U.S. Launch of Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Bottlenecked

By | January 06, 2014
The Mitsubishi Outlander plug-in hybrid has seen success in Japan since it went on sale a year ago, and while this vehicle may be a key element in representing the brand as a leader for electrified technology, it seems it may be some time until we have the chance to see this vehicle hit U.S. shores. Thanks to a shortage batteries, Mitsubishi has had to set back the launch date for the Outlander plug-in. Although production has increased, we won't see the new model until 2015, likely as a late 2015 or early 2016 model. The main issue has been with the company's battery supplier, Lithium Energy Japan. The production of the batteries has hit capacity, and they're struggling to meet the high demand. Previously, Mitsubishi was only receiving around 2,000 battery packs per month as production for the Outlander battery was split with the i-MiEV. The battery company moved production for the i-MiEV to another plant, making it possible for the company to deliver roughly 4,000 battery packs to Mitsubishi every month.
Mitsubishi needs to launch the new Outlander PHEV not only to reduce costs and increase volume but to also add another vehicle to its currently thin lineup of new vehicles. Osamu Masuko, Mitsubishi's automotive division president, recently revealed a three-year business plan, which aims to add a plug-in variant for the Outlander Sport by 2017. Without batteries, however, this may not happen when projected. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)