Mitsubishi Motors has confirmed an earlier Nikkei report, saying it had "temporarily" halted shipments of its rebranded i-MiEV electric car to PSA Peugeot Citroen.

The automaker, a pioneer of EV car production, told news agency Agence-France Presse (AFP) it would stop deliveries of the Peugeot iOn and Citroen C-Zero vehicles in Europe which began after the two automakers signed a supply deal two years ago.

"This is a temporary stoppage for adjusting stocks (of inventory)," a Mitsubishi spokesman in Tokyo told AFP, declining to elaborate.

"We are the supplier, and we fill the orders of the client."

Mitsubishi has been shipping the electric cars to PSA since 2010 with an agreement to supply a total of 100,000 of the vehicles, which was one of the world's first commercially produced electric cars.

The Japanese automaker would not disclose how many vehicles had so far been shipped to Peugeot, citing a confidentiality clause in their agreement.

Some idea of PSA's sales, or lack thereof, can be gauged from Citroen UK's decision last March to slashed the C-Zero's price from GBP33,155 to GBP26,216 (a GBP5,000 government plug-in car grant further reduced the 'on-the-road' price to qualified applicants to GBP21,216, GBP4,700 less than Nissan's larger Leaf at the time). Peugeot UK also reduced the price of its iOn variant.

Citroen also increased the number of 'EV specialist' dealers handling the EV from 11 to 21 dealers, all in UK cities not covered by the original network.

According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), the Leaf topped the EV car sales charts in the UK in 2011 with 645 registrations, followed by the i-MiEV (125), Peugeot iOn (124) and C-Zero (36). For 2012 to 31 July, the SMMT recorded the following for the current crop of EVs, including the range-extender hybrids such as Chevrolet's Volt and its Vauxhall Ampera variant (just joined by the Toyota Prius Plug-in):

Vehicle

Year-to-date 2012

Year-to-date 2011

CHEVROLET VOLT

45

0

CITROEN C-ZERO

22

21

MITSUBISHI I-MIEV

96

109

NISSAN LEAF

370

472

PEUGEOT ION

49

114

RENAULT FLUENCE

59

0

VAUXHALL AMPERA

298

0

Mitsubishi told AFP on Wednesday (8 August) it had made 28,000 i-MiEVs in Japan since 2009. The model can travel about 160km (100 miles) on a single charge of its lithium-ion battery.

Electric cars represent a tiny fraction of the global automobile market with relatively high prices and limited range often cited as a barrier to sales.

The Japanese firm has other agreements with PSA, including supplying it with small ASX/Outlander Sport-based SUVs made in a jointly operated factory in Russia and under both PSA brands.

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