Since 2013, European and Japanese car buyers have had access to the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, the first plug-in hybrid SUV on the market. While the 2016 Outlander has enjoyed immense success and popularity stateside after undergoing a massive number of changes—more than 100 improvements, according to Mitsubishi—the Outlander PHEV has remained a distant dream for American drivers. However, three years after the vehicle’s initial release, the Outlander PHEV US launch is reportedly imminent, with Mitsubishi Motors North American executive vice president Don Swearingen confirming the plug-in hybrid SUV for a late summer, early fall release.
The Outlander PHEV is the best-selling plug-in hybrid in the European market, and took ranked fourth among global plug-in hybrid sales all around the world. However, despite the vehicle’s success elsewhere, Mitsubishi’s main hangup was not having enough batteries to tackle three markets at once. As a result, the brand ended up shipping the Outlander PHEV to Europe and Japan and momentarily ignoring the US. Now, however, that the 2017 model year of the gas-powered Outlander is on its way, Mitsubishi is getting ready to launch the plug-in hybrid in the American market alongside the new model.
The senior director of MMNA marketing, Francine Harsini, has positive feelings about the Outlander PHEV. He said that, “The fact that you get that five-seater, the fact that you get the cargo capacity, the SUV feel, along with the fact that you get to go anywhere with the gasoline feature of the car. It could be that on the weekends you use the car more for gas purposes, but during the week you might have a short enough commute too that you are able to just plug-in at home and at work. It’s a benefit and a win-win.”
Mitsubishi expects that, following the Outlander PHEV US launch, the SUV could easily sell enough units to make up anywhere from 10 to 20 percent of Outlander sales in the United States. And while Mitsubishi does have plans to make more eco-friendly cars, the company says they plan on making their next EV a crossover. To find out more about the Mitsubishi Outlander, stop by Pete Moore Mitsubishi today!