From the outside looking in, electric car development programs seem to proceed at a snail's pace and are filled with many ambiguous meanderings. Even when company executives make lots of public statements, the waters stay muddied. A recent interview with Tohru Hashimoto, Corporate General Manager of the Mitsubishi innovative Electric Vehicle business or the "MiEV Promotion Office" conducted by Stephen Clemenger and published on the EV World website, refreshingly goes some way to shed light on the reasons behind many of the decisions taken by that company - as well as it's path ahead.

After a brief history of Mitsubishi's involvement with battery electric cars since the 1960s and its more recent development program featuring the Colt EV MIEV and Lancer Evolution MIEV, Hashimoto explaines that they want to introduce an electric car to the "real market" as soon as possible. Some of the other, more significant points made are as follows;
  • Mitsubishi would like to have a "lease type agreement" with individual customers (yes, we can hear your groans)
  • A larger model iMiEV is in the works though the focus will be on the current configuration (pictured above) until after it launches
  • In-wheel motors should be used by Mitsubishi in 5 to 10 years though a smaller companies may use them sooner
  • Mitsubishi will add a range extender in future for larger models though it is unlikely to be a fuel cell (yes, we can hear your cheers)
  • Mitsubishi has no interest in making Neighborhood Electric Vehicles (NEVs) and will continue to manufacture cars with doors and seating for four (more cheers)
If you have the time for the entire interview click on the "read" link below and gain more insight into Mitsubishi's electric car future through the eyes of Tohru Hashimoto. Also, check out this morning's official statement from Mitsubishi on working with Peugeot on electric cars.

[Source: EV World]

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