Mitsubishi Thailand will shift focus to EVs by 2024, says CEO
Mitsubishi Motors Thailand has announced that by 2024, all its vehicles will be either plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) or battery electric vehicles (BEVs).
Eiichi Koito, president and CEO of Mitsubishi Motors Thailand, said on Friday that the company aims to stop making vehicles that require petrol, diesel or other fuels from 2024.
Koito was speaking at the “Mitsubishi Motors Thailand, Drives Ambition to the Future” event held on Friday to announce the company’s vision.
The CEO said that though he could not elaborate on the investment and models that will be made in Thailand, Mitsubishi will first focus on making PHEVs because they would be suitable for the transition to electric vehicles.
“Mitsubishi believes PHEV is a good start for us and the technology can be further developed into BEV,” Koito said.
“The PHEV market is still small in Thailand but we believe we can make it grow in the future … We believe PHEVs are suitable for Thailand and we’re still studying purely electric vehicles.”
The event was held shortly after the company opened a 3-billion-baht painting factory, which Koito said would focus on the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, Tritan pick-ups and Pajero Sports SUVs.
The CEO said Thailand Post is currently testing two of its pure battery minivan, the Mitsubishi Mini Cab MiEV. The test focuses on how far the vehicles can go, the stopping range and battery recharging to see what needs to be improved.
He said the company will wait to see if the demand for EV pick-ups is high enough in Thailand before deciding whether they should be manufactured. So far, he said, Mitsubishi has realised that diesel engine is the best choice for pickups that require to be driven for long distances.
As for the government’s promotion of electric vehicles, Koito said Mitsubishi reckons the use of BEVs in Thailand will rise gradually and that most Thai motorists will start off with PHEVs.
He said the automaker expects government subsidies to bring the price of PHEVs on par with fuel vehicles, which will help PHEV sales to grow.
Koito added that Mitsubishi will also announce its all-new Expander MPV in the Bangkok International Motor Show, which runs from Wednesday to April 3.