Mitsubishi Delays US Version Of 2017 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

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Originally published on EV Obsession.

The recent unveiling of a prototype US-version of the 2017 Mitsubishi Outlander plug-in hybrid at the 2016 New York Auto Show had many hoping that the popular SUV would finally be making it to US showrooms sometime relatively soon. Those hopes appear to have misplaced though, as it seems the US release has been delayed once again, according to new reports — with the target release date now being all the way in November.

Apparently the delay will see further changes made to the US-version of the plug-in hybrid (PHEV) SUV before its eventual release — with even the battery-pack possibly being changed before release, according to a company rep.

Considering that the Outlander PHEV SUV was first unveiled as a concept car all the way back in 2009, the extremely slow move towards a US release has been strange to observe. Especially when considering how popular the model has proved in the Japanese and European markets. By the time the Outlander PHEV finally makes it to the US market, there will be substantially more competition than there had been previously.

Green Car Reports provides some details on what we can expect when the model is finally released:

The pack will remain around the 12 kWh it’s currently rated, and it will still be supplied by LEJ, but (company spokesman Alex) Fedorak said that some details remain to be finalized. That could mean changes to the battery’s cell chemistry or power characteristics, all aimed at drivability, and getting significant all-electric range in American driving conditions.

…One interesting detail: Batteries and motor-system components are specially protected. That means the Outlander PHEV, provided it has been switched to its “EV” mode, will allow limited driving in the kind of deep-water conditions usually reserved for the most hardy of off-road SUVs.

Fedorak commented that the development team behind the Outlander PHEV is “really focused on the driving characteristics of the car, and they wanted it to make sure that it feels like it belongs in this market.”

“It’s not the European spec” that is being used, he stated. “We’re tailoring it for the US market, and that’s affecting range, MPGe, acceleration, and performance numbers, too.”

The company is reportedly targeting an all-electric range of around 20 miles for the US. Also worth noting is that the company seems to have no plans to offer CHAdeMO fast-charging capability.

Reprinted with permission.

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James Ayre

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

James Ayre has 4830 posts and counting. See all posts by James Ayre

29 thoughts on “Mitsubishi Delays US Version Of 2017 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

  • Hybrid cars are a dead end, and most of the time doesn’t really reduce emissions: with their tiny battery packs they have to be recharged constantly, something most buyers don’t do. So: they drive on fossil fuels, and have to drag around TWO drivelines. This of course adds weight –> higher emissions!

    • Most Chevy Volt drivers rarely use gas. The new 2016 Chevy Volt gets 50 miles of all electric range. I disagree with your assessment. If all cars were plug in hybrid, or electric, the price of these cars, would quickly drop, our air quality would increase, and gas consumption would go way down. All cars should be either plug in hybrid or electric like the Nissan Leaf. This would severely cut our use of dirty oil, and clean up our environment. Most automobile trips are 4 miles or less, so even plug in hybrids like the new Toyota Prius that can only go 20 miles using all electric power, will cover most trips, so your assessment is wrong.

      • Actually, the mining of lithium batteries causes more damage to the environment than most gas cars produce. You see, there is also the damage of producing a car, before it even hits the road, the Prius for example has already produced more emissions/environmental impact than a similar gas powered efficient car.

        “Toyota admits that the production of its lightweight Prius requires more energy and emits more carbon dioxide than the production of its gas-only models [source: Williams]. The major reason is because hybrids like the Prius include more advanced components than a conventional car, including a second electric motor and heavy battery packs.”

        Additionally, there will never be a day ALL cars are electric. Sports cars will continue to be gas or diesel powered. You can take the fun out of driving with the boring prius and other cars. But for REAL drivers who ENJOY driving, you will never take the fun out of hearing your engine whip up to high rpm, the throttle as it goes WOT, the backfire of a fine tune musclecar/tuner/euro.

        And believe me, BMW for example, won’t ditch the Manual because over 70% of its world buyers would boycott them if they did. So even though the auto is faster, and bah bah bah, bmw still makes and will always make manual M3, M4, M5 versions. And no, the majority of us car people dont give a crap about the “tesla” sports car. So dont bother mentioning it, cause any real car guy would take a gas guzzling M5, GTR ,Z06 over the tesla anyday. Even if they where free.

