Cheaper electric cars coming

Mitsubishi is aiming to slash the price of its iMiEV electric vehicle within two years of its debut in the US and Europe, according to reports in Japanese media.

By 2012, Mitsubishi believes that it can reduce the price of an iMiEV to around ¥2-million (R168 000) taking into account government incentives, Japanese newspaper Nikkei reported last week.

New economies of scale in battery technology and efficiencies in assembly costs should bring the price down sharply, according to the report, citing unnamed sources at the Japanese firm.

In Japan, the only market where it is on sale, the Mitsubishi i-MiEV retails at ¥3.98-million (R302 830) without incentives compared to ¥3.76-million (R277 000) for its closest rival, the Nissan Leaf.

Pricing details for other markets released by both manufacturers suggest that the Leaf will be considerably cheaper around the world.

In Britain, the Mitsubishi i-MiEV will currently retail at £38 699 (R439 620) without incentives, compared to £28 350 (R322 000) for the Nissan Leaf.

In the US, iMiEV pricing is unconfirmed, but the Leaf will retail at $32 780 (R250 111).

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