Monday, November 4, 2013

Green Hero: Mitsubishi

From  Paul Lucas
Japanese carmakers have been firmly at the forefront of the green car revolution. Toyota has dominated the headlines with the success of its hybrid cars, and particularly the Prius family; Nissan has enjoyed the spotlight with the LEAF electric car; and even Honda has had its share of the limelight with hybrids like the CR-Z and fuel cell models, such as the FCX-Clarity. However, there is one member of the Japanese automotive sector that has been just as influential and just as innovative as its counterparts: and yet has rarely gained the attention it has deserved.
However, this month we want to change that as we shine the spotlight on a true green hero: Mitsubishi.
Having been among the first to embrace battery electric cars with the production of the i-MiEV electric car (see ‘Mitsubishi i-MiEV named greenest car’), which was then remodelled as both the Citroen C-ZERO and Peugeot i0n, the company is once again leading the field, this time by breaking the mould for plug-in hybrid cars: in the form of its new Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV
What’s so special about the Outlander PHEV
Plug-in hybrid cars are starting to emerge with increased frequency: but few take the mould of an already established vehicle; and even fewer boast the power and performance of a traditional crossover.
The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV however, is not only just like its conventional fuel counterpart; but it boasts remarkably low fuel consumption and CO2 emissions at 1.9litres/100km and 44g/km, respectively, while promising to be highly competitive in terms of its pricing, as explained by Lance Bradley, managing director of Mitsubishi Motors UK, in an exclusive interview with TheGreenCarWebsite.co.uk.
“The Outlander PHEV will be the first car that offers genuine customer benefits, in terms of both technology and, importantly, cost savings,” he said. “Nobody else has a car that will do that so, yes, we are excited about it.”
An exciting month ahead
Though the Outlander PHEV may have finally reached European roads, the company isn’t resting on its laurels having lined up three exciting new concepts for the Tokyo Motor Show 
“The Tokyo Motor Show is interesting because it’s always been a show where the Japanese manufacturers in particular want to showcase what they are up to and with Mitsubishi showing a couple of concepts it’s sure to be a great show for us,” commented Lance Bradley.
 Alongside a next generation MPV called the Concept AR, which many are predicting will offer hints of the next Eclipse, and which will itself will boast a host of fuel saving technologies, will be the Mitsubishi Concept GC-PHEV, which will combine the drivability of an SUV with class-leading environmental performance. The automaker will also reveal the Concept XR-PHEV at the event: another next generation plug-in hybrid SUV that is lightweight with a body style reminiscent of a sports coupe
For this clear commitment to plug-in hybrid technology – indeed the company’s plan is for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles to account for at least 20 per cent of sales by 2020 – we salute you, Mitsubishi.