Mitsubishi Motors aims to sell more than 50 units of new electric vehicle
Published on: Friday, March 22, 2013
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Kuala Lumpur: Mitsubishi Motors Malaysia (MMM) aims to sell more than 50 units of its newly-launched electric vehicle, the Mitsubishi i-MiEV (Mitsubishi Innovative Electric Vehicle) by March 2014.The i-MiEV is the first commercialised electric vehicle in Malaysia. Previously, national automaker Proton Holdings Bhd and local Nissan distributor, Edaran Tan Chong Motor, had introduced electric cars for the purpose of pilot testing.

MMM Chief Executive Officer Tetsuya Oda said the i-MiEV has been in the global market for over four years, since its launch in Japan in 2009.

"Mitsubishi Motors in Japan has produced over 33,000 units of the i-MiEV globally," he added. He was speaking to reporters after launching the electric car, which comes with a price tag of RM136,118 (without insurance), here Thursday.

Oda said to assist potential i-MiEV buyers, MMM is planning to invest more than RM1 million to open four more EV centers nationwide by the end of April next year.

He said the centers would be equipped with a free charging facility for the electric vehicle users.

"MMM is also expanding its sales and service network throughout Malaysia to enhance our whole range of auto business. "We expect to have 60 showrooms in another year, from the current 54, with 31 being 3S Centres and 42 service outlets," he added.

Oda said MMM is currently talking to the principal in Japan to manufacture the lithium-ion battery pack, used by the electric car, here.

He said the decision is up to the principal, and it depends more on the sales volume.

"The lithium-ion battery takes up a significant portion of the cost of production of the electric car.

"If we can manufacture it locally, the price of the car can be brought down significantly," added Oda.

He also said MMM is also looking at introducing a Mitsubishi hybrid-car to the Malaysian market, amid the vibrancy of the local hybrid auto industry.

Meanwhile, the i-MiEV comes with a free five-year maintenance and five-year warranty (for 100,000 kilometre) packages.

With a top speed of 130 kilometre/hour, the four-seater vehicle can run up to 150 kilometres, after charging for eight hours.

The i-MiEV is available in two colours, frost white and two-tone red frost white. - Bernama


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