Mitsubishi Motors will use Toshiba lithium-ion batteries in a small electric vehicle for business use which is set to go on sale in the autumn.

Reuters, citing the Nikkei business daily, reported the carmaker, which worked with GS Yuasa to produce lithium-ion batteries for its i-MiEV electric car, chose the Toshiba battery for the new Minicab MiEV, based on lifespan and cost.

Neither Mitsubishi Motors nor Toshiba had any immediate comment on the report, though Toshiba had said in July it was developing batteries for the carmaker.

Mitsubishi Motors president Osamu Masuko had indicated the automaker would likely need a second battery supplier to complement its battery venture with GS Yuasa, saying a Japanese manufacturer would be its preferred choice, Reuters noted.

Mitsubishi Motors aims to offer the Minicab MiEV for less than JPY2m (US$24,450), initially relying on government subsidies. Japan has yet to decide whether or how much in subsidies it might earmark for the purchase of electric cars beyond the fiscal year ending in March.

Mitsubishi Motors became the first major carmaker to begin selling all-electric cars to individuals last year. Its i-MiEV recently went on sale in Europe and it is building versions for Peugeot and Citroen on an OEM basis.

The commercial-use EV is set to have a range of 100km (62 miles) on a full charge, compared with the i-MiEV's 160km (100 miles), in a bid to keep costs low, the reports added.