Last week, Mitsubishi Motors in the U.K announced the release of their new Outlander SUV, and promised that they would offer a plug-in hybrid by June. Pricing could be in the $41,000 to $50,000 range in the U.S.
Fuel efficiency and pricing information for the Outlander PHEV have not yet been released. However Lance Bradley, the managing director of Mitsubishi Motors U.K said that the vehicle could “perhaps” achieve 150 MPG at best. This vehicle, however, achieved 125 MPG on the Japanese fuel economy test, which tends to yield higher MPG ratings than the U.S EPA test.
Bradley said the vehicle price would be “highly competitive. This is the first four-wheel drive plug-in hybrid that seats seven people. It achieves 30 mile range in electric mode, and can travel an additional 250 miles using gasoline. The top speed in electric mode is 75 mph.
It is expected to go on sale in Australia in 2013, and the United States in 2014. Paul Unerkov, Mitsubishi Australia vice-president, said that the price will range from $40,000 to $50,000 AUD, which is $41,000 to $53,000 USD.
“This will put future technology in the driveways of mums and dads today,” Unerkov said, referring to the relatively affordable price tag, and the ability of the plug-in model to travel long distances without requiring a charge. “Over a year, we aim to sell them in the thousands, not the hundreds,” he said.
An SUV that achieves over 100 mpg is substantially efficient, and 30 mile electric range is long for a hybrid. Hybrid-electric vehicles use much smaller batteries and smaller electric motors than purely electric vehicles because that is cheaper, and their gas engines back them up when the 30 mile range is depleted, and when substantial amounts of power are needed.
If the Outlander PHEV comes even close to what the managing director said above, it will truly be an outstanding, standard setting vehicle.
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