Mitsubishi Motors Thailand’s first plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) for the Thai market has entered the growing electric vehicle segment in Thailand in hopes of offsetting 2020 as a year of stunted sales growth.
The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, equipped with two battery-powered motors mated with a 2.4L gasoline engine, carries a price tag starting from 1,640,000 baht and topping out at 1,749,000 baht. It offers an electric-only range of 45 kilometres in addition to over 500km of hybrid range.
The sports-utility vehicle is Mitsubishi’s first entry into the Thai PHEV and hybrid electric vehicle market, which the Thai Board of Investment reports as having grown 51% between 2018 and 2019 to 30,676 units.
The Outlander PHEV launch came as the government decided to delay its vehicle trade-in proposal for further studies, following confusion over what types of cars – Evs and non-EVs – will be included in the scheme and when it will take effect.
President of Mitsubishi Motors Thailand, Morikazu Chokki, expressed support for the government initiative as a means by which to reduce global warming in conjunction with products like PHEVs.
The vehicle’s debut comes after a tumultuous year for Mitsubishi in 2020, which saw its Thai sales decline to 45,600 cars from January to October, representing a 38% year-on-year decrease from 2019.
Eiichi Koito, executive vice president of Mitsubishi Motors Thailand expressed optimism for the company’s business outlook, citing the trend of vehicle electrification and the relative strength of the Thai economy.
“Electrification is moving very fast, not only in Europe, but also in ASEAN,” said Mr Chokki. Mr Koito later added, “The market has been incredibly strong here.”
Mitsubishi has sold over 260,000 units of the Outlander PHEV in other countries, previously produced exclusively in Japan, the model is now also produced in Thailand.
Company representatives declined to comment on production capacity of the Thai plant and the possibility of exporting the Outlander PHEV to other regions.