Even though buyers in the US are still waiting on the release of the first version of Mitsubishi’s Outlander PHEV, it appears that the European market is already set to receive a new variant of the model.
The new variant will, reportedly, be a “van” of sorts — though apparently not in the “traditional sense of a purpose-built goods-hauler.”
The van version of the PHEV will be marketed as a part of a group of several vehicles designed specifically for the business crowd. Some of the changes to the Outlander PHEV will be: the removal of the rear seats, putting blanking panels over the back windows, and covering the the newly created load space in a durable rubber coating.
Now you might be thinking, “well, what’s the point of all that?,” but as Green Car Reports notes, there are good reasons:
For a start, the UK’s plug-in van grant is larger than that of its plug-in car grant–up to £8,000 ($13,300) or 20% of the vehicle’s value. The Outlander PHEV ‘4work’, as the van variant is known, would ordinarily cost £36,905 (about $61,200 at current exchange rates). But with the grant, that price drops down to £29,524, or under $49,000–a saving of over $12,000.
Then there’s taxes. In the UK, where the van is going on sale, all cars are subject to a 20% purchase tax known as VAT, or ‘Value Added Tax’. Drivers of vehicles designed for commercial use though–pickups, panel vans or van-based cars like the Outlander PHEV van — can reclaim that VAT on a vehicle used exclusively for business use. That means business users could save even more.
And that’s before you take into account the benefits of running a vehicle that does, in European testing, over 30 miles on electric power. The reality is likely to be a little less than that but it does mean drivers with around-town duties may not use much fuel at all.
And, obviously, there are other practical reasons as well — plenty of businesses need such vans but have environmental concerns, political beliefs, and an interest in supporting the technology that would make them good customers for such a version of the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV.
For those in the US that are interested, no release has been announced yet, but obviously, at the earliest, it wouldn’t be until after the standard model of the Outlander PHEV is released — which is roughly a year or so from now.