Mitsubishi's commitment to lessening the environmental impact of its fleet is translating directly onto New Zealand's roads, with the company recording the biggest improvement in CO2 exhaust emissions across all new vehicles sold by the country's top ten auto manufacturers from 2009 to 2013.
The figures, compiled from NZTA motor vehicle registration data, based on average CO2 emissions from units sold over that four-year period, put Mitsubishi in first place with a 13.2% reduction – 5% above the top ten average.
Every new Mitsubishi model introduced to New Zealand since 2009 has delivered improved fuel efficiency over its predecessor, with the 2014 Mirage LS offering best-in-class fuel consumption at 4.6l/100km and CO2 emissions at 106g/km.
Mitsubishi has also led the charge for zero-emission electric vehicles; with the launch of i-MiEV in 2011, it became the first manufacturer to bring an electric car to market in New Zealand.
"We have consciously removed the highest emitters from our range, starting with V6 petrol engine options, and introduced more diesel options," said Mitsubishi head of sales and marketing strategy Daniel Cook. "Our biggest vehicles – Pajero and Challenger – are only available with diesel engines, which has allowed us to cut CO2 without compromising towing ability."
The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle), which launched in February this year and did not feature in NZTA's figures, is predicted to make a significant impact in further reducing Mitsubishi's fleet emissions. It produces zero on-road CO2 when running on the battery-powered electric motors and only 44g/km CO2 when the petrol engine is in operation.
Mr Cook added: "We firmly believe that the development of hybrid electric vehicles is the right direction for Mitsubishi, its customers and the environment. Expanding the availability of this technology across our range will help ensure we stay ahead of the competition, not only in terms of delivering a cleaner auto fleet for New Zealand but in providing vehicles that are both practical and fun to drive."
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