        • ls. The production of lithium-ion batteries account for 2 to 5 percent of total lifetime hybrid emissions and nickel-hydride batteries are responsible for higher sulfur oxide emissions, roughly 22 pounds (10 kilograms) per hybrid compared with 2.2 pounds (about 1 kilogram) for a conventional vehicle [sources: Samaras and Burnham et al].

          There are additional environmental concerns related to those rare earth metals, like those used in the magnets of hybrid batteries. In recent years, rare earth metals like lithium have been imported almost exclusively from China, which was able to lower its prices enough to monopolize the industry [source: Strickland]. One of the reasons China could sell lithium so cheaply was because it widely ignored environmental safeguards during the mining process. In the Bayan Obo region of China, for example, miners removed topsoil and extracted the gold-flecked metals using acids that entered the groundwater, destroying nearby agricultural land. Even the normally tight-lipped Chinese government admitted that rare earth mining has been abused in some places. A regulator at the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology in China went so far as to tell The New York Times, “This has caused great harm to the ecology and environment”

          My mazda RX8 has no Cat, but it also hasnt wiped out a village 😉

        • Richard, that’s probably the biggest pile of crap I’ve seen anyone post on this site for a year or more.

          I’m going to give you one more turn at bat.

          You furnish reliable numbers proving that ” the mining of lithium batteries causes more damage to the environment than most gas cars produce”.

          Don’t bother making another comment here unless you can prove your claim.

    • I checked recently, 60% of the mileage on my Outlander phev is done in EV mode. Basically, all working days travel. What remains “fossil” is for weekend travels, those travels where Leaf users get the “first” gasoline car. I can go along with the same one, which happens to be a hybrid anyway.

    • Citation needed.
      HorseSh*t Limbaugh isn’t a source.

    • Nonsense. I own an Outlander PHEV in Oz. I drove my first 1,000 km without putting in a drop of petrol. Didn’t even know how to open the petrol cap when the time came.

      • Nice to hear that this car works well for some of you. But as we are discussing this on CleanTechnica I guess you are more environmentally aware than most people, and thus more careful to recharge often?

        It does seem expensive and complex to have two drive lines. Isn’t it better to have a range extender, a small combustion engine that only drives a generator and therefore can be optimized for a fixed speed? BMW i3 has this as an option.

        Here in Norway only 7.817 PHEVs were sold last year, compared to 25.779 all-electric cars (mainly VW e-Golf, Tesla S and Nissan LEAF)

        • I also drive a PHEV and do over half of my mileage in electric mode.

          I can’t really imagine who would buy a plug-in vehicle and then not bother to plug it in. It’s not as though it’s a big hassle. Most PHEV buyers will have a home charger, and when you go anywhere else that offers charging, you’re always going to seek it out, if only because it usually gives you privileged access to an ideal parking spot. People ask me how long it takes to charge and I say 30 seconds – 15 seconds to plug it in when I get home and another 15 seconds to unplug it before I leave. I’d far rather do that than have to go and visit a petrol station for fuel!

          The penalty of carrying around extra weight (in the form of an internal combustion engine) may also be less than you’re thinking – regenerative braking means you can recover a lot of the energy used to accelerate the car’s mass between stop lights or to drive up a hill. Having a heavy PHEV car doesn’t sap efficiency in the same way as it does for ICE vehicles.

        • Are, you seem to miss the point : Technology evolves over time, it doesn’t typically appear out of nowhere with a silver bullet (although this does occasionally happen). You’d probably be pretty frustrated with a 1980s cel-phone, eh?

          Those of us who support this generation of plug-ins are supporting the technology generally, pushing the evolution over time.

          Your assertion is that we should all have all-electrics now? Unlikely now, but likely in the future. In the meantime, some of us may, in fact, “lug around two drivelines” (although that’s not a fair characterization), but we don’t own two cars, as most pure EV owners are forced to do.

          • Yes, I understand: at the moment affordable EVs with very long range are not available. And even though Tesla’s Model 3 will be revealed in a couple of days (exciting!!) it won’t be delivered until next year.
            Whether today’s best EVs have enough range depends of course on your needs, and where you live. I read somewhere that americans drive about twice as far in a year as a typical european – you have a much bigger country, more sprawled housing and less public transport. But friends that have Leafs and i3s get by with these as their only car, both for commuting to work and driving to their cabins in the mountains. But then fast charging stations are more built out here than in the US.
            Sadly it will take a long time before we are all electric. Last year the 5 million Norwegians bought 150.000 new cars, and only 17% of them were EVs. Even if 100% of new cars were electric it would still take 15 years to replace them all… 🙁

  • All electric range reduced to 20 miles! Forget it. The only other electric suv is the Rav 4 but its too expensive. No other PHEV suv are available in North America and this is 2016…pathetic.

