Mitsubishi to launch a small business-use electric vehicle (EV)

Article by Christian Andrei, on October 15, 2010

Mitsubishi Motors Corp. seeks to launch a small business-use electric vehicle (EV) in Japan by the end of 2011, according to President Osamu Masuko who spoke at a ceremony to hand over an all-electric van for a one-year trial by parcel delivery firm Yamato Holdings Co. Masuko said that it’s targeting sales of 10,000 units as soon as possible.

Mitsubishi anticipates that the initial demand for EVs may be greater from businesses than from individuals since companies are compelled to reduce their carbon footprint.

In Mitsubishi’s current financial year, which ends March 31, 2011, it aims to produce 9,000 units of its i-MiEV electric minicar along with its sister models, the Peugeot iOn and Citroen C-Zero.

During this time period, Mitsubishi also plans to export 5,000 i-MiEVs, including models made for PSA/Peugeot-Citroen SA. Meanwhile, the remaining 4,000 will be sold in Japan.

Mitsubishi had begun producing its European-spec i-MiEV, along with the iOn and C-Zero, at its factory in Mizushima, Japan. Sales will start in December for the European-spec i-MiEV. It will be available in 14 countries including Germany, France, the UK, and Spain.

Mitsubishi Motors is recognized for being the first major carmaker to start selling all-electric cars to individuals this year. About 40,000 EVs are expected to be produced in the 2012-2013 business year.

The commercial EV can be driven 100km (62 miles) on a full charge compared with the i-MiEV's 160km range. Masuko said that reducing the range will cut costs but it would still be enough to satisfy the needs of the businesses.

According to Yamato Transport President Makoto Kigawa, the company's parcel delivery vehicles run an average of 30km a day in Tokyo. [via autonews - sub. required]

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