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Mitsubishi claims “realistic” electric car tech is not far away

  • Mitsubishi showcases electric future at Geneva Motor Show
  • eX concept (above) can travel up to 250 miles on one charge
  • Electric technology will play a big part in the firm's future line-up 

It’s fair to say that electric cars haven’t been as well-received as hoped when the first mainstream models emerged back in 2011.

Mitsubishi was one of the first to launch a pure EV - the i-MiEV - and although sales were slow and the car was discontinued in 2015, the firm is confident that a production-ready electric SUV can be a big success here in the UK.

At this year’s Geneva Motor Show, the Mitsubishi stand hosted a range of EV concept cars, showcasing its intent to keep developing the technology.

We caught up with Mitsubishi UK Managing Director, Lance Bradley, to discuss the firm's plan for electric cars in the future:

“Electrics and plug-in hybrids have been too compromised in the past by range and price. If we can tackle both of these issues and get it to a price you’d consider reasonable, then there’s no reason why an electric car cannot be a success”.

The company is already into its 50th year of research and development into electric vehicle technology. The eX all-electric SUV concept (pictured above) on display at Geneva showcases new technology and a 250-mile electric range which Mitsubishi believes is not too far away from becoming a reality. 

“Once technology starts, it snowballs," enthuses Bradley. "I don’t think it’ll be with us in the next three years, but it will be here soon.”

We're told that by 2021 there will be five SUVs in the Mitsubishi line-up including a small car to rival the Nissan Juke, the next generation of the company's Outlander and a seven-seat Shogun.

The aim is to have plug-in hybrid technology available in large SUVs, while smaller cars including the Mirage and new Juke Rival will feature the the EV tech showcased in the eX concept.

We already know that plug-in hybrid technology has proved successful for Mitsubishi, with the Outlander PHEV becoming the biggest-selling plug-in hybrid in Europe. It has also proved popular with fleets, which account for 60 percent of its sales.

Following on from the Volkswagen emissions scandal back in September 2015, Mitsubishi saw a further rise in online interest as people started to look at alternative fuels. The week following the scandal sales went up 30 percent as many fleets cancelled contracts with VW and began looking elsewhere.

The new SUVs are expected to drive further growth and electric technology looks set to play a key role in the firm's future.