It’s no secret that I’m a bit doubtful about the runaway success of the all-electric vehicle. The infrastructure obstacles are just too great. There is one market where plug-ins make sense: Light delivery vehicles. Never cruise too far from the warehouse. Can be charged while van is being loaded. Lots of regenerative braking. Mitsubishi and PSA think the same. They will co-develop a compact commercial electric vehicle for the European market. Production will begin by 2012, says The Nikkei [sub].
The van will be manufactured under the Peugeot and Citroen brands and sold throughout Europe. Target markets are postal firms, freight companies, government agencies, etc. The van should sell for less than €20,000 after government subsidies.
The new electric vehicle won’t take much h design work: The body will be based on PSA existing light commercial vehicles. The van will be built at PSA’s Vigo plant in Spain. Mitsubishi Motors will build an assembly line using technology developed when building other electric vehicles, such as the i-MiEV.
Speaking of which, an i-MiEV will become available this coming October with a French badge.