Mitsubishi will offer battery-electric Outlander crossover by March 2013

Mitsubishi, which will unveil the latest version of its Outlander crossover at the Geneva International Motor Show next month, will start selling a battery-electric version of the CUV by next spring.

The Japanese automaker said it will add an "EV-based Outlander model" to its lineup during its fiscal year 2012, indicating that the EV will start sales by March 31, 2012. Mitsubishi didn't provide further details on specifications, price or range, saying only that the powertrain would be based on Mitsubishi's "already existing EV technology." Last July, Ward's Auto reported that Mitsubishi would start selling a plug-in hybrid-electric version of the Outlander Sport in 2013. The automaker first unveiled a concept version of the plug-in at the 2009 Tokyo Motor Show,

Mitsubishi's battery-electric crossover marks its continued efforts to cut its fleets' carbon footprint by way of broader electrification. Mitsubishi, which started selling its battery-electric Mitsubishi i on the West Coast and in Hawaii last November, last month confirmed that the i would be available nationwide by summer, earlier than expected. The car, which costs about $6,000 less than the $35,200 Nissan Leaf battery electric, was named in November by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Energy as the U.S.'s most fuel-efficient vehicle in terms of its so-called miles-per-gallon-equivalent ratings.

Earlier this month, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) ranked the Mitsubishi i the "greenest" car sold in the U.S. this year. The ACEEE had bestowed that award on the Honda Civic Natural Gas for the previous eight straight years, though the Leaf shared last year's distinction with the CNG-powered Civic.

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