubishi Motors Australia hopes to avoid the issues that Mitsubishi had when the i-Miev electric vehicle was launched. Initially starting at $70,000, the i-Miev now costs $48,800, and still isn’t selling as well as they would like.

The Outlander PHEV will also be available in range-topping Aspire auto form, which currently costs $43,490 in petrol guise and $45,490 with a 2.3-litre diesel engine.

To keep up to date on availability, keep your eye on the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV forum.

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV expected to be 50% of UK Outlander sales

2013 Outlander phev black

The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV will go on sale in the UK in the summer of 2013. Mitsubishi managing director, Lance Bradley, revealed that the Outlander PHEV could indeed outsell the diesel internal combustion engine Outlanders.

In an interview with What Car? Bradley said the Outlander PHEV could account for 50% of Outlander sales in the UK. As Bradley explains it, the 3 year cost of the Outlander PHEV will be the same as the diesel version, and after the first 3 years, the savings increase dramatically.

“When you take the purchase price and the running costs into account, it is about the same amount over a three-year period for the diesel as it is for the PHEV.” After that first 3 years, the operating costs of the PHEV are markedly lower than for the diesel Outlander.

Price reductions on the Outlander PHEV, which Bradley hinted at, will likely come soon as Mitsubishi hopes to eventually release a cheaper trim level of the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV.

The Outlander PHEV features a 117 hp 2.0 liter gasoline engine and 2 electric motors – one powering the front wheels, and one driving the back wheels. The electric only range is quoted at 32 miles, which is impressive for a vehicle this size to say the least.

In the UK, when the Outlander PHEV goes on sale, it is expected to cost around £30,000 ($44,802 US) after incentives.

 

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV in the UK

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV front three quarters

Mitsubishi UK ha announced the release of the Outlander PHEV SUV, and promised it by June 2013!

While fuel efficiency and pricing information hasn’t been released yet for the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV in the UK, there is a page on the Outlander PHEV Forum that has pricing news udpates. We’ll be watching it to see when pricing info is available.

Lance Bradley, the managing director of Mitsubishi Motors U.K said that the vehicle could “perhaps” achieve 150 MPG at best.

On the Japanese test cycle, the Outlander PHEV achieved 125 MPG.

According to Bradley, the pricing will be ‘highly competitive.’ He went on to say that the Outlander PHEV is the first 4wd hybrid plug-in SUV that seats seven people – which is up for debate, because everywhere else only gets a 5 seat version of the plug-in hybrid Outlander

“This will put future technology in the driveways of mums and dads today,” Paul Unerkov, Mitsubishi Australia vice-president, said. “Over a year, we aim to sell them in the thousands, not the hundreds,” he said. It is expected to go on sale in Australia in 2013, and the United States in 2014. Unkerox said that the price will range from $40,000 to $50,000 AUD, which is $41,000 to $53,000 USD.