PICK-UPS could be the next vehicles to make the switch to hybrid powertrains, if a concept by Mitsubishi goes into production.
Badged the GR-HEV, the concept is a diesel-electric hybrid – powered both by a 2.5-litre Mitsubishi ‘clean diesel’ engine, and an electric motor mated a selection of batteries secured in the chassis.
An automatic gearbox and computer control the operation of the engine and electric motor, while Mitsubishi’s S-AWC all-wheel-drive system is used to keep the GR-HEV moving on rough terrain.
The concept, says Mitsubishi, is designed to bring down the emissions of the average pick-up to less than 150g/km of CO2 without compromising their payload or performance – and should help the firm target the world.
In fact Mitsubishi isn’t just targeting well-off European and Asian countries with the technology, but also emerging markets – where it says the one-tonne pickup format is very in demand.
The hybrid power train brings other bonuses, too. With such a large battery, and an AC supply available on demand, Mitsubishi says that the GR-HEV could effectively act as a generator – a feature that would be well appreciated by the average commercial vehicle buyer.
Refinement is also said to be better in the GR-HEV – with the electric motor kicking in during acceleration and providing ‘instant’ near-silent response compared to diesel engines’ typically unrefined and jerky nature.
The GR-HEV is just a concept for now, but it’s highly likely to point towards the future direction of Mitsubishi’s range – as the firm aims to make 20 per cent of its cars EV-based by 2020.