US-Market Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Delayed Until 2015

Stories are floating out there stating the Mitsubishi Outlander plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) will launch in the U.S. next year but the word now is it’s not due until 2015.

“The reason for this vehicle being introduced in 2015 rather than in 2014 is because we have received overwhelming demand from Japan and Europe and the battery supply unfortunately cannot keep up with the demand,” said Mitsubishi communications representative Amanda Savercool this week.

Mitsubishi’s PHEV was first launched in Japan in January this year, and had been selling well in spite of battery problems reported in April that led to a protracted delay with production reportedly only resumed in August.

Like a Chevrolet Volt or Ford C-Max Energi or Fusion Energi, the Mitsubishi can travel distances enough to handle a fair number of peoples’ commutes on all-electric power.

Battery range estimates for the Mitsu in other markets have been around 25 or more miles.

Further, the plug-in SUV is four-wheel-drive, and there had been quite a bit of interest among Americans for this unique vehicle – that keeps being delayed.

Beyond supply issues, Savercool said before PHEV’s U.S. launch, Mitsubishi is being extra careful to make sure it’s ready.

“In addition, we are taking cautious steps to implement U.S. safety regulations including adoption of the new lithium-ion battery cell monitoring system,” Savercool said. “With this new system, we will be able to monitor/safeguard the integrity of each individual lithium-ion battery cell. This all-new design will ensure the quality, function and integrity of the lithium-ion battery system to an unprecedented level of accuracy and safety.”