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Mitsubishi Motors Outlander PHEV to go on sale in Japan in January

26 December 2012

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Plug-in hybrid drive system. Click to enlarge.

Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) will begin the sales of the new Outlander plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) at dealerships throughout Japan from 24 January 2013. The Outlander PHEV made its global debut at the Paris Motor Show earlier this year. (Earlier post.)

Powered by a Plug-in Hybrid EV System powertrain combining two 60 kW independent electric motors (one on each axle); a 12 kWh Li-ion battery pack; and a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder MIVEC gasoline engine, Outlander PHEV features an EV range of 60.2 km (37.4 miles); combined fuel efficiency of 67.0 km/l (178 mpg US, 1.5 L/100km); and hybrid fuel efficiency of 18.6 km/l (44 mpg US, 5.4 l/100km), all under the Japanese JC08 test cycle.

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Outlander PHEV G Premium Package. Click to enlarge.

The Outlander PHEV will have a manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of ¥3,324,000–¥4,297,000 (US$38,972–$50,380), including consumption tax. The Outlander PHEV qualifies for Japan’s “eco-car” tax incentives and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry’s “Subsidies for measures designed to promote introduction of clean energy vehicles”—maximum ¥430,000 (US$5,041)—making the actual cost to the customer as low as ¥2,894,000 (US$33,930).

For fiscal 2012, intending owners are eligible to receive a maximum subsidy of ¥430,000 on approval of an application submitted to the Next Generation Vehicle Promotion Center. However, this maximum can increase to ¥460,000 (US$5,393) for Outlander PHEVs fitted with a quick-charging function (factory option).

The Outlander PHEV offers three drive modes:

  • EV Drive Mode. EV Drive Mode is an all-electric mode in which the front and rear motors drive the vehicle using only electricity from the drive battery

  • Series Hybrid Mode. In Series Hybrid Mode the gasoline engine operates as a generator supplying electricity to the electric motors. The system switches to this mode when the remaining charge in the battery falls below a predetermined level and when more powerful performance is required, such as accelerating to pass a vehicle or climbing a steep gradient such as a slope.

  • Parallel Hybrid Mode. The system switches to Parallel Hybrid Mode when the vehicle reaches high speeds. In this mode the high-efficiency gasoline engine provides most of the motive power, assisted by the electric motors as required, such as when more powerful performance is required to accelerate or climb a slope.

Plug-in Hybrid EV System. Mitsubishi developed the Plug-in Hybrid EV System based on the EV technologies used in the i-MiEV and MINICAB-MiEV for use in mid-size and larger passenger cars that require longer cruising ranges.

The drive battery is a high-capacity lithium-ion battery developed for the PHEV System based on the technology used in the i-MiEV and MINICAB-MiEV (16.0 kWh models). It consists of 80 cells mounted in series housed in a battery pack enclosed in a secure frame, and has a total voltage of 300V and total storage capacity of 12.0 kWh.

The battery can be switched to Battery Charge Mode, which allows electricity to be generated by the engine and stored when stationary or on the move (giving 80% charge in approximately 40 minutes when stationary) and Battery Save Mode, which maintains charge while driving. Stored electricity can be used in EV Drive Mode at the destination or used to power appliances.

Estimated charging times at 200 V AC (15 A) is approximately 4 hours for a full charge; quick-charging (factory option) to an 80% charge takes approximately 30 minutes.

The battery also supports a 100V AC power supply capable of delivering up to 1,500W of electricity (factory option) as an external power source.

Smaller, lighter, higher output versions of the permanent magnet synchronous motors used in the i-MiEV and MINICAB-MiEV are located front and rear. These have a maximum output of 60 kW each and maximum torques of 137 N·m(101 lb-ft) (front) and 195 N·m (144 lb-ft) (rear).

The 4B11 2.0-liter inline-four gasoline engine functions solely to generate electricity in Series Hybrid Mode and is mainly used to provide motive power in Parallel Hybrid Mode. It is fitted with MMC’s MIVEC (Mitsubishi Innovative Valve timing Electronic Control system) technology, which keeps the engine in optimal efficiency ranges by continuously varying the timing of the air intake valves according to engine speed in Parallel Hybrid Mode. Additionally, exhaust noise has been reduced and the engine room soundproofing increased in order to ensure the vehicle remains as quiet as EV Drive Mode, even when the engine is in use.

