Mitsubishi Motors plans to run its three car factories in Japan on day shift only on Friday, 18 March and will supply Triton pickup trucks and i-MiEV to help earthquake relief efforts.

"MMC will operate all three factories for the day shift on 18 March. As for thereafter, operations will be carefully deliberated according to the surrounding circumstances," the automaker said in a statement.

Separartely it said it would would  provide the areas afflicted by the Tohoku earthquake with i-MiEV EVs as well as 4WD Triton pickup trucks Triton for disaster relief purposes.

"Many of the afflicted areas are troubled with a serious gasoline shortage issue – therefore, electric vehicles have been called upon for [their] characteristic of being able to run without any specific facility as long as there is an electricity supply," MMC said.

It said the Tritons will fill a need for vehicles with high road-performance, large cargo capacity and reliable accessibility on rough roads.

In a first step, 30 i-MiEVs will be shipped out tomorrow, 18 March with more following according to need.