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Report: Mitsubishi Motors Planning Five More EV Models

The Nikkei reports that Mitsubishi will soon introduce five other electric models, and that by fiscal 2013, it intends to sell upwards of 30,000 electric vehicles and be profitable. Concurrent with beginning production of the i MiEV (earlier post), Mitsubishi Motors had also outlined its “Mitsubishi Motors Group Environmental Vision 2020” roadmap for its near-future, including a production volume at least 20% of which is electric vehicles.

Planned vehicles reportedly include:

  • A left-side-steering version of the i-MiEV for the European market in the second half of fiscal 2010.
  • An electric commercial vehicle that can be used to transport goods in fiscal 2010.
  • During or after fiscal 2011, larger electric vehicle models based on full-sized cars, not minicars. The first, due out sometime in fiscal 2011, will be an electric version of a 1-liter small car.
  • By fiscal 2013, a plug-in hybrid sport utility vehicle.
  • A sport model of the i-MiEV, with better driving performance.
  • The company will also begin supply of an EV on an OEM basis to PSA Peugeot Citroën in fiscal 2010.

Dr. Menahem Anderman, President of Advanced Automotive Batteries, the organizer of the Advanced Automotive Battery Conference being held in Long Beach, California this week, said in one of his market overview presentations that “the most mature EV Li-ion battery on the market today is the GS Yuasa-Mitsubishi EV battery” used in the i-MiEV.

Anderman projected in a value proposition analysis for automotive Li-ion batteries that the small EV and extended range electric vehicle segment—i.e., vehicles with a battery pack of around 15-16 kWh—would lead the short-term lithium-ion market (in terms of dollars), with around 8,000 units being sold by 2011, with about half of those being i-MiEVs.


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Tesla is on track to sell 1200 roadsters in 2009 each with a 53 kWh battery. That compares to over 3000 iMiEVs in terms of battery volume. Tesla is currently opening several new shops and service centers so they should be able to sell much more in 2010 and 2011. I do not see a market for the iMiEV that is an overpriced under performer compared to a similar gasoline car. Tesla’s roadster is an underpriced over performer when compared to similar gasoline vehicles that can do 60mph in 3.9 seconds. Anderman is wrong in his predictions. The small EVs like iMiEV will flop in the market unless their prices are dramatically lowered. On the other hand, Tesla’s EVs will gain market share as they open their shops and service centers and expand their vehicle lineup. The luxury segment of the vehicle market is currently the only segment where it is possible to build an EV that is an underpriced over performer so this is where the bulk of the EV growth will be located in the coming years.

Tesla rules the EV market in 2009 and they are likely to rule it together with Fisker in 2010 and 2011. After that time anything is possible.

Roy Davis

I would suggest that Ford/Magna, should they produce what they promise with the C-platform (Focus or Focus-like) EV in 2010, at the promised "affordable" price, will dominate Tesla and Mitsu.


The small EVs like iMiEV will flop in the market unless their prices are dramatically lowered.
Wanna bet that Mitsu will move every unit they can produce this year and next, with demand banging down the doors ?


The initial MiEV's are likely to go to utilities like the Japanese post office and Government.
A combination of green targets and the very low running costs of electric vehicles together with the ability of institutions to amortise the cost over several years make the economics and practicality very different to a private individual.
If you think this is pricey, wait until the Pininfarina Bo becomes available!
With a 30kwh as against the 16kwh of the MiEV battery pack I expect it to be seriously expensive.
Early adopters pay.


Well battery $/KwH stored is the wild card with BEVs, and Bollore just might have an ace up his sleeve in that department.
So, yes, im waiting for Pininfaringa Bluecar/B0 ( ) to come out with a surprise ..



I think you underestimate at least the Japanese market. The Miev is introduced there first, and the Japanese are famous for shelling out large amounts for any gadget. This being the first normal, mass produced EV, they're gonna buy them faster than Mitsubishi can make them. Just because they are tech savvy and want one.

Being pricey compared to a gasoline car, it is less than half the price of a Roadster. The model S? You'll have to wait at least another 2 years for that one. There are more than enough affluent, tech savvy, environmentally aware customers to sell the numbers they expect. Customers that don't have the big bucks for a Tesla, but do want to be ahead of the pack with the first EV on the block.

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I may be wrong. In fact I hope I am wrong because I wish EVs will become mainstream sooner rather than later. However, as you also know the iMiEV is priced at 47,500 USD for an EV range of 99 miles Japanese standard and probably 80 miles US standard, it has a small 47kW motor it is a small car (can fit max 4 people without luggage) and it has a non-interesting design (in my opinion). The battery is furthermore so small it may need to be replaced once in the lifetime of the car. A Prius doing 50 mpg is a much better offer. It is bigger, more powerful, has full vehicle range and starts at 22,000 USD. The Prius is also less costly in terms of fuel spending per mile driven compared to the iMiEV. At 3 USD a gallon you can go 160,000 miles in a Prius for 9600 USD in gasoline. The battery of the iMiEV cost at least 20,000 USD and it will likely last 2000 charges times 80 miles per charge or 160,000 miles. On top add the cost of electricity that is 3200 USD assuming 10 cents per kWh (2000*16*0.1).

I agree people will pay extra for the novelty of having a zero emission, noiseless car that can be fueled at home or at work. I just don’t think this is enough of a bonus to compensate for its high price and other disadvantages. However, Model S will be a different story. That car could IMO sell well over 20,000 per year (even at 70,000 USD a piece) to businesses, government agencies and wealthy people that want to look green without having to compromise on anything. The Volt will also sell well IMO even if it is priced at 40,000 USD.



I think we're viewing it from different perspectives. You are focusing on the US market. I was thinking more like a European. We have shorter distances, smaller streets, smaller parking spaces (and smaller people!). And last but not least: much higher petrol prices. Electric vehicles are exempt from the London congestion charge for example. Most countries have a special sales tax for cars. I guess electric cars will be exempt from this sales tax, bringing the price much closer to comparable ICE vehicles.

We'll see.

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