Mitsubishi Motors will start marketing its i MiEV electric vehicle powered by a lithium-ion battery module in July, mainly for corporate customers, company officials said.


The environmentally friendly vehicle can travel 160km (100 miles) on a full charge, the Tokyo-based automaker said.


Mitsubishi will assemble the vehicle at an initial rate of 2,000 units at its factory in Kurashiki, Okayama Prefecture, in the first year of sales, with annual output to be hiked to 4,000 units in the second year, the officials told Kyodo News.


The automaker intends to raise the vehicle’s annual output to 10,000 as soon as possible, they said.


The vehicle is expected to retail for JPY3m per unit after deduction for a subsidy from the national government, they said.


Fuji Heavy Industries is set to introduce its Subaru Stella plug-in car with 80 km (50 mile) range in the summer.


Mitsubishi opened a showroom to showcase the iMiEV and other models on Friday on the first floor of its head office building in Minato Ward.


Company president Osamu Masuko said, ”We’d like to take advantage of the showroom to inform consumers of how our company is trying to handle environmental problems with an eye to activating domestic auto sales.”


The company’s European unit also on Friday said it had signed a memorandum of understanding  to fleet test the car in Monaco where Renault has also inked an EV deal.


“Mitsubishi Motors, as the forerunner in the development of electric vehicles, sees opportunities for collaborating with Monaco as a partner and as a test market for its i MiEV,” the unit said.


iMiEVs will be supplied from the end of this year to community service organisations, including the post office, telecom office, hotels and casinos.


The project will monitor the ‘real-life’ daily usage of these cars in a European environment.


The car is also being tested in New Zealand, Australia, the US and across Europe.