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Last week was a rough one for Mitsubishi and its efforts to broaden its appeal among potential plug-in vehicle buyers. Two fires caused the Japanese automaker to halt production of both the Outlander plug-in hybrid and a version of the all-electric i-MiEV. The two separate incidents – both in Japan – involved plug-in vehicle battery-pack fires and, until the cause is found, production will be suspended, reports Automotive News.

Honda and the GS Yuasa Corporation have agreed on a joint venture contract for the "manufacturing, sales and R&D of Lithium-ion batteries for hybrid vehicles." Called Blue Energy (apparently, the Japanese have taken to the European shift of the eco-defining color word?), the new company is the result of last December's announcement and months of discussions on how to bring li-ion vehicle batteries to market. Hybrids will be the "central focus" of the JV, which makes sense given Honda's dista