Mitsubishi has high hopes for electric and hybrid vehicles and they are hedging their bets on this advanced technology well into the future as they have provided outlined plans indicating their desires to introduce 5 additional electric models within the next 4 years.

The company intends to sell at least 30,000 electric vehicles by 2013 and even more shocking they intend to make a profit from these vehicles.

The announcement came shortly after their first electric vehicle the i-MiEV went into production.  The new vehicles coming from the company are outlined in a plan that they call the Mitsubishi Motors Group Environmental Vision 2020.  By 2020, Mitsubishi believes that 20% of their vehicles will be electric.

Here's a brief outline of the companies plans for the near future.  First up, they will introduce a left hand drive version of the i-MiEV for release in European countries near the end of 2010.  Next, they will introduce a fully electric commercial delivery vehicle sometime in 2010.  By 2011, they will produce a larger electric car based off of an existing model the first of which will be based off of a 1 liter vehicle.  And by 2013, they expect to release a plug-in hybrid SUV.

Additional plans include the release of a sporty version of the current i-MiEV with an emphasis on driving characteristics and supplying an EV to Peugeot Citreon by 2010.

Mitsubishi has set lofty goals, but if they remain intent on leading the way for electric vehicles, this plan would certainly give them several capable products to sell within the next few years.

Early predictions see the i-MiEV as taking approximately one half of the sales in the small EV class by in 2011.  The small EV lithium-ion class is defined as having a battery pack within the 15-16kWh size.

 If Mitsubishi can corner half of that segment early on by introducing the i-MiEV before competiting models, they could also capture other segments and become leaders if their products reach the markets ahead of their competitors.

If they stick to their plans released above, they will be ahead of most other major automakers and could pave the future for the electric car.

Source:  Nikkei Newspaper Japan  Login Required