The engine delivers 87 kW (117 hp) at 4,500 rpm and maximum torque (net) of 186 N·m (137 lb-ft).

In Series/Parallel Hybrid Mode and in Battery Charge/Save Mode, the generator generates electricity through motive power from the engine to store into the drive battery.

Taking advantage of the fact that electric motors require no complex transmission mechanisms, the front and rear transaxles incorporate simple single-speed fixed reduction gears for smoother travel free from “shift shock.” The front transaxle also has a built-in clutch that switches the system to Parallel Drive Mode mainly for engine-powered travel at high speeds.

MMC developed a new Twin Motor 4WD system that delivers power independently to the front wheels (from the front motor and/or engine) and rear wheels (from the rear motor). The use of motors and absence of mechanical connections such as a propeller shaft mean the Twin Motor 4WD delivers better response and finer control than conventional 4WD systems and reduces friction loss.

Twin Motor 4WD is coupled with MMC’s S-AWC (Super All Wheel Control) integrated vehicle dynamics control system, which combines front- and rear-wheel drive control and left and right wheel brake control to provide consistent handling and stability on the road. Two modes are offered, selectable at the flick of a switch: Normal Mode for ordinary conditions and Lock Mode for enhanced all-terrain performance.

During deceleration, the motors function as generators so that electricity can be generated to charge the drive battery. The regenerative braking can be increased when the brake pedal is pressed. The strength of regenerative braking is adjustable using the selector lever, which has three strength settings, and a paddle selector on the steering wheel (standard on all trim levels except E), which offers six strength settings. The regeneration level can be selected as the driver likes according to road conditions, such as when approaching a bend or descending a mountain road, or when seeking a sportier ride.

Body and chassis. The Outlander PHEV features enhancements including a reinforced body to ensure high levels of impact safety and stability. MMC has also made meticulous efforts to dampen vibration and insulate and absorb sound, resulting in the kind of interior comfort unique to a PHEV.

The front and rear suspensions have been tuned to handle the weight of the Plug-in Hybrid EV System and reduce road noise. Placing the drive battery under floor lowers the center of gravity, which provides improved stability and ride comfort.

e-Assist safety system. The advanced e-Assist safety system available on some trim levels comprises three functions: the Forward Collision Mitigation System (FCM), which automatically helps avoid a collision with the vehicle ahead or reduce impact damage in the event of a collision; the Lane Departure Warning System (LDW), which alerts the driver when the vehicle starts to drift from its lane aiding driver concentration; and the Adaptive Cruise Control System (ACC), which automatically maintains a driver-adjustable distance with the vehicle in front, reducing the chance of a collision if the vehicle suddenly stops.

Active Stability Control (ASC) is standard on all models. This controls delivery of drive and braking force to the four wheels to prevent skidding on slippery roads or when sudden steering changes are made.

As on ICE models, all Outlander PHEV models come standard with a total of seven SRS airbags: driver and passenger seat airbags, side and curtain airbags, and a knee airbag for the driver.

With a Reinforced Impact Safety Evolution (RISE) safety body, the Outlander PHEV is fully fitted to protect occupants in the event of a collision.

Remote control. The Outlander PHEV can be remote-controlled through specially-designed smartphone or tablet applications, making available variety of functions, including scheduled charging, pre-air conditioning, and access to information on battery charge and door status (factory option on most trim levels).

December 26, 2012 in Hybrids, Plug-ins | Permalink | Comments (19) | TrackBack (0)

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Comments

An excellent solution for those requiring more space for family and cargo at a reasonable price and lower operation cost.

~same Volt electric range in a SUV with 3/4 the battery size and 2 L engine, at ~less price.

The Japanese test cycles are wildly optimistic.. expect about 21 miles range in the US depending on how much of the battery is made usable.

Kelly

You are confusing the Japanese JC08 test cycle with EPA ratings. Every Japanese standard that I know of is weaker than the corresponding DIN, ISO, or ANSI standard.

I am hoping that Mitsubishi are using the Toshiba SCiB battery as they are in their MiniCab instead of the GS Yuasa.
That would mean that they will have great performance in cold weather and wonderful cycle life, together with a very high cycle life and resistance to its being degraded by hot weather or fast charging.

I've found the prices of non plug in Outlanders in Japan:
http://www.japantoday.com/category/business/view/mitsubishi-motors-new-outlander-suv-goes-on-sale

That gives some basis on which to fadge up some possible prices for the plug in in the US.

