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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Nissan, Mitsubishi to launch low-cost electric car by 2016

Nissan Motor and Mitsubishi Motors will work together to develop a minicar-based electric vehicle, aiming to release a new model in fiscal 2016 at the lowest price among major automakers.

The carmakers have set up a 50-50 joint venture to pursue development.

Nissan, which released the Leaf electric car in 2010, is the world's largest manufacturer of electric vehicles, with global sales of at least 124,000 units. Mitsubishi has a track record in this area as well, including the minicar-based i-MiEV released in 2009. They plan to co-produce the new car and work together to procure such key components as lithium-ion batteries.

The i-MiEV is the cheapest electric passenger car on the Japanese market, starting at $26,440. When government subsidies of up to $7,760 are included, it can be purchased for as little as $18,680.

By basing the new EV on a minicar, Nissan and Mitsubishi expect to sell it for around $15,000 including subsidies, the lowest price among major automakers and similar to gas-fueled compacts.

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