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Business Trends

Mitsubishi Motors to roll out SUV-based mini EVs

Japanese automaker plans to take lead as world shifts to electrics

Mitsubishi Motors plans to roll out mini-EVs in Japan by 2019.

TOKYO -- Mitsubishi Motors plans to roll out small sport utility vehicle-based electric vehicles in Japan, the U.S., Europe and other markets in the early 2020s. Mini EVs will also become available in Japan in 2019.

With the U.K., France and China shifting to electrification by restricting gasoline-powered vehicles, the Renault-Nissan alliance, including Mitsubishi, plans to further shift to EVs. Mitsubishi is to share its electrification technology, with Renault and Nissan supporting the group's EV strategy.

The Renault-Nissan alliance has sold some 500,000 EVs worldwide. The group has accumulated battery and control system technologies, such as Nissan Motor's Leaf and Mitsubishi's i-MiEV.

Gasoline-powered vehicles will remain at the core of the market, but the alliance hopes to create an image of an advanced automaker by rolling out EVs using its vehicle development know-how. Mitsubishi will also develop the first electric version of its RVR compact SUV. It will also consider sharing platforms and other parts with Nissan.

The mini EV will be a successor model of the i-MiEV, the first Japanese mini EV, launched by Mitsubishi in 2009. Mitsubishi is expected to add these EVs as an electric version of its eK wagon and Nissan's Dayz minicar.

Mitsubishi will produce two of the 12 EV models the alliance plans to market by 2022. EVs produced by the coalition, such as full electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, will account for 30% of total vehicles by 2022.

(Nikkei)

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