    • Better to wait for a used Tesla Model X.

    • I was hoping they’d actually bump it up to around 40, instead, it sounds like it’ll really be about 20. Very disappointing. Enough to make me reconsider wanting it. They really need to up the battery to 16 kwh anyway for the US market. Anyone buying this car is going to want to maximize the Fed tax credit with a larger battery.

  • Owning the European model, I suppose there is one single big problem for Mitsubishi: the acceleration from the line. If you want a 0-30 mph with the Outlander, it’s quite slow: it pulls away without strong bite (60kW), after one second the engine is started, it takes another while to reach full power and then… you usually don’t need further speed increase. While it works perfectly at speed for overtaking, the full stop start is not acceptable for US drivers. But the solution requires some way to get more discharge current from the battery. Not easy.

    Then, the batteries are air cooled, will it be enough for Arizona heat?

    Pity. The Outlander was big news three years ago, by the end of 2016 I’d expect already the first rumors for the next generation, otherwise it’s going to become history. Pity, because the concept is sound: with twice the battery capacity it can become a real EV killer.

  • ….In a move surprising absolutely nobody.

    If it means they “right size” the battery, then it’s a good reason to delay it yet again. 20 EV miles isn’t much help in North America.

    • 20 is 10 in Winter.

  • After 4 years of development, they could EASILY upgrade the batteries to 30 miles of range. Come one. Are they being extorted by Toyota to not bring this to market?

    Government pressure?

    • Absolutely. It was a great start in 2009 to be able to have some kind of electric SUV. So it gets blocked for years coming to the US market by who knows who. There are so many interests to keep it out. Big Oil, the Dealers associations, bought politicians, the auto industry. Koch Brothers, Then if they finally get it here, no fast charge, limited range, lackluster acceleration. What else will they do to hobble it. What is the on board charger 3.3 kW? The 3.3 kW on board charger on our Volt drives me nuts compared to even the 6.6 kW one on the Ford Focus which can top off in half the time.

  • I wish all big sport pick up trucks and SUV’s were banned and replaced with small solar electric velomobiles like the solar electric ELF, made by Organic Transit. Most car trips are less than 4 miles, and it makes no sense to haul around a 4 ton SUV. For longer distances, the electric Nissan Leaf, and Chevy Bolt could be used. If speed limits in cities were reduced to 35 MPH, and electric motor laws allowed electric bicycles to go 25 MPH, without requiring a license, we could replace most polluting cars on the road. The advantages, to small solar electric velomobiles like the ELF, are that they recharge with their solar panels in 7 hours, and require no gas. They can travel up to 35 MPH with pedaling and an electric motor. They are not for freeway driving, but for urban trips. With no license or registration, or insurance requirements, they are much cheaper to operate. Unfortunately they are not armor protected like 2 ton cars are, so you will be seriously injured or die in an accident with a car, which is why I want SUV’s and big sport pick up trucks off the road as well as the speed limit in cities and towns reduced to 35 MPH. This would save lives. NY city reduced their speed limit to 25 MPH, and pedestrian deaths declined significantly. Imagine being able to travel in a vehicle without buying gas, or needing to recharge, or the need for registration, or costly insurance. This would clean up the air in cities around the world, and end our use of dirty oil overnight. If this vehicle were mass produced, the cost could drop dramatically from $5,000.00 to $1000.00, making it available to the masses.

    • Big trucks and SUVs are a necessary evil.
      See in Murrica, we need super-sized vehicles to carry our super-sized keisters and all our super-sized children that we were incentived by the government to produce and threatened with eternal damnation if we didn’t, to chickfila then to Walmart to haul back four tons of plastic chinese garbage. Just look at how our super-sized boys in blue migrated to big SUVs. Smaller, less costly police cars wont do like they do in every other continent on Earth. Oh yeah then there’s the whole economy collapsing part. If people didn’t blow tens of thousands more buying a luxury SUV that gets 8 mpg, general motors and the banks that finance those monster trucks would need another bailout . Consumption, consumption, consumption.

