MItsubishi isn’t interested in being the first to bring an electric ute to Australia, as the local boss says the Triton is a workhorse and “not a showpony”.
Talking with The wheels, Mitsubishi Australia CEO Sean Westcott has poured cold water on the idea of an electrified Triton – either a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) or a full-EV – coming anytime soon as he says currently The variety of electric utes available is not exhaustive. the needs of its customers.
“There are people who produce show ponies and there is a niche for show ponies. That’s fine. But we understand who our primary target market is, and that is middle-income Australians, working Australians,” he said. told us.
“And we need to develop a product that is valuable to the mass market – to farmers, to traders, to the people who provide the work that drives Australia’s economy.
“There are some companies, especially in the US, that have grabbed the headlines by saying ‘we’ve developed an electric ute’. But the reality of utes is that our customers buy them because they are workhorses. “
Mitsubishi’s next-generation Triton is steadily approaching showrooms, with a global launch expected in mid-2023 and an Australian arrival in 2024.
However, while Mitsubishi’s local office has expressed its desire for a hybrid variant – be it a regular hybrid or a more capable plug-in hybrid (PHEV) – top Mitsubishi Motors officials say its workhorse Triton An electron-enhanced version is yet to appear. Locked in, and definitely won’t be available at launch.
Late last year, Mitsubishi’s head of EV powertrain engineering and development, Takashi Shirakawa, also said The wheels The chances of seeing a hybrid Triton — whether PHEV or otherwise — by the end of 2025 were slim at this point.
“We are trying to introduce electricity. [Triton] Application in 2020 period, not later than 2030,” he said.
“We are trying, but we don’t know if it will happen – it depends on whether we can reduce the cost.”
Asked why the cost is proving so prohibitive for Mitsubishi, Westcott said it’s because the Japanese automaker is focusing on more specific capabilities rather than driving range for its future electric vehicles. Giving.
“Payload and towing capacity is very important. Now, nobody tells you until you lift the veil of secrecy, and I’m not naming names, that are vehicles. [current electric utes on sale] They don’t have payload and carrying capacity because they’re carrying their weight in batteries.”
“And the problem you have is that it’s a workhorse and you still need to provide people with payload and towing capability. And that’s the biggest challenge any motor has right now. The manufacturer is facing, getting the battery density, because the technology of lithium batteries does not yet give us the battery density – which is the amount of energy you can store per square centimeter – is still not there. is where it should be.
“So there’s a lot of research going into battery technology because we need almost a step change, I wouldn’t call it a quantum leap, because you need so many batteries because of the size and weight of the UT. removes the load. And traction. That’s the big problem we’re facing right now. And that’s what we’re working on. And that’s why, as a transition technology, we understand That the PHEV is the answer to the Triton – but I can’t tell. How long you exactly.”
In November last year, the LDV eT60 became the first electric ute to go on sale in Australia, priced at $92,990.
LDV is eT60. 1000 kg brake towing capacity – A third of the diesel T60. of that 1000 kg payload, However this is actually more than the regular range – rated at 750kg for the flagship Lux and 935kg for the entry-level Pro.