Mitsubishi Wants to Be All-Electric(ish) by 2035

  • Mitsubishi is re-gaining its footing in the US market after a period of turmoil with help from its Nissan-Renault alliance and upcoming electrification strategy.
  • The company has committed to a rapid rollout of EV models, with seven models set for release in the next five years, and for a vehicle emissions reduction of 40% by 2030.
  • Additionally, Mitsubishi says it wants 50% of all vehicle sales to be electric by 2030 and for its fleet to be 100% electric by 2035, including hybrids and PHEVs.

    Since the Lancer Evolution has been discontinued, it feels like Mitsubishi hasn’t been the same. While some mourned the loss of Mitsubishi as an enthusiast brand, it’s no secret that the automaker has struggled to stay afloat since the turn of the century. It hit its peak annual US sales of nearly 346,000 units in 2002 and has seen steep declines in sales in the years that followed, with its total US unit sales in 2022 hovering around 85,810.

    Despite its troubles in the early part of the millenium (which included a financial resuscitation from the Japanese government in 2005), Mitsubishi is onto new horizons, having formed an alliance with Nissan and Renault in 2016. So far, this joint alliance has played in Mitsubishi’s favor, with the company posting positive annual sales figures from 2016 until the onset of the pandemic in 2020. And this success is owed not to the Fast and Furious tuner car days of Mitsubishi, but rather to the practical and downright mundane era of the Mirage and Outlander crossover.

    The 2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV boasts a 38-mile range in all-electric mode.


    Still, even these moderate success stories won’t carry Mitsubishi into the future, and company executives know this. That’s why the brand has been verbally bullish about committing to electric vehicles, even if its lineup doesn’t have much to show for it. That could change very soon, as the company just announced that it intends to have 50% of its annual sales electrified by 2030 and 100% of its fleet electrified by 2035.

    “This goal is made possible through more aggressive investment in R&D and CAPEX, particularly in areas of electrification, IT, and new business,” A statement from Mitsubishi reads. “MMC also envisages a 210 billion Yen (US$1.5 billion) investment in battery sourcing to achieve its EV sales target in 2030.”

    To be clear, Mitsubishi is using the phrase EV to mean battery-electric, plug-in hybrids, and regular hybrids. Currently, Mitsubishi only offers one electrified vehicle in the US—the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV. Despite this, the rollout of even additional hybrids from Mitsubishi will aid in the company’s goal of reducing vehicle CO2 emissions by 40% and operational CO2 by 50% by 2030.

    In order to meet its emissions reduction and sales goals by 2030, Mitsubishi says it will roll out 16 new models over the next five years. Of these 16 new models, one will be a Renault exclusive that the States is unlikely to receive, while another will be a Nissan-specific model. The 14 remaining Mitsubishi products will be broken down into seven purely combustion engine-powered ones, five hybrids, and two battery electric vehicles (BEV).

    Mitsubishi’s I-MiEV was one of the first mass-market battery-electric vehicles available in the US.


    This recent announcement updates the electrification timeline that Mitsubishi outlined early in 2022. The Nissan-Renault-Mitsubishi alliance has previously said that it will launch 35 EVs across five separate platforms by 2030. Under its most recently announced plan, nine of the 35 EVs needed would be available by 2028, meaning additional models from Nissan and Renault will be required to fill in the gaps.

    Though Mitsubishi doesn’t offer a true BEV in any market, the company was an early adopter in the electric vehicle marketplace, launching the revolutionary Mitsubishi i-MiEV in 2009. Similarly, the Mitsubishi Outlander was offered in plug-in hybrid form as early as 2013. Going forward, the early investment in electric technology, a focus on solid-state batteries, and the support of a three-way alliance could allow Mitsubishi to gain traction in the EV marketplace.

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