Mitsubishi Motors began producing and selling the Japan-spec i-MiEV last year and though the vehicle is often overshadowed by the Nissan Leaf, the battery-powered Mitsubishi, unlike the Leaf, can be bought and driven off dealer lots right now – in some countries at least. Mitsubishi does plan to extend the reach of its pint-sized electric jellybean and thus it commenced production of the Euro-spec i-MiEV at the company's Mizushima plant earlier today.
The Euro-spec i-MiEV differs only slightly from its Japanese counterpart, but today marks the beginning of Mitsubishi's plans for full-fledged export. In fiscal year 2010 (April 2010 – March 2011) Mitsubishi aims to sell 5,000 i-MiEVs and the re-badged twins, the Peugeot iOn and Citroën C-Zero, in 14 European countries: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom. Then, in fiscal year 2011, all hell breaks loose as the Japanese automakers eyes widespread availability and mass production of all three models.
Mitsubishi Motors Commences Production of Electric Vehicles for Europe
Tokyo, October 6, 2010 - Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) today announced the start of production of its European-spec i-MiEV new-generation electric vehicle along with production of PSA Peugeot Citroën's (PSA) Peugeot iOn and Citroën C-ZERO at its Mizushima Plant.
MMC has been producing and selling the Japan-spec i-MiEV since last year. With the production of the European-spec models, MMC begins full-fledged export. In fiscal year 2010 (April, 2010 - March, 2011) MMC plans to sell 5,000 i-MiEVs overseas, this includes models built for PSA.
At a ceremony at the Mizushima Plant, MMC President Osamu Masuko stated "It has been 100 years since mass production of internal combustion-engine cars began. We have taken the first step into the next 100 years of the automobile with the i-MiEV. Today, we take the second step with production for the European market on the way to global rollout of electric vehicles. This is a big step for the automobile industry and at the same time signifies the beginning of e-mobility for Europe."
MMC plans to sell the i-MiEV in Europe in 14 countries*1 including France, the United Kingdom, and Germany from this December, then from fiscal year 2011 sequentially expand the countries it will be sold in.
Compared to the Japanese version, the European-spec i-MiEV has been altered to better suit European requirements, including: a different front and rear bumper design, added safety features such as Active Stability Control (ASC) system, new gear selection, an all-new left-hand-drive dashboard, etc. The European-spec i-MiEV also achieves a cruising range of 150km under the European NEDC*2 driving pattern on one charge.