The new Mitsubishi Triton is likely to get a hybrid option before it gets a plug-in hybrid or all-electric powertrain.

    “We are studying both of those, a battery EV and a HEV [hybrid electric vehicle], for the future,” Mitsubishi’s global chief of engineering and product strategy, Hiroshi Nagaoka, told Australian media.

    “We are at an advanced engineering phase of those developments. We have not decided yet which technology we should take at a fast pace, but we are of course exploring.”

    The company had already confirmed it was working on an electric ute, which it teased earlier this year and is due sometime in the next five years.

    “In future, we think that BEV is also required for [a] pickup truck, but the question is timing: when we should introduce a BEV?” said Nagaoka-san.

    “And before a BEV, we also need to think about some other kind of electrified vehicle, such as a hybrid or a PHEV.

    He indicated a hybrid Triton would arrive first, and that the company was weighing whether to go electric or plug-in hybrid as a next step.

    “Most likely we will go first with the HEV, then after that, maybe considering the battery improvement, PHEV, or battery EV,” said Nagaoka-san, noting however that Mitsubishi wouldn’t use Alliance partner Nissan’s e-Power hybrid technology.

    “If it’s a HEV we can use the current frame. So in the short term, that would be a very good solution.”

    Nagaoka-san said an extensive reworking of the current platform would be required to accommodate either an electric or plug-in hybrid powertrain, confirming an upcoming electric ute would use a version of the current Triton’s platform.

    He said advancements in battery technology could help Mitsubishi fit a large battery pack into the Triton’s underpinnings.

    “Battery technology will improve, and then we can have a more efficient battery, we can put a plug-in hybrid, and I think that will be better than the battery EV I think,” he said.

    Mitsubishi will be beaten to the Australian market with a hybrid ute by GWM, which is set to launch its Shanhai Cannon this year, while Ford will have a plug-in hybrid Ranger in 2025.

    BYD is also readying its first ute, due here in 2024, which will offer both plug-in hybrid and electric power.

    MORE: Everything Mitsubishi Triton

    William Stopford

    William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel, briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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