Japanese automaker Mitsubishi holds an important place in the history of electric vehicles. Its all-electric i-MiEV minicar helped usher in the current era for EVs. The innovative small car offered only about 60 miles of range, but in the early 2010s, it provided a zero-emission option for commuters when few other electric models were available.
The i-MiEV was discontinued in 2017, but it led directly to the development of the Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-in Hybrid. The Outlander's plug-in version is the most affordable full-size SUV that offers enough all-electric range for most daily driving. On a global level, the Outlander Plug-in Hybrid is one of the world’s most popular electric models.
Mitsubishi continues to develop future EVs and plug-in hybrids, and the company is part of an alliance that includes Nissan and Renault. The trio of automakers will share motors and battery systems. By 2023, the coalition is expected to produce a portfolio of new electric vehicles, including subcompacts, small cars, and SUVs.
The i-MiEV was the result of five decades of research at Mitsubishi. The car’s name is an acronym: Mitsubishi innovative Electric Vehicle. When it went on sale in the US in 2012, the cute, bubble-like design quickly earned a small but devoted following.
The car was equipped with a 16-kilowatt-hour battery pack providing about 60 miles of range on a single charge. That’s not much by today’s standards, but still enough for many commuters. In city driving, the i-MiEV earned an EPA-estimated efficiency rating of 121 miles per gallon equivalent.
The i-MiEV was one of the first EVs to use a CHAdeMo-type quick charger, and the i-MiEV was instrumental in development of so-called vehicle-to-grid (V2G), two-way fast charging applications. This technology represents the next generation of EV charging in which an electric vehicle can provide a back-up supply of power to homes and other buildings.
The Mitsubishi Outlander is one of the most affordable plug-in hybrid SUVs, and is the only plug-in hybrid SUV not from a Germany luxury brand. The Outlander PHEV is an economical way to drive electric for most local daily miles, while still providing the flexibility for longer trips using gasoline.
The Outlander’s 13.8 kilowatt-hour battery pack provides an all-electric range of 22 miles. It’s a comfortable, high-riding SUV with room for five passengers. The Outlander’s all-wheel-drive system—which combines anti-lock braking, active stability control, and traction control--gives it a safe and comfortable ride. Total output is 190 horsepower, and its towing capacity is 1,500 pounds.
Moreover, the Outlander Plug-in Hybrid is one of the most efficient SUVs available today. The US Environmental Protection Agency estimates the efficiency at 74 miles per gallon equivalent while the EV battery has energy. After those first 22 miles, the Outlander rates at 25 miles per gallon.
The Outlander is also unique because it’s the only plug-in hybrid that offers DC fast charge capability. That means it can go from empty to 80-percent full in 25 minutes when plugged into a quick public charger.
Mitsubishi’s 3.3-kilowatt onboard rapid charging system is well-suited to a plug-in hybrid like the Outlander PHEV. Its relatively small 13.8 kilowatt-hour battery pack can be fully charged in about three hours using a 240-volt, Level 2 charging unit station. Otherwise, recharging using a standard 120-volt plug takes about 13 hours.
The advantageous thing about a 240-volt charger is the ability to add nearly 10 miles of range in a single hour. Plugging in during daytime pit stops helps avoid using the Outlander’s gas engine. The Outlander also comes standard with quick-charge port, so a pit stop at a CHAdeMO public charger can almost fully restore the Outlander’s empty battery in 25 minutes.
Home charging is the most convenient way to charge, and a capable charging station with great charging time like the JuiceBox 32 is a smart way to go. Our home charger for Mitsubishi Phev provides more than enough amperage to supply the Outlander Plug-in Hybrid’s onboard 3.3-kW system. It’s also well suited to future potential EVs from Mitsubishi and other automakers.