The electric car market is due to get another boost following an agreement between Japanese car manufacturer Mitsubishi, and French owned Peugeot. The new electric car, which will be based on the i-MieV built by Mitsubishi, will be sold to the European market and will be available under both Peugeot and Citroen brands.
The agreement, signed yesterday (4th September) in Paris by the CEO of Mitsubishi, Osamu Masuko, and the CEO of PSA Peugeot Citroen, Philippe Varin, is a significant step in demonstrating their partnership concerning the development of electric vehicles. The new electric car will add to the current portfolio of lower emission vehicles offered by Peugeot/Citroen, which will be further added to when their new hybrid diesel models are released in 2011.
Production of the new electric car is expected to begin in October 2010, with the launch of the vehicle due to take place before the end of the same year. The names of the models which will carry the Peugeot/Citroen brands are yet to be released, however a spokesperson confirmed the car will have an 81 mile range between charges, taking 6 hours to recharge in full.
Mitsubishi’s i-MieV, which was released in Japan in June, launched with right-hand drive and will be available to the global market this year. It is anticipated that left-hand drive model of the car will be available by 2010.
Electric cars are seeming to be a popular area for investment by car manufacturers, with this latest announcement closely following the launch of the Nissan Leaf. Smaller independent manufacturers are still able to get their share of the market at the moment, however it will be interesting to see how long it takes before the big names in the car market take over. Toyota and Honda are already vying for the hybrid title with the Prius and the Insight, and with a number of other vehicles boasting high efficiency on mileage, maybe the hybrids have had their day and it’s time for electric cars to begin to take to the spotlight.