We’ve heard Mitsubishi officials say that the next-gen Triton will come with electrification for over three years (via Driven). However, recently it has come to light that the company is considering not only partial but also complete electrification for the upcoming pickup truck. The latest information is that a Mitsubishi Triton Electric prototype already exists.
On the Mitsubishi Triton Electric
On August 12, 2022, while speaking to 4X4 at the 2023 Outlander PHEV’s Australian launch, the Triton’s lead engineer, Kentaro Honda, revealed that a Mitsubishi Triton Electric variant is a possibility. He said that a Mitsubishi Triton Electric is being evaluated and that the Ford F-150 Lightning “is a good benchmark” for the same.
The chances of a Mitsubishi Triton Electric hitting dealers are slimmer than a Triton PHEV, though. Takashi Shirakawa, Division General Manager, EV Powertrain Engineering Development Division 1, Mitsubishi, has told Carsguide that a Triton EV “is not a good answer” if we talk about CO2 reduction from a broader perspective instead of just tailpipe emissions, the Australian publication reported on October 23, 2022. Shirakawa has revealed that the company has developed a prototype of a Mitsubishi Triton Electric (besides a Triton Hybrid & Triton Plug-in Hybrid), but the issue is with the cost. While Shirakawa didn’t elaborate, he should be referring to the high cost of EV batteries.
Mitsubishi, like Dacia, is not keen on 100% electrification. Limited by the acceptance of EVs in its core markets, it isn’t bullish about EVs at the moment. At the Alliance digital conference held on 27 January 2022, President & CEO Takao Kato, offered an insight. In November 2020, the Japanese automaker had announced that it aims to convert 50% of its total sales to EVs by 2030 and become a carbon-neutral company by 2050.
For Mitsubishi, our target of electrification is just that in 2030 electrification ratio, including the BEV, PHEV, Hybrid is 50%. It doesn’t look a very ambitious target, but there’s a reason. Because, for example, like in Europe, the direction of the electrification is very very clear. For example, in 2030, if we want to survive in Europe, most of the vehicle must be EV. It is very apparent. But, for example, like Mitsubishi our main market is ASEAN area. In that area, still the direction is not very clear. Sometimes government said “we’ll push BEV strongly” but next year “oh sorry, have revised our direction.” So, always the strategy is changing and changing in those countries.Takao Kato, President & CEO, Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (Alliance digital conference on 27 January 2022)
There are many factors which work against the Triton Electric’s business case. Mitsubishi’s core markets, especially those where it sells the Triton in significant volumes, are behind the curve in electrification. It is important to keep in mind that some of these are emerging countries where, at this point in time, a Mitsubishi Triton Electric would seem too expensive and perhaps unnecessary. Among the biggest deterrents for the all-electric Triton is the lack of charging infrastructure, which is applicable to most of its major markets. Full electrification for the Triton might have made sense if Mitsubishi had built up a strong presence in Europe (similar to Ford’s Ranger, which is the best-seller in the continent), which isn’t the case.
Featured image: Mitsubishi