Mitsubishi is due to return to the global electric passenger-car market with a new small electric SUV for Europe and other countries – built in a Renault factory in France.
Mitsubishi is poised to ramp-up its electric-car plans with a new small SUV due in 2025 built on Renault underpinnings in one of French car maker’s factories.
The Japanese company was the first mainstream car maker to sell an electric car in Australia in 2010 – a year ahead the first Tesla – but since then has not introduced a new electric vehicle outside of Japan or China.
However it is unclear if it will be a Mitsubishi-designed vehicle – or a rebadged version of either Renault to help meet stringent European emissions targets.
It would be the same strategy which has seen the Renault Captur SUV and Renault Clio city hatch rebranded and sold in Europe as the Mitsubishi ASX and Colt over the past 18 months.
The new Renault-built Mitsubishi electric SUV appears to be a vehicle shown in a Mitsubishi investor presentation earlier this year, listed under the “Alliance – Renault” heading and planned for showrooms in 2025.
It is one of four battery-electric Mitsubishi vehicles due by 2028 – in addition to five hybrids or plug-in hybrids, and seven regular petrol or diesel vehicles.
Confirmation of the new Mitsubishi came – unusually – from the global boss of Renault, Luca de Meo, during a briefing on the company’s future electric-car plans.
“I can confirm that Mitsubishi will produce a C-SUV EV for the world on the AmpR Medium platform, of course in Douai, and of course all electric,” said Mr de Meo.
C-SUV EV is car-industry shorthand for a small electric SUV – such as the Megane, Scenic, a Mitsubishi ASX or a BYD Atto 3 – while AmpR Medium is the new name for the CMF-EV electric-car platform under the Megane and Scenic E-Tech Electric SUVs.
The Douai is the French city home to the factory which produces the Megane and Scenic E-Tech, and is set to expand to build the Renault 5 electric city hatch.
While Mr de Meo’s comments suggest the new SUV will be sold globally, it may be limited to a few markets outside Europe – given many countries Mitsubishi operates in are developing regions with low electric-car uptake and less stringent safety standards.
It remains to be seen if it is sold in Australia, particularly if it is a rebranded version of one of the two Renault electric cars.
Since the i-MiEV of 2010 – which was sold in Australia, Japan, Europe, the US and other major markets – Mitsubishi’s electric-car range has been limited to a handful of models in certain countries.
It sold the Airtrek, a rebadge of a Chinese car maker’s SUV, in China from 2022 – until it pulled out of the country earlier this year – while in Japan it markets the eK X EV, a tiny ‘kei’ city car which is under consideration for Australia.
The Megane and Scenic E-Tech are available with batteries offering 40kWh to 87kWh in capacity, for up to 625km of claimed lab-tested WLTP driving range.
Mitsubishi joined the two-decade-old technical alliance between Renault and Nissan in 2017.
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