Mitsubishi has delayed the U.S. launch of its Outlander PHEV crossover until 2015, two years after its global debut, because of bottlenecks in battery production.
According to Mitsubishi President Osamu Masuko, the problem comes from Lithium Energy Japan (LEJ), the joint venture between Mitsubishi Motors, GS Yuasa Corp. and trading house Mitsubishi Corp that supplies these batteries.
Until this fall, Mitsubishi was getting only 2,000 battery packs a month from LEJ because the supplier was splitting production between batteries for the Outlander PHEV and batteries for Mitsubishi’s i-MiEV electric vehicle.
In September, LEJ shifted production of EV batteries to a separate plant, freeing capacity at the first plant for more Outlander PHEV batteries. Mitsubishi now can get 4,000 plug-in battery packs a month and expects that to increase to 5,000 a month in April, when LEJ expands capacity again.
Unfortunately for the Japanese carmaker, this was not the only issue they had with the Outlander PHEV, a battery recall in June forced the company to stop producing the vehicle until late August.
Globally, Mitsubishi sold 11,300 Outlander PHEV SUVs; 8,100 in Japan and 3,200 in Europe.
As a reminder, performance figures for the (permanent electric ”Twin Motor 4WD”) Outlander PHEV include:
– Maximum driving range : 824 km (512 miles)
– Range in Pure EV Mode : 52 km (32.3 miles)
– Fuel consumption : 1.9 l/100 km (148.7 mpg UK or 123.8 mpg US)
– CO2 emissions : 44 g/km
– Maximum speed : 170 km/h (105.6 mph) (where legal)
– Charging: 5 hours – normal charging (230V / 10A), 30 minutes – quick charging / up to 80% (CHAdeMO standard)
– Max. cargo volume: 463 l (VDA method – w/rear passengers)
– Towing capacity: 1,500 kg (w/brakes)
– Curb weight: 1810 kg