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NETHERLANDS: Mitsubishi Europe starts Outlander PHEV sales

By Graeme Roberts | 21 October 2013

Mitsubishi Motors Europe on Monday (21 October) began retail sales of its Outlander plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) with the first units in the Netherlands – the designated launch country in Europe - after production commenced late August at the Okazaki plant, near Nagoya.

The automaker said the new model was "Much expected by dealers and customers in a region forecast to be its largest global market" and claimed to have booked 10,000 signed orders across the continent since December 2012.

To balance production capacity and demand, MMC will launch the PHEV sequentially in Europea with Nordic countries (EVs are very popular in Norway as Nissan has found with the Leaf) following next.

The EU specification Outlander differs only from Japanese market versions in complying with local regulations and with suspension "fine-tuned to better suit European driving style".

In EU guise the permanent electric 'Twin Motor 4WD' has a claimed maximum driving range of 824 km, electric only range of 52km, fuel consumption of 1.9l/100km, CO2 emissions of 44 g/km and a maximum speed of 170 km/h. Braked towing capacity is 1,500kg.

The battery pack takes five hours to recharge using a standard European 230V/10A domestic supply but just 30 minutes (to 80%) using a quick charger to CHAdeMO standard.

MMC insists the Outlander PHEV is neither "a mere adaptation of an existing internal combustion engine vehicle nor a dedicated plug-in hybrid EV system high tech showcase" but a further variant of the Outlander – alongside standard petrol and diesel versions "and developed as such from the start of the programme: a unique/no-compromise proposal in the industry and "the first self-power generating twin motor (permanent) 4WD PHEV".

The automaker expects EVs, hybrids and PHEVs to account for 20% of its production by 2020.