The Nikkei reports that Mitsubishi Motors Corp. will lift its production capacity for the i MiEV electric vehicle to 20,000 units annually in fiscal 2011, double the initial target.
The automaker originally planned to produce 2,000 plug-in electric cars in fiscal 2009, with plans to raise the number to 4,000 in fiscal 2010 and to 10,000 in fiscal 2011. The company appears to have 2,000 units for fiscal 2009 already pre-ordered by corporate clients, including Tokyo Electric Power Co. and the Japan Post group.
To keep up with the output increases, Lithium Energy Japan, a lithium ion battery joint venture of GS Yuasa Corp., Mitsubishi Motors and Mitsubishi Corp., plans to add a second production line to its 2.5 billion yen plant in Shiga Prefecture by autumn 2010. This addition, which is estimated to cost roughly 3 billion yen, is expected to more than double the joint venture’s lithium-ion battery output to 5,000 units a year. By improving production efficiency, the company hopes to wring out an additional 1,000 to 2,000 units a year of the key electric vehicle component.
Mitsubishi will begin consumer sales of the i MiEV in Japan in fiscal 2010. The company will also start supplying EVs to PSA Peugeot Citroën on an OEM basis the same year. (Earlier post.)