Nissan Motor and Mitsubishi Motors will work together to develop a minicar-based electric vehicle, aiming to release a new model in fiscal 2016 at the lowest price among major automakers. The carmakers have set up a 50-50 joint venture to pursue development. Nissan, which released the Leaf electric car in 2010, is the world’s largest manufacturer of electric vehicles, with global sales of at least 124,000 units. Mitsubishi has a track record in this area as well, including the minicar-based i-MiEV released in 2009. They plan to co-produce the new car and work together to procure such key components as lithium-ion batteries. The i-MiEV is the cheapest electric passenger car on the Japanese market, starting at 2.52 million yen ($24,300). When government subsidies of up to 740,000 yen are included, it can be purchased for as little as 1.78 million yen.
This will be interesting if they can build a car as good as a Leaf for as little or less than a i-MiEV. If they can do this, the math is almost unstoppable especially a gas prices rise.