With volume comes less expense and we have always been told that eventually, electric cars will become cheaper. Now that may be finally happening. Nissan and Mitsubishi are combining talent to launch an EV for under $18,000. If cheap EVs are what adopters are waiting for then it is coming to change the electric car segment.
With this size of a car, the expectation is for use as a short-range daily driver
The EV will share a common platform and battery with an expected range of around 125 miles. That may seem not enough but with this size of car, the expectation is for use as a short-range daily driver. Part of the cheaper price is achieved by not loading the car with a more expensive battery.
We don’t know if there are plans to bring the car to the US. But the low price is partially a result of Japan’s national subsidy of around $1,800 per car combined with city subsidies like the one in Tokyo. There an additional $4,000 subsidy starting this year helps to achieve the $18,000 price tag according to Nikkei Asia.
In Japan, the Nissan Leaf costs over $40,000. The Mitsubishi i-MiEV initially sold for over $27,000. So electric cars have not been particularly cheap to buy. That’s why Nissan and Mitsubishi are expecting big sales of this small sedan.
EVs are seen as a way to generate excess energy that can be sold back to the grid
Interestingly, EVs are seen as a way for owners to generate excess energy that can be sold back to the grid. In Japan, it is called a “vehicle to everything.” Sanshiro Fukao of the Itochu Research Institute says, “The Nissan Leaf and Mitsubishi i-MiEV served as a lifeline as ‘mobile batteries’” after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Both companies have accumulated years of vehicle-to-everything know-how. As minicars go electric, they will become even more valuable as regional social infrastructure.”
One of the reasons for companies looking for a more available EV is because Japan has announced it wants to be carbon-neutral by 2050. So adoption of eco-friendly EVs sooner than later helps Japan achieve this goal.
Japan has been slow to adopt EVs nationwide
Japan has been slow to adopt EVs nationwide. Both Europe and China have seen greater per-capita sales. So it is the hope of the Japanese government that this cheap new small car will speed up the conversion to EVs.
Domestically, both Suzuki and Toyota’s Daihatsu Motors have been concentrating on hybrid propulsion. So they’re behind in developing a cheap short-range car. So both Nissan and Mitsubishi have the advantage to expand their own EV products.
Right now information on this newly-revealed EV is limited. We can expect shipments of the joint EV will probably happen in 2022. When we know more we’ll pass it along.