Taking a break from the “all Tesla, all the time” news cycle for a moment, there is good news for Mitsubishi from the government of the Ukraine. The national police force has decided to ditch its antiquated Russian made UAZ and AvtoVAZ vehicles featuring Soviet era technology in favor of the Mitsubishi Outlander plug-in hybrid SUV that is the world leader in plug-in hybrid SUV sales.
Of course, until recently, the Outlander PHEV has been the only plug-in hybrid SUV available. New models from BMW and Mercedes have just gone on sale or are coming soon.
Ukraine’s Minister of Internal Affairs, Arsen Avakov, took to Twitter recently to announce his government has ordered 651 Outlander plug in hybrid vehicles. The decision to go with the Outlander PHEV is in line with the Ukrainian pledge to help combat global warming in accordance with the international agreements reached at the COP21 summit in Paris last December.
The 2017 Outlander PHEV has a 2.0 liter, four cylinder engine and two electric motors. With its 12 kWh battery, it has an all electric driving range of 22 miles. “So, gentlemen, Ukrainian policemen! You will receive 651 new and unique modern powerful eco-friendly hybrid crossover Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV,” Avakov said in statement to the police force. “The people of Ukraine hopes that you will be worthy of this innovation! Serve with honor!”
It has been a tough year for Mitsubishi. This spring, it acknowledged that it has been cooking the books to report higher fuel economy ratings for some of its smallest cars for decades. Heads rolled inside the Mitsubishi boardroom after that information came to light.
In the US, its dealers are saddled with outdated products. While the Outlander PHEV has set sales records in many markets around the world, company officials have dithered about bringing it to America. While the official excuse is that it did not have enough batteries available from its supplier to meet US demand, in truth, the company has perseverated about bringing the partially electric SUV to American shores for years while it tweaked the design of the front bumper to make it macho enough for US drivers.
Last week, the head of Ecotricity, the exclusive supplier of electric vehicle charging equipment on British motorways, castigated Outlander PHEV drivers for hogging the company’s charging equipment. “The point of a hybrid is that they don’t have to charge. They have a petrol engine for a long journey, that’s the whole point of them. It’s just been an anomalous use of our network and our fast charge technology,” said Dale Vance, president of Ecotricity. He called the Outlander PHEV “a compromised car.”
With SUV’s representing the hottest market segment in the US and around the world, the Outlander PHEV could be a strong seller in the US market — if it ever gets here.
Source: In Auto News Photo credit: Government of Ukraine