Mitsubishi flags plans for “mini-EV”, China EV and hybrid minivan

Mitsubishi PX-MiEV Concept.

Mitsubishi Motors looks to be boosting its electric and hybrid vehicle ambitions, with reports out of Japan that the automaker will add five or more electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles to its lineup starting this year.

Nikkei Asia reported on Monday that Mitsubishi would be accelerating its push into electrics in response to increasingly strong vehicle emissions rules worldwide.

As The Driven has reported, the plug-in Eclipse Cross will be first off the mark, slated for a December launch in its home market, early 2021 for the US, and then later in the year for Australia and New Zealand.

This will be followed by the new Outlander plug-in hybrid (PHEV), which is due for release in the fiscal year starting April 2022 and – as reported here – will come with the addition of two-way or bi-directional charging, among other bells and whistles.

But Mitsubishi – which has fallen behind the global pace since being a market leader with the iMiEV – appears to have decided that its current portfolio of just three electric and plug-in hybrid models combined is not good enough.

Beyond the Eclipse and the Outlander, Nikkei reports that Mitsubishi is planning to release a hybrid version of its Xpander minivan, as early as fiscal 2023.

On pure electric cars, Mitsubishi will work with partners such as the Guangzhou Automobile Group, in China, where it plans to jointly release an EV in fiscal 2021, according to Nikkei.

And in another partnership with fellow Japanese car maker, Nissan, Mitsubishi reportedly also has plans to develop a mini-EV as part of a three-way alliance with France’s Renault.

The new EVs and hybrids add meat to the bones of the “small but beautiful” mid-term business plan put forward by Mitsubishi in July.

“We will shift our strategy from all-round expansion to selection and concentration,” said Mitsubishi Motors chief executive officer Takao Kato at the time.

“First of all, we will complete our structural reforms and further strengthen our competitive areas—ultimately to build a corporate structure that can surely generate profits during this mid-term period.”

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