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The race to build an affordable electric SUV is on, with Jaguar and Tesla leading the way. In the meantime, the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is finally available in the US and Alfa Romeo is considering a large SUV boosted by a 48 volt electric turbocharger.

Cars

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Hits US Shores! (Quietly)

The race to build an affordable electric SUV is on, with Jaguar and Tesla leading the way. In the meantime, the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is finally available in the US and Alfa
Romeo is considering a large SUV boosted by a 48 volt electric turbocharger.

All the world wanted for Christmas was a real electric SUV. What it got instead was a lot of hype about what might be coming someday soon, God willing and the creek don’t rise. While we wait for the Jaguar I-Pace and the Tesla Model Y to get here, buyers will need to content themselves with a plug-in hybrid or two and possibly a 48 volt mild hybrid.

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Available In US!

Outlander PHEV

Mitsubishi has been hemming and hawing about bringing its Outlander PHEV to the US market for more than 4 years. The vehicle has achieved something like cult status in Europe, where its combination of full-size SUV styling, an affordable price tag, and an efficient plug-in hybrid powertrain have made it a sales hit. But for reasons that are murky at best and may be down to Mitsubishi’s inability to mount a credible sales campaign in the US over the past three decades, the car never made it to North America.

Now it is here. At least, that is what we are told in a comment by Bugz underneath our recent story on plug-in hybrids for sale in America. The company has apparently decided on a stealth launch for the Outlander PHEV. (US website for the SUV here.) It’s sort of a game, much like playing Where’s Waldo. Here’s how Bugz described the process of discovering if one of these vehicles is for sale near you.

Go to AutoTrader.com, put in Mitsubishi, Outlander and a zip code, then hit “search.” Filter by “any distance” and scroll down. Under “engine,” check “hybrid.” Also make sure 2018 is on but it should default to that anyway. Then search. I just got 141 hits, which increased by like 60 in a day. I’ve enjoyed watching it fluctuate because these are flying off the lots right now. I’ve been waiting for months daily for them to show up locally. We plan on buying / leasing one for my wife. Cars.com is a little more challenging and for some reason never shows as many. But, you have to tinker with it too by putting in key words like “phev” or the like.

Using that method, Tony Reyes found what he was looking for and added this comment: “Wow! Yes! It is finally here. The one closest to me is listed for $35k. It is a solid option.”

What’s the big deal about the Outlander PHEV? First, it’s a full-size SUV. Second, it can travel up to 22 miles on battery power alone. Third, it is attractively priced — a well equipped Kia Niro PHEV costs as much or more. While the Kia is a solid car with crossover styling, it is not as large as the Outlander. 22 miles of range may not seem like much, but for many Americans, it makes driving to work and back possible without using any gasoline. (Well, we understand the gas engine kicks in easily on the Outlander PHEV, but the general point is still the same — a lot of potential driving on electricity.) Large SUVs are typically thirsty vehicles. The Outlander PHEV could save drivers a lot of money over the course of a year.

Who’s next to join the electric SUV race? Stay tuned for a story coming in a few minutes…

Also, check out our review of the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV.


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Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his homes in Florida and Connecticut or anywhere else the Singularity may lead him. You can follow him on Twitter but not on any social media platforms run by evil overlords like Facebook.

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