Mitsubishi Motors and Yamato Transport Co. Ltd, Japan's largest parcel delivery company, are conducting field trials of the automaker's electric prototype Minicab Van, a light-duty commercial delivery vehicle. The prototype sports an electric motor and lithium-ion battery pulled directly from Mitsubishi's egg-shaped i-MiEV. The electrified Minicab will be tasked with the daily duties of handling some of Yamato's delivery operations from its Tokyo center.
Mitsubishi and Yamato will assess data collected during the trial and analyze the results to determine if such a vehicle is capable of handling the daily grind of delivering goods in the inner city. Mitsubishi will utilize this data to develop a production battery-powered commercial-use van by the end of 2011. Drawing from previous reports, Mitsubishi targets a sub-two million yen base price ($24,450 U.S. at the current exchange rate) for its production electric van. With a maximum range of only 62 miles in prototype form, though, the parcel-delivering ability of this electric Minicab is limited. Hopefully, the production version turns out to be more capable.
[Source: Green Car Congress]