GAC Mitsubishi begins production of the all-new Eupheme electric SUV in China.
The joint venture between Mitsubishi and Guangzhou Automobile designed the new EV and is building it in Changsha, Hunan province.
The new model supports Mitsubishi’s and GAC’s strategic growth goals by promoting the rapid adoption of new-energy vehicle technologies in the world’s largest vehicle market. New-energy vehicles in China are defined as all-electric, plug-in hybrid-electric or hydrogen-fuel-cell.
GAC says 12 key cities will serve as the initial release areas for the Eupheme EV, including Beijing, Changsha, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Hangzhou and Tianjin, with additional locations being introduced across China soon.
The Eupheme EV has a range of 256 miles (410 km) and combines the power and torque of an EV with the comfort and interior space of an SUV, GAC and Mitsubishi say. It is priced from RMB135,800 ($19,602).
Mitsubishi CEO Osamu Masuko says the launch of Eupheme EV follows the Eupheme plug-in hybrid electric SUV to market and is an important milestone.
“It demonstrates the critical role that EV technology will play in meeting Chinese consumers’ needs and contributes to the automotive industry in China,” Masuko says in a statement.
By 2019, Mitsubishi aims to have further strengthened its operations across China, more than doubling both sales and its dealer network compared with 2016 levels. The Japanese automaker also is looking to expand its vehicle lineup of all-wheel-drive and plug-in hybrid SUVs in the country.
Meantime, GAC has begun production of 4B4 and 4J1 engines and held a groundbreaking ceremony for a R&D center to open in 2020.
The new engine plant has an annual production capacity of 200,000 units. It will produce the new 1.5L direct-injection turbocharged 4B4 gasoline engine for the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross SUV. It also will build the 4J1 engine for the locally produced Mitsubishi Outlander SUV.