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Nissan and Mitsubishi to roll out electric minicar for under $18,000

Subsidies help budget vehicle fill low-end electric niche in Japan

Nissan Motor announced a concept version of an electric minicar in 2019. (Photo courtesy of the company)

TOKYO -- Nissan Motor and Mitsubishi Motors plan to launch an electric minicar as early as next year that will cost consumers less than 2 million yen ($18,400) with subsidies, close to the price of a conventional gasoline car.

The alliance partners are jointly developing a so-called kei car with a common platform and battery to keep costs low. Because minicars are typically used for short-range day-to-day driving, the battery range will be limited to around 200 km, further reducing the expense of a system that accounts for 30% of the cost of an electric vehicle.

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