Hybrids like the Toyota RAV4, Corolla and Camry don’t go far enough: Mitsubishi – Car News

Mitsubishi Australia believes that hybrid powertrains like those seen in the top-selling Toyota RAV4 SUV and Corolla small car are no longer adequate in curbing rising vehicle emissions, and that its plug-in hybrid engines is “the right technology”.

That’s directly from Mitsubishi Australia boss Shaun Westcott, who told CarsGuide that the soon-to-launch second-generation Outlander PHEV offers are much better solution for local buyers over the competition.

“At the end of the day, we don’t think hybrid goes far enough. I don’t want to take away from hybrids, those guys [Toyota] are averaging about five liters per 100km roughly, which is half of what cars used to be,” he said.

Read more about the Mitsubishi Outlander

“I’m not going to take away from hybrid and say hybrid’s bad, no hybrids are good because they are taking us in the right direction.

“[But] at 1.9- and now 1.5-litres per 100km [in previous-gen Outlander PHEV and current-gen Outlander PHEV respectively]we think we’ve gone that much further, and we think that is better for the planet.

“And where you always have a petrol engine running, always have fossil fuel emissions supported by a battery, we’ve gone the other way.

“We always have an electric vehicle with an onboard generator to top it up when you are a bit low.

“We believe that’s more kind to the planet and takes use even further than hybrids do, so we do think it’s the right technology.”

The second-generation Outlander PHEV is capable of up to 84km of all-electric driving range thanks to a larger 20kWh battery, and will hit local showrooms from next month priced from $54,590 before on-road costs.

The Eclipse Cross is also available with a PHEV powertrain, but its smaller 13.8kWh battery enables just 55km of electric driving range.

But what about the full battery-electric technology beyond Mitsubishi’s PHEV powertrains?

Mitsubishi Australia has no transparent plans to reintroduce a BEV model after the discontinuation of the quirky i-MiEV, but Mr Westcott hinted that the brand can leverage its position as part of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance for products it deems appropriate.

“Being part of the Alliance is really, really powerful because … it’s like having a cupboard with multiple drawers in it, where we can literally draw upon the alliance partnership to select products that are appropriate and relevant to the market,” he said.

As for when the market will be ready to adopt all-electric models en masse? Mr Westcott said “the sooner the better,” but stopped short of predicting a tipping point for EVs in Australia.

“It’s challenging to put a number to that, but I do believe the election of the new Labor Government, and the public statements they have already made, is talking about a 46 per cent reduction [of emissions]which is almost double what the previous government had committed, will accelerate [EV uptake].

“It’s a community effort, it’s government, it’s business, it’s enterprise, it’s energy suppliers – it’s an entire Australian ecosystem that needs to get one board and it’s very hard.

“No one has a crystal ball to predict how quickly and who is going to get on board, where to do what.”