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Mitsubishi: no price premium for plug-in hybrid Outlander

Date: 01 April 2014   |   Author: Jack Carfrae

Mitsubishi's Outlander PHEV will not cost any more than a standard diesel version

Mitsubishi has revealed that the plug-in hybrid version of its Outlander SUV will cost no more than an equivalent diesel version.

The radical move marks the first time an alternative fuel version of an existing car has been launched without a significant price premium over the outgoing model.

The Outlander PHEV will cost £28,249 after the Government's £5000 electric vehicle subsidy.

Speaking to BusinessCar, managing director of Mitsubishi UK, Lance Bradley, said: "There will be no price premium for the Outlander PHEV over the equivalent diesel model.

"There are some clever cars in the market but they're all too expensive. There should be a clear cost benefit because if it's not going to save people money, they won't buy it.

"We had a battle with the factory about this and we wanted to make a really big statement.

"After the grant, it will cost £28,249. That's less than a [Toyota] Prius plug-in and it's less than the average price of a new car last year.

"We think that with these prices we might actually have a tiger by the tail in terms of how many we're going to sell."

The Outlander PHEV emits 44g/km, returns an official 148mpg and can travel for 32.5 miles on electricity alone after a full charge. In addition to the battery, it also has a conventional 2.0-litre petrol engine.

Bradley openly admitted that the official fuel economy figures were not achievable in every day driving conditions.

"There are almost no circumstances in which this will do [the official] 148mpg. It will only do it on the NEDC combined cycle.

"We're quite happy to start campaigning for more realistic measures for fuel testing.

"We've done our own real world tests to see what it can do. After about 150 miles [on a single run] then the PHEV drops to being less efficient than the diesel engine.

"We feel it's really important to be honest with people. There's no point in telling them it will do stuff it won't."

He mentioned "massive savings for company car drivers" and said he expected around two thirds of sales to go to fleets, which, according to Bradley, typically favour large cars.

"The fleet market is a million vehicles each year. Almost half of that market use SUVs or an estate car."

He said the Outlander PHEV's price point would make it "hard for some manufacturers who are waiting to launch electric vehicles."

The firm plans to launch other alternative fuel products with similar drivetrains in future. Bradley said it would also adopt the same pricing policy with forthcoming models if the Outlander PHEV proves successful.