Mitsubishi resumed full-scale battery production in August after a five-month shutdown due to a safety investigation. Supplier Lithium Energy Japan has been delivering 4,000 battery packs each month since September, but that's apparently still not enough to fill the overseas inventory pipeline for the Outlander PHEV and i subcompact EV while launching the Outlander PHEV here in the US. So instead of the previous tentative launch date of Fall 2014, the plug-in hybrid's Stateside on-sale date has been pushed back until 2015.

That's according to Automotive News, which also notes that Mitsubishi has sold 11,300 plug-in Outlanders this year, though that number reflects the production stoppage over the battery issues. As of April, battery supplier LEJ will be able to supply 5,000 packs per month just for the Outlander, but company president Osamu Masuko has gone on record saying that production will have to rise above that in order to make the US launch.

Every Mitsubishi dealer (and hopefully a fair number of consumers) will be looking forward to a crossover that, for the moment, doesn't really have natural rivals. The Outlander PHEV can drive 32 miles on electricity alone, has a top speed of 75 miles per hour in EV mode and offers all-wheel drive with a towing capacity of over 3,000 pounds. The model should get an impressive MPGe rating from the EPA when it finally arrives and it figures to be a bellwether for the plug-in Outlander Sport and Pajero utility vehicles that are expected to arrive after it. Hopefully 2015 will be its year.


