Mitsubishi’s potential game-changer


THE OUTLANDER PHEV has the potential to be a game-changer: With some of the best economy figures, all-wheel capability and a spacious interior, it will surely appeal to a lot of buyers.

Overshadowed by last week’s 50th anniversary bash of Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp. was Osamu Masuko’s announcement of the imminent rollout of the plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) version of the upcoming 2013 Outlander crossover.

The president of Mitsubishi Motors Corp., during last week’s morning press conference held in Makati City, reported that the world’s first production plug-in hybrid crossover—currently available only in Japan—will soon be hitting showrooms across Southeast Asia, Europe and North America.

Most important creation

The all-new Outlander PHEV is perhaps Mitsubishi’s most important creation. Masuko related that they learned so much from marketing the i-MiEV subcompact hatchback. “More than the price tag and infrastructure (charging stations), having a longer cruising range and more passenger room are now big considerations,” he said.

As a new-generation midsized crossover, the Outlander PHEV has the potential to drastically reduce fuel bills without any real compromise on maximum range, comfort, practicality or all-weather dependability.

800 kilometers

While the Outlander PHEV may look nearly like the rest of the model range, this particular variant has been rated to travel more than 800 kilometers on one full charge and one full tank (this is like driving from Manila to Vigan and back without refueling) or travel 55 km on electric power alone (without charging).

This writer was able to drive a prototype of this plug-in crossover in December 2011, during the 42nd Tokyo Motor Show.

While I did not pay so much attention to the test unit considering we were all busy enjoying with the then newly introduced i-MiEV compact electric hatchback (and the fact that the prototype still used an old Outlander body and interior appointments), this writer, nevertheless, realized its potential should Mitsubishi decides to mass-produce the model.

Indeed, what a difference a year makes. With the arrival of the third-generation and new-look Outlander and its PHEV variant, the market now enjoys both worlds: an electric vehicle/zero emissions powertrain and a spacious crossover that is perfect for comfortable long-distance drives.

Combining the electric powertrain and the 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder MIVEC gasoline engine, the Outlander PHEV offers a  remarkable fuel-consumption rating of 67 km/liter (with the gasoline engine fully utilized, this variant is rated to come up with a 18.6-km/liter efficiency).

The Outlander PHEV is driven primarily by two 80-HP electric motors, one for each axle, making this crossover an all-wheel-drive ride.

These motors are the same ones found in the i-MiEV and draw power via two independent current inverters, from a 12-kWh lithium-ion battery under the floor (reason why this variant is about 200 kg heavier).

A sophisticated computer system constantly optimizes power usage, and regenerative braking captures waste energy for recharging of the battery. At high speeds and full power, the gas engine does most of the work, but recharges the batteries in the process.

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Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • Norman

    why not develop a battery that goes full charge quickly once electric current from alternators charges it.  no need to plug on stationary electric outlets.  This would end our dependency on Arab oil.

  • Wadav

    these EVs or PHEVs can only be economical if you have a solar power system (a 3 kW system will be enough) in your house. a recent study released in the US last year showed that EVs (Nissan Leaf) can normally travel 5.1 km/kWh. Sobra patong ng mga utility companies sa atin kaya sobra mahal singil nila!

  • WeAry_Bat

    67 km/liter
    Considering electricity is Php11 per kilowatt while gasoling is Php55 per liter,
    the next factor to consider is how many kilowatts does it take to charge?

    It would become a fair judgement once the amount of electrical charging is known, because Philippines has highest electricity rate.  Then it can be seen if the capital amount spent is offset by operational fuel saved.

  • Elpidio

    magkano naman kaya to? baka 5 milyon…

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