New EV-Based Plug-In Hybrid for Mitsubishi

Mitsubishi have been a pioneer in the electro-mobility since 1966 and were the first major manufacturer to launch a series of production electric car (i-MiEV in 2009). The company is committed to explore the new frontiers that will allow electric vehicles to venture beyond urban areas. Mitsubishi intend to look at long-term R&D of new battery technologies, electronics, innovative power-trains and long-haul/ultra-low impact vehicles.

Mitsubishi have confirmed that the first manifestation of there technology will be available in the all-new Outlander, encompassing an EV-based plug-in hybrid which is to be launched during 2012.

This all-new Outlander P-HEV is to be a viable proposition for the marketplace that will fulfil real-life needs and expectations of customers around the world and at the same time will blend with Mitsubishi’s other technologies resulting in a unique MMC product.

Mitsubishi’s first P-HEV will be an electric vehicle which will rely on MMC’s extensive EV and electronic know-how supplemented by a petrol engine when needed. It will use Mitsubishi’s extensive 4-wheel-drive expertise and will also be the first permanent 4WD electric car in series production.

This unique drive-train combination of front electric motor with rear electric motor plus front traction/generator petrol engine will translate into a choice of three driving modes.

  • Pure (Twin Motor 4WD EV) and;
  • Series (Twin Motor 4WD EV supported by ICE3 generator) and;
  • Parallel (Twin Motor 4WD EV supplemented by ICE3 powered FWD)

Taking advantage of the possibilities of Outlander’s versatile architecture, it will be the first built-in P-HEV, designed and built alongside the more conventional ICE3 versions of the same vehicle – a first in the market.

This engineering integrity also means that it was not be a later P-HEV adaptation of an existing ICE3 powered vehicle but instead, was envisaged from the start of the design of Outlander’s platform and electronic architecture.

MMC’s EV-based plug-in hybrid system uses high-capacity traction batteries that allow the vehicle to cover over 50 km in 4WD electric mode alone, allowing it to be driven solely as an EV for most everyday situations.

Depending on power consumption and remaining battery charge, the system will start the petrol engine automatically as a generator (“Series Mode”) then at higher vehicle speeds (within legal speed limits), the petrol engine, with its better high-end energy efficiency, will supply supplementary drive torque to assist the front and rear motors (“Parallel Mode”). In addition to this, with the push of a button, the driver has the freedom to select a “Battery Drive Mode” when she/he wishes to drive quietly and emissions-free (at sufficient battery levels) in residential areas or the countryside using pure EV power. Then at same time, the driver can also switch to a “Battery Charge Mode” while on the move, controlling use of battery power and using the engine as a generator to charge the batteries.

When fitted to the all-new Outlander, the Mitsubishi plug-in hybrid EV system (fitted with a petrol engine) will allow for a range and very low emissions similar to that of the Concept PX-MiEV II show car. That’s a driving distance of over 800 km and a CO2 target below 50 g/km4.

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