With over 100,000 units of sales success under its belt in Europe, Mitsubishi is bringing the Outlander plug-in hybrid electric vehicle to Canada. While its gasoline-only cousin has been in Canada long enough to qualify for citizenship and has a faithful fleet following, the addition of the PHEV model has Mitsubishi hoping fleets will get charged up over a vehicle that suits their changing needs and objectives.
“The Outlander PHEV is the most anticipated new-product in our history. A runaway success all over the world, it’s coming to Canada complete with Mitsubishi Motors’ top technological advances, all the best attributes of our highly successful Outlander model and a pricing strategy that is sure to delight consumers,” said Tony Laframboise, President and CEO, Mitsubishi Motor Sales of Canada.
Outlander PHEV can travel 35 kilometres on electric power alone, which Mitsubishi says is the longest EV-only range of any PHEV SUV available in the Canadian market. Combined with the 464km’s of gasoline range, The Outlander can go for close to 500 km before plugging in or filling up. Fuel economy for the gasoline engine is 9.2L/100km combined (9.0/9.4L/100km highway/city), with the EV unit offering 3.2Le/100km (3.4/3.0 Le/100km highway/city).
The Outlander PHEV system has five main parts, consisting of front and rear electric motors (each with 80 horsepower and 101 front and 144 rear foot/pounds of torque), generator, 12 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, single gear transaxle, and a 2.0 litre gasoline engine with 117hp and 137 ft/lbs of torque. These work in tandem to allow for three drive modes. First up is EV mode which only uses the electric motors and has zero emissions; second is the series hybrid mode, here the vehicle is driven by the electric motors with the engine being used as a generator to supply more electricity; and the third is the parallel hybrid mode that is driven by the engine with the electric motors assisting when needed.
Driver activated modes allow for a more customized experience. EV priority mode will use only electric motors until the battery is down to one bar (out of 16 total bars) or speed is over 120 km per hour. Battery charge mode uses the gasoline engine and generator to provide up to 80 per cent charge in 40 minutes. Battery save mode maintains state of charge on the battery. The ECO mode will reduce both fuel and electricity usage. Brake regeneration system on the PHEV allows the driver to select how much brake force is used to help charge the system. At B0, the force of deceleration is not felt, B2 feels like engine braking in an automatic transmission, B5 has strong engine braking, slowing the vehicle down.
Outlander PHEV uses the three standard levels of charge. Level one takes about eight hours at 12 amps using a regular household outlet, level two requires a dedicated level two charger and takes 3.5 hours to charge, level three is a CHADEMO DC quick charging station and can charge up to 80 per cent in 25-30 minutes.
An EV remote system is part of the package and allows for drivers to control their vehicle through a cell phone app. This allows for timer charging, timer heating and cooling, and to see the state of charge of the battery. Its a useful tool on hot or cold days, or when drivers want to charge during off peak hours.
During the drive event, Mitsubishi demonstrated the utility the Outlander PHEV’s 1,500W AC power inverter and two outlets provide by powering an expresso machine to satisfy any one in need of a caffeine fix to power through the road ahead.
While the Outlander’s PHEV system is the main focus on the SUV, Mitsubishi has safety features covered on the new offering. Available forward collision mitigation, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, blind spot warning, rear cross traffic alert, auto high beam and Multiview camera system are among the safety features that offer fleets peace of mind.
Select features of interest to fleets are a towing capacity of 1,500 pounds, super all-wheel control system that is Mitsubishis 4WD system and can run on 100 per cent EV, cargo space of 861L behind rear seats or 2,209L behind front seats, and a unique shift lever.
Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) is paramount for fleet managers. To that end, three provinces offer rebates for the Outlander PHEV. Ontario offers $7,000 towards the cost of the vehicle, 50 per cent (up to $500) cost of charger, and 50 per cent (up to $500) cost of installation. Quebec offers $4,000 towards the cost of the vehicle, $350 toward cost of charger, and $250 towards cost of installation. British Columbia offers $2,500 towards the cost of the vehicle. As well Mitsubishi offers a fleet incentive of $2,500 on PHEV for qualified customers.
Mitsubishi’s renowned warranty coverage is another feature of the Outlander PHEV. Main drive battery and powertrain are offered with a 10 year/160,000km warranty, along with a basic warranty of five year and 100,000km, to help save on any unexpected costs.
“Government response at all three levels has been outstanding,” said David Murphy, Senior Manager, Fleet, Mitsubishi Motor Sales of Canada Inc. “Fleet response is positive, and end users are looking to add PHEV to their selectors asap.”
Energized by the popularity of PHEV Outlander models in other markets, Mitsubishi Canada is confident the buzz Outlander PHEV is generating will translate into sales success.