Mitsubishi to step up production of i-MiEV electric car

Mitsubishi Motors Corp's i-MiEV electric car is proving so popular with consumers that the company is ramping up production for the Japanese market and actively looking to roll the vehicle out in other countries.


 


 

The i-MiEV, the world's first mass-produced electric car, hit the market here in July and Mitsubishi predicted domestic sales of 1,400 units in fiscal 2009, rising to 5,000 in 2010. Those figures were well short of demand, the company admits, and it sold 2,000 vehicles in 2009 and is now expecting to sell 9,000 in 2010.

"People are very interested in zero-emission cars right now and we also benefited from the government's eco-car purchase incentive programme," Tetsuji Inoue, a spokesman for Mitsubishi, told Relaxnews.

Under the scheme, the Y4.599 million (€37,302) retail price is reduced to Y3.209 million (€26,028), making the vehicle far more attractive. Many private companies and government offices have invested in the cars.

Price has been the biggest hurdle for Japan's number-four automaker to overcome, with other companies releasing environment-friendly vehicles that are much cheaper. Toyota Motor Corp.'s latest Prius hybrid, for example, costs around Y2 million (€16,221) and Nissan Motor Co.'s electric car, the Leaf, is expected to be cheaper when it goes into mass production in 2012.

To meet the immediate growing demand, Mitsubishi will triple annual production of the i-MiEV in the fiscal year that starts on April 1 and aims to turn out 18,000 units in 2011 and 30,000 in 2012. The ultimate aim is for 100,000 cars to roll off production lines every year.

Around 250 i-MiEV cars have been sent abroad, primarily to Britain and Hong Kong, where they are being used as demonstration vehicles for the technology.

Earlier this week, however, Mitsubishi Motors (UK) announced that the i-MiEV will go on sale in Britain on January 1, 2011, with a price tag of £38,699 (€43,176), although the government's Consumer Incentive Scheme will knock £5,000 off that total.

Mitsubishi has also delivered i-MiEV vehicles to Monaco for testing, is operating a fleet of the cars at Frankfurt Airport and has signed memoranda of understanding with companies in Switzerland and Canada for the cars to be put through their paces in those markets.

On February 4, the car was awarded the Environment Special Grand Prize at the 25th International Automobile Festival, held in Paris, just the latest in a series of awards the vehicle has won.

JR

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
Rob Lowe
peopleRob Lowe hits out at Obama's snub of Benjamin Netanyahu
Sport
football
News
Davies (let) says: 'Everybody thought we were having an affair. It was never true!'
people'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Arts and Entertainment
Over their 20 years, the band has built a community of dedicated followers the world over
music
News
Staff assemble outside the old City Road offices in London
mediaThe stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century at Britain's youngest paper
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Austen Lloyd: Private Client Solicitor - Oxford

    Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: OXFORD - REGIONAL FIRM - An excellent opportu...

    Austen Lloyd: Clinical Negligence Associate / Partner - Bristol

    Super Package: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - SENIOR CLINICAL NEGLIGENCE - An outstan...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Consultant - Solar Energy - OTE £50,000

    £15000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fantastic opportunities are ava...

    Recruitment Genius: Compute Engineer

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Compute Engineer is required to join a globa...

    Day In a Page

    Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

    What the six wise men told Tony Blair

    Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
    25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

    25 years of The Independent on Sunday

    The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
    Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

    Smash hit go under the hammer

    It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
    Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

    The geeks who rocked the world

    A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
    Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

    Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

    Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
    America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

    America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

    These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
    A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

    A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

    A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
    Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

    Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

    A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
    Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

    Growing mussels

    Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
    Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

    Diana Krall interview

    The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
    Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

    Pinstriped for action

    A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
    Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

    Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

    'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

    Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

    Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
    Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us