Peugeot will sell a rebadged version of Mitsubishi’s i-Miev electric car late next yearEnlarge Photo
Mitsubishi's highly anticipated i-MiEV electric car prototype
is set to be revealed this week at the Geneva Motor Show, but ahead of the car's unveiling the Japanese company has announced an interesting development. Mitsubishi has just inked a Memorandum of Understanding regarding cooperation between itself and European auto giant PSA Peugeot Citroen. The deal relates to the production of a Peugeot-branded electric car based on the new i-MiEV, a move which has been expected for some time now but has finally been officially confirmed.
While Mitsubishi will manufacture the European-spec i-MiEV for Peugeot, it will be sold in Peugeot dealerships and should be hitting the market by late 2010 or early 2011. Up to 10,000 of the compact electric cars are expected to be supplied to Peugeot each year from 2010 onwards.
Mitsubishi also plans on selling a European i-MiEV under its own brand name, leading to speculation that the Peugeot-branded i-MiEV may be marketed as a more upmarket variant of the Mitsubishi.
Mitsubishi plans to launch the first i-MiEV by mid-2010 in Japan with the first European sales scheduled to start in the following year. The vehicle will feature a 63hp (46kW) electric motor powered by 330-volt lithium ion batteries. This will provide it with a driving range of roughly 100 miles and should take about seven hours to charge from a household power outlet. In an attempt to curtail long charge times, a 'quick-charge' pack is also being developed by power companies, which will see the i-MiEV's battery being charged to 80% of its capacity in just 35 minutes.
PSA Peugeot Citroen is already one of the largest global manufacturers of electric vehicles, and has expertise in the field of electric powertrains. The French carmaker is also trying to be the first to market with its own diesel-hybrid vehicle and in 2007 showed a concept car that achieved 69MPG
. Mitsubishi, on the other hand, is an expert in the supply of large capacity and high performance lithium ion batteries.