Mitsubishi President Osamu Masuko said the company plans to start selling an electric car similar to the hybrid concept they showed at the 2006 Detroit Auto Show. The car is likely to be based on the next-generation Colt platform which is smaller than the Lancer platform, the smallest car Mitsubishi sells in the US market. With fuel cells still some way off in the future, according to Mitsubishi (ed.: and everyone else), and diesels unpopular in North American and Japan, they feel that electric car and possibly a hybrid variant are the way to go in the short term. Timing hasn't been announced yet, but the car is likely to be marketed in Japan first and then the US market. The car will use lithium-ion batteries for maximum energy density. Hopefully they have come up with a way to increase the maximum number of charge cycles for the battery pack, because current lithium batteries can only handle about 300-500 charge cycles before being replaced. Also, presumably, the batteries won't be sourced from Sony!

[Source: Automotive News - subscription required]

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