Mitsubishi takes its environmental responsibilities seriously, and is constantly seeking to improve the cleanliness and efficiency of its operations, processes and vehicles. Technological innovation is helping the manufacturer to meet its goals in this area, and we outline a number of key advancements on this page.
FFVs, PHEVs and the i-MiEV model are three examples of the firm’s progression towards more sustainable methods of powering its cars.
FFVs are vehicles that can run on petrol, bioethanol or a combination of the two. Bioethanol fuel is produced from plants that absorb CO2 as they grow, and release no emissions when used as a fuel source. The FFV system generates optimal combustion by mixing bioethanol with petrol. This combined fuel delivers the same level of performance output and emissions as a petrol-only engine would without using as much fuel.
Mitsubishi’s PHEV vehicles combine a conventional engine with battery-powered electric motors. At medium to low speeds the vehicle stays in EV mode by using power supplied by a high-capacity battery. No fuel is consumed, meaning no emissions are released. When the battery energy is low the car switches to Series Hybrid Mode where petrol starts the electric motors and supplies them with energy. At high speeds, such as on the motorway, Parallel Hybrid Mode is engaged. In this situation both the motors and engine are used to drive the vehicle as the latter is more efficient at a high rpm.
When you decelerate the PHEV system uses the electric motors as generators to recharge the drive battery, reducing the amount of fuel that is needed for additional power. In all-electric mode the powertrain has a range of up to 31 miles which is ample for almost all driving conditions.
The pinnacle of Mitsubishi’s eco-friendly vehicle range is the i-MiEV which is powered solely by electricity. The city car’s efficiency is enhanced by its aerodynamic shape, but the most important feature is found under the body. The car’s 66bhp electric motor is driven by a lithium-ion battery which gives it a maximum range of 100 miles. The environmental benefits of the i-MiEV’s zero-emission output are obvious, and for you this means £0 road tax for the first year of ownership (when bought from new).
The carmaker has cleaned up the combustion engines fitted to its fuel-only vehicles to be more responsible and meet changing environmental regulations. Its diesel engines have received particular attention, and various supporting technologies have been developed to limit emissions and reduce fuel consumption.
The MIVEC system is the product of Mitsubishi’s focus on controlling valve timing to achieve high performance with low emissions and low fuel consumption. It first arrived in 1992, and has constantly been refined to offer even better output. The all-new system controls intake valve timing and valve lift at the same time to reduce friction and pumping losses.
Mitsubishi’s 1.8-litre and 2.2-litre diesel engines incorporate MIVEC to help them meet Euro 5 environmental standards. Through turbocharging and a common-rail injection system, performance hasn’t been compromised.
Complementing Mitsubishi’s refined engines is Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) with select models. It changes gears in a completely different way to a traditional system, using fewer moving parts which eliminates the ‘bump’ that is felt when shifting manually. These seamless changes improve fuel economy and ride comfort at the same time.
Auto Stop and Go (AS&G) is an autonomous technology that boosts fuel economy without needing any input from you. The system shuts off the engine when the car stops and starts it again when you pull away. Less fuel is consumed during each trip and fewer emissions are released from the exhaust, which adds up to a significant improvement over the car’s lifetime. The addition of ECO Drive Support allows you to actively change the way you drive for even greater efficiency. Its features include an ECO indicator which is only visible when you are driving in an economical way. A fuel consumption gauge also enables you to monitor how efficient your driving style is.
Deceleration Energy Recovery is another contributor to frugal fuel consumption. The technology charges vehicle batteries using the electrical power that is generated during deceleration. This reduces the need for power generation in other circumstances, which in turn raises engine economy and lowers emissions.
As well as responsible vehicle performance, Mitsubishi has invested time and money in improving the impact its manufacturing processes and other operations have on the environment. The firm continues to reduce the use of lead, mercury, hexavalent chromium and cadmium in its vehicles which can have an adverse impact on the planet during disposal. At the same time an increasing amount of green plastics made from plant-based materials are being used.
The automaker is also honouring European regulations stating that manufacturers need to develop products that are easier to recycle. For example, almost every interior and exterior plastic component is constructed from an easily recyclable thermoplastic resin.
For a better understanding of Mitsubishi’s green initiatives and its efficient cars, please contact the Birchwood Mitsubishi dealership in Eastbourne.