Prices in the US for the regular Outlander are $22,695-$28,595

Japanese prices at 85 yen/dollar are (Standard):
$28,553-$36,470

Japanese plug in prices:
$39,105-$50,553

So US prices are around $6,000 less than in Japan for the standard.

If they manage to equal that, then the prices for the plug in would be around $33,105 - $44,553

If OTOH they kept the same ratios between the prices for the standard and plug in models as in Japan, the prices would be (plug in)
$31,092-$39,747

None of these figures include tax rebate, which off the top of my head I think is around $5,000 for a 12 kwh battery pack.

Those prices sound very competitive with the Volt, although of course the all electric range would be around half that of the Volt.

PHEVs are excellent cars for one reason: they provide a larger market for batteries. So far BEVs have been way too expensive and are not selling well in the U.S. because their batteries are also way too expensive. A large battery demand should involve more manufacturers and create better competition for that break through battery we are all waiting for. The first company that can build a low-cost all battery powered family sedan that will go an 'honest' 100 miles at freeway speeds(65mph) will take over the car business in the U.S.

Sounds like a lot more diver selectability than most HEVs or PHEVs allow, which is very interesting.

I hope these choices survive the trip across the ocean.

@Lad:
The Volt is selling better than the Leaf, and the Ford C-Max is doing very well whilst only a couple of dozen Focus EVs have been sold.
The only electric car which has done well, and that is at the premium end, is the Tesla.

I am not sure what leads you to your confidence that the first BEV to offer more than 100 miles of range will sell like hotcakes, as we only have evidence that more than 200 miles or so seems OK, and there is little that people are prepared to heavily compromise range.

@ToppaTom:
As far as I know the car is not amphibious, and so offers no diver capability and will cross the ocean on the surface aboard a ship! ;-)

No! No! No! We put divers in those cars so they can drive them across on the bottom, saving on shipping costs.

"I am not sure what leads you to your confidence that the first BEV to offer more than 100 miles of range will sell like hotcakes,"

I think 100 miles is a psychological point of importance. If someone could market an EV with a "worst conditions" range of 100 miles that cost about the same as an economy car we'd see much higher sales than we're seeing with the Leaf.

Being able to sell for lower prices would mean that battery prices would be lower, reducing the potential hurt from having to replace batteries after 100k miles.

I suspect we'd see a lot of two car households opting for an EV because they'd have an ICEV for the short commute and long trip. People aren't going to want to drive long distances if they have to stop every 100 miles to charge.

A 200 mile range should knock the market wide open.

As I have said before, it is utility. If I am going to spend a lot of money on a car, I want it to do EVERYTHING. I do NOT want to pay more and have it do less. It is a major expenditure.

If they have not changed the drive set up from the prototype the combustion engine kicks in at 100kph - 62mph.

That is pretty OK in Europe, but is likely to disappoint some Americans as they have more urban freeways.

Video of the test drive of the prototype here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sPfJoIMUUNE

Let's not worry too much about 100 miles e-range. Future lower cost Tesla's will do 500+ miles per charge (by 2015/2016 or so) with much lighter battery pack than today's Model S-85.

Many others will catch up 3 or 4 years latter.

Electric cars will still not drive for 400 miles, take 5 minutes to refuel and go another 400 miles, like gasoline powered cars. You are asking people to pay more for cars that do less, that is not a value proposition.

@SJC:
But fuel cell cars can.
That is why the big manufacturers are going for them.

"I do NOT want to pay more and have it do less."

That's understandable. But I think you might be missing the point that we will likely have 200 mile range EVs which cost about the same as ICEVs in a few years.

At that point operating expenses for the EV will be so much less than that of an ICEV that stopping for about 20 minutes in order to get the ~400 mile range of an ICEV will be more than offset by the EV savings.

No one is asking you to pay more for less. Just suggesting that you can pay less for about the same thing.

Let's assume you take two long trips a year. A total of four days of "all day driving". Would you be willing to stop for a 20 charge x4 for $1,000? That's about $750 per hour.

And you could eat your lunch while you charge.

And this hang up on absolute range.

How often do you get into your car and go "Dang! I'm down to a half tank (about 200 miles) and I've got to drive 40 miles today. I better go fill up."?

Unless you are an unusual person you have few 200+ mile driving days a year. 85% of all US driving days are less than 40 miles.

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