Monday, December 21, 2009
Mitsubishi Raises Annual Production of the All-Electric i-MiEV to 10,000 Units
The huge positive response from the UK and other European markets for the i-MiEV has prompted Mitsubishi to raise its output target the all-electric city car that’s set to be introduced in the Japanese market in 2009 with Europe following in 2010, from 2,000 units per year to 10,000 units. To do so, Mitsubishi announced that its joint venture – Lithium Energy Japan – will build a separate plant in Kusatsu, Shiga Prefecture, to supply the additional anticipated demand.
The brand new plant is scheduled to be ready for next April’s start of production of the rear-wheel-drive i-MiEV all-electric city car. The plant will initially produce 1 million palm-size lithium-ion cells a year, which is enough to power 10,000 vehicles. An additional investment of more than 10 billion yen is planned by 2012 to add a second plant and doubling output to cope with demand.
According to the Japanese automaker, Mitsubishi Motors UK has requested that a proportion of the first 2,000 Right Hand Drive units be allocated to the British market to support a launch in London in 2009, something that is being seriously considered by the company.