Nissan and Mitsubishi have begun jointly developing electric Kei cars (cars like Suzuki Alto) for the Japanese market. The two automakers convened an event on Friday to commemorate their electric vehicle (EV) development venture.
The ceremony took place at Mitsubishi’s Mizushima plant in Kurashiki City in Okayama prefecture. Both companies will produce mini-EVs at the said plant.
The partnership will employ Mitsubishi’s expertise in manufacturing Kei cars and the EV development proficiencies of both automakers. The companies plan to launch Nissan Sakura and Mitsubishi eK X (Cross) EVs in Japan next month.
Mizushima plant already has battery pack integration and EV platform production lines. This facility also churned out i-MiEV and Minicab MiEV.
Nissan claims that both EVs will have “sufficient range for everyday use” and a cheap price. They offer “a smooth and powerful driving experience as well as high levels of safety and comfort through the adoption of advanced driver assistance systems and connectivity” it added.
Kei car segment is the most dominant in Japan. It boasted 1.65 million sales last year, which amounts to 37% of total vehicle sales. The Japanese market is yet to embrace EVs, which will likely be helped by the overall popularity of Kei cars in the country.