      • Exactly. It would make too much sense if we built more barrier protected bike lanes, to encourage alternatives to the car. Electric bicycles now can replace cars for many short distance trips in the city, and are cheaper to operate, with no insurance or registration needed. People won’t stand for someone to take their big oversized polluting 8 MPG SUV’s and sport pickups off the road. Americans are addicted to consumption, and big cars. It’s always been like that. Even as plastic in our oceans is ubiquitous, and killing our marine life, our landfills are overcrowded, and Global Warming is getting worse, most people would never dare give up their big polluting SUV,s and sport pickup trucks, to drive smaller safer electric vehicles that can save lives, get us off dirty polluting oil, clean up the air in our cities, and save us a massive amount of money. Even as 2015 was the hottest year on record, and GW continues to get worse, Americans would never even think of getting rid of their big polluting SUV’s. Common sense has never been an American trait.

        • I hear your frustration but I would disagree that Americans are addicted to SUVs.
          SUVs are being shoved down our throats with the blessings of the government. We buy what is presented to us. Example, this article is about a PHEV small suv that isn’t being made available . Can’t buy it.
          Do you think the insurance companies would like it if nobody needed car insurance? Of course not. Oil cartels? Auto cartels? The biggest sectors of our economy … Energy, auto, banking and insurance would be in trouble if a significant portion of the country got around by bikes and so would a lot of smaller businesses like the carwash or auto parts stores. People’s health would improve and so less money on healthcare and for weight loss products. Feeling hopeless yet?
          No? CAFE was an attempt to down scale our cars gradually and at first it was starting to look that way. Many of the body on frame Suvs have been discontinued (only one remains in midsize) and the smaller , more efficient crossovers are everywhere you look. although cars seem to be getting larger on the whole, and fuel economy is still pretty pathetic. We’re mired in it.

          You may already be aware of this but if you’re concerned about climate change and killing marine life, the best thing you can do is to go vegan in case you haven’t already.

  • There is good in time and perfect too late

  • Oh forget it!
    Just forget it.
    Mitsu is just buying themselves time before they exit the northam market.
    You got a better chance of seeing that diesel mazda or the Elio

  • Let’s look at CO2 emissions based on energy source. As you can see the grid does not have to clean a lot before EVs become better than ICEVs. I’m not really interested in discussing how much fossil fuel a particular grid might use today. We’re reducing fossil fuels on all grids.

    ” Or a complete solar panel system? If the latter yes, YOU MIGHT BE near 24percent better than a standard car.”

    “From cradle to grave, battery-electric vehicles are cleaner. On average, battery electric vehicles (BEVs) representative of those sold today produce less than half the global warming emissions of comparable gasoline-powered vehicles, even when the higher emissions associated with BEV manufacturing are taken into consideration. Based on modeling of the two most popular BEVs available today and the regions where they are currently being sold, excess manufacturing emissions are offset within 6 to 16 months of driving.

    EVs will become even cleaner as more electricity is generated by renewable sources of energy. In a grid composed of 80 percent renewable electricity, manufacturing a BEV will result in an over 25 percent reduction in emissions from manufacturing and an 84 percent reduction in emissions from driving—for an overall reduction of more than 60 percent (compared with a BEV manufactured and driven today).”

    • “. Also, the battery in your hybrid/electric last about 7 years or 80k miles. Ive met many owners who have replaced 2 by 150k. ”

      Calling BS on that one as well. Toyota warranties their Prius batteries for 100,000 or 150,000 miles (depending on year manufactured).

      Tesla has stated that Model S owners should expect to drive 200,000 miles before their batteries fall below 70% capacity.

  • People are going to drive. There is no way to force people to return to walking everywhere they go. The task at hand is to minimize the environmental damage caused and to make transportation sustainable.

    Lithium can be mined, scooped up from surface deposits or extracted from geothermal brines and seawater. I don’t think anyone could make a successful argument that obtaining about 10 kilos of ltihium for a large EV is going ot cause anything like the environmental damage caused by extracting, refining and burning the thousands of gallons of fuel the typical ICEV would use.

    Furthermore, the lithium used in batteries is not consumed. It can be reused. Elon Musk has referred to used EV batteries as sources of concentrated lithium.

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