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Asian automakers bet on electric minivehicles

Chinese companies take lead in EVs; Japan's Nissan, Mitsubishi focus on home

Nissan Motor and Mitsubishi Motors will launch new electric minicars that cost less than 2 million yen ($15,700) after subsidies this summer. (Photo by Kosuke Imamura)

TOKYO -- While other Asian automakers are starting to focus on selling affordable electric minivehicles globally, Japanese carmakers beginning to enter that segment are staying primarily at home.

Nissan Motor and Mitsubishi Motors will launch electric "kei cars" that cost less than 2 million yen ($15,700) after government subsidies this summer, expected to be the starting gun of the electric minicar race in Japan.

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