TOKYO (Reuters) – Mitsubishi Motors Corp plans for hybrid and battery electric vehicles to account for all new car sales by the middle of the next decade, beefing up its electrification strategy for staying competitive in key markets.
Mitsubishi, which is also a junior partner in an alliance with France’s Renault SA and Nissan Motor Co, said it will roll out 16 new models over the next five years.
The Japanese automaker, known for its Outlander sport utility vehicle, stuck to a previous goal of having half of its new car sales electrified by fiscal 2030 and on Friday newly pledged to raise that further to 100% by fiscal 2035.
Mitsubishi considers plug-in hybrids (PHEV), hybrid electric vehicles and battery electric vehicles (BEV) as electrified vehicles. Electrified vehicles accounted for about 7% of the company’s total new car sales in fiscal 2021.
“Among our existing models, we’ll expand the geographical areas where our flagship PHEV Outlander is being offered and build out the sales of the Minicab-MiEV light commercial EV that was relaunched last year,” Chief Executive Takao Kato said.
Among the 16 new models Mitsubishi plans to roll out, one will be a BEV Renault alliance model, while another will be a Nissan alliance model, Mitsubishi said in presentation materials that were part of its fiscal 2023-2025 business plan.
Mitsubishi, an early mover in EVs in the early 2010s, currently has no BEVs in its line-up in Europe. Its new BEV for Europe would mark a comeback in a highly competitive market where new entrants such as Tesla have already rapidly won market share.
The model could be a variant of the Renault electric MPV Scenic made in France and expected in 2024, or a variant of the Renault electric city cars R5 or R4 expected respectively in 2024 and 2025 and also made in France, a source close to the matter said.
Mitsubishi Europe declined to comment on the matter.
Of the other 14 models Mitsubishi plans to launch, seven will be purely combustion engine-powered ones, five will be hybrids and the remaining two will be BEV, the company said.
(Reporting by Daniel Leussink and Gilles Guillaume; Additional reporting by Elaine Lies; Editing by Chang-Ran Kim, Shounak Dasgupta and Christina Fincher)