After a long, long wait, Mitsubishi Motors Philippines has finally decided to push through with the launch of their first hybrid: the Outlander PHEV.
Unlike other hybrids, the Outlander PHEV can be plugged in overnight in a standard outlet to give the batteries a full charge for a day's drive, but can also run on a gasoline engine that serves as a generator when the charge is no longer sufficient. That means it's an EV primarily, but is not limited by the radius of a charging station because it can run on petrol as needed.
Now Mitsubishi Motors has let us try out the Outlander PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle) before on several occasions, and we remarked at how nicely it drives for an all-wheel drive PHEV crossover. This will, however, be the first time that they will make the model available for public sale.
The reason is that the company has been able to somewhat bring the cost down to more acceptable levels. Mitsubishi Motors Philippines is looking to make the 2020 Outlander PHEV available for sale at around PhP 2.9 million, according to MMPC's Mr. Alvin Dalida, first vice president for Sales and Marketing.
On face value, the pricing seems high, but it's also worth considering how the pricing has fluctuated over the years. In 2014, when we first drove the older Outlander PHEV (pre-facelift), if they sold it the price would have been around PhP 2.5 million. In 2017 when we were able to try out the newly facelifted and upgraded Outlander PHEV, the price (had they sold it) would have been closer to PhP 4 million.
Mitsubishi was able to get the price down as far as they can given the current exchange rates. The new model is also an improved one, featuring a larger 2.4-liter Atkinson-cycle MIVEC engine/generator as well as a larger 13.8 kWh battery. In ideal conditions, Mitsubishi says the PHEV can travel 60 kilometers on pure electric power on a full charge.
It's also worth noting that the PhP 2.9 million is not an exact number, but we've been told that they don't intend to breach the PhP 3 million threshold.
The planned launch is sometime in Q2 of 2020.
Mind you, the indicative price could change in the future, and for the better. According to Mr. Dalida, the initial batch of Outlander PHEV units will have come from Japan, and that means it doesn't benefit JPEPA because the 2.4-liter engine is too small to qualify. However, the PHEV does qualify for the 50% excise tax reduction as mandated by the tax reform law for hybrids.
The major change in price is to be expected when Mitsubishi Motors starts rolling off Outlander PHEV units from a new assembly line in Thailand later this year. Once Mitsubishi does that, the prices are likely to change (lower) as Thai-made PHEV Outlanders will qualify for AFTA as well as the 50% discount on excise requirements, though the first batch of owners will have the pride of owning Japan-made Outlander PHEVs.