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  • 30 Comments
      DaveMart
      • 11 Months Ago
      Expect 20-25 miles EV range more realistically, but that knocks a heck of a chunk out of your petrol bills. The only problem is, those darn Europeans and Japanese are snapping up all that Mitsubishi can make!
      Marcopolo
      • 11 Months Ago
      This is the vehicle that GM should be already producing !
      Autoblogist
      • 11 Months Ago
      Why are they pushing for phev, when they don't even have a standard hybrid in any of their passenger vehicles in the US? Does Mitsubishi have a North American president? A lot of their decisions seem to come from a clueless Japanese board. From the current design to them letting cars like the once competitive Gallant and Eclipse root on the vine. They just don't seem to have any idea of what to do in the NA.
        Tourian
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Autoblogist
        The story describes a situation where they can not build a particular vehicle fast enough to meet demand. A vehicle that has NO competitors on the market. So you would rather they not pursue this venture but instead build something else? Yeah, you'd make a great CEO.
        foxtrot685
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Autoblogist
        Mitsubishi has released several statements over the past 2 years that answers all of your questions. Mitsubishi is bypassing standard hybrid technology and going with PHEV because it is more flexible. You see, mitsubishis PHEV system, the way it is designed, is to be able to quickly and cheaply convert PHEV models into pure EV models if so desired. This can also be done in reverse, such as converting an EV into a PHEV if so desired. They can do this without the need to retool assembly lines, add assembly lines, and have little need to increase or decrease supplies of components. The galant is coming back with the help of its partnership with Nissan-Renault and this time, it will be a global car instead of an expensive regional-specific product.
        CoolWaters
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Autoblogist
        Maybe Toyota, Ford and Honda have locked up the simpler gas engine, electric motor transmission designs. And Mitsu has to build the Next Generation to avoid those patents.
      Scooter
      • 11 Months Ago
      This will only further Mitsubishi's demise. I don't have much faith in the brands viability in America. Mirage is a terrible looking vehicle, even worse in person. Outlander starts pretty cheap but looks pretty awful in person. I went to a Mitsubishi dealer with my friend to get his Lancer worked on. The lot was devoid of customers with rows and rows of $30-$40,000+ Lancers. They literally had two cars to offer the public. Lancer and Outlander, neither of which is very attractive. They had one MiEv on display, which I don't have to tell you is a total rip. The new focus on cheap efficient cars is all good and well, but when the vehicles are hitting showroom floors looking like rehashes of early 2000s vehicles, it does not bode well for Mitsu. Stack their vehicles side by side the various competitors out there, and you might as well wave goodbye to Mitsu. I believe Lancer and a Gallant replacement are probably the last remaining glimmer of hope for the brand. Judging for the various concepts of last year, I don't think Lancer or Gallant will be able to overcome any of the competition.
        Tourian
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Scooter
        Lol at "rows and rows of $30,000-$40,000+" Lancers. You do not know what you are talking about and your whole story is made up.
        d
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Scooter
        I doubt you've even been to a Mitsubishi dealer in your life. $30-40k Lancers? A fully loaded GTS with barely cracks $22k. Less money than a fully loaded Ford Fiesta. The only lancer over $30k is the EVO, which I doubt there is row after row of them. The Mirage is utility transportation and looks better than the cartoon Chevy Spark. The interior of the Mirage is probably the best out of any small car and it is the lowest priced car with decent options. Teenage girls love it and with the price and gas mileage it will sell like crazy as the perfect first car.
      • 11 Months Ago
      [blocked]
        Electron
        • 11 Months Ago
        What does the fact that Mitsubishi can't build them fast enough tell you?
          DaveMart
          • 11 Months Ago
          @Electron
          carguy: Perhaps your comments would make more sense if you outlined why you are so down on Mitsubishi. You have posted several very negative comments without giving any clue as to why.
          CoolWaters
          • 11 Months Ago
          @Electron
          Maybe car guy isn't a car guy. Mitsu's SUV is the most sophisticated Plug in design being built anywhere in the world. That alone will sell vehicles.
          • 11 Months Ago
          @Electron
          [blocked]
      thedriveatfive
      • 11 Months Ago
      Its takes only a look to realize this will flop.
        Actionable Mango
        • 11 Months Ago
        @thedriveatfive
        This vehicle is selling way beyond expectations. They literally cannot build them fast enough. They repeatedly have to delay new markets because existing markets keep snatching up all inventory. And all this without any USA sales yet, which is one of the largest car markets in the world and where SUVs tend to sell well. ...and you think it will be a flop?
      djrroar1
      • 11 Months Ago
      This will be a great vehicle for the market and for Mitsubishi!! Mitsubishi is having one of their best years ever and their most profitable year in their history! They continue to invest in the plant in Normal Ill and bring more product to the U.S. My local Mitsu dealer is selling huge numbers of Outlander Sports and Outlanders!! Good Luck Mitsu!!
      DaveMart
      • 11 Months Ago
      'Mitsubishi Motors North America (MMNA) today reported November sales of 6,071, up 69.9 percent compared to November 2012. The U.S.-built Outlander Sport led the way with 2,059 units sold, an increase of 35.5 percent for the month compared to prior year sales. Sales of the all-new 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander were 1,399 units, a year-over-year gain of 139.0 percent. The all-new Mitsubishi Mirage had 1,052 units sold in the vehicle's first full month of sales.' http://media.mitsubishicars.com/releases/4a5cc8ad-17e1-405a-abd6-f31912681085 For a company which many commentators are keen to tell us is as good as dead in North America, the corpse sure seems lively!
        • 11 Months Ago
        @DaveMart
        [blocked]
          DaveMart
          • 11 Months Ago
          You are 'sure' without having researched whether it is the case or not?
      Electron
      • 11 Months Ago
      Good news for GM. I can't see too many people pay more for the cramped, no towing capability Volt than they would have to pay for this. Of course GM has diversified its Voltec portfolio with the ELR. Well, sidetracked really.
      chest rockwell
      • 11 Months Ago
      Competition in this segment is good for consumers, even if it comes from Mitsubishi.
        DaveMart
        • 11 Months Ago
        @chest rockwell
        Since they are the only ones currently building a PHEV in the segment, they can hardly be described as the competition! The ARE the market!
      foxtrot685
      • 11 Months Ago
      I have to ask, why is autoblogs news of Mitsubishi always at least 2 months old? This issue has been brought to light by MMC sometime in late September/ early October. And this story isn't entirely true, Mitsubishi is still trying to move the Outlander PHEV to the US by fall of 2014, 2015 is worst case scenario.
      Actionable Mango
      • 11 Months Ago
      So get another goddamn battery supplier.
        Levine Levine
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Actionable Mango
        Not so fast. Mitsubishi is a major investor in the Yusua(sic) battery company that provides the Li-ion battery for this vehicle.
          Actionable Mango
          • 11 Months Ago
          @Levine Levine
          I'm aware of that. Obviously a single battery supplier is not working for them, and they need a backup. What if the plant has a fire? Mitsubishi will just stop selling EVs? Single sourcing is risky and they are already demonstrably hurting from it.
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