Nissan and Mitsubishi have begun developing electric Kei vehicles for the Japanese market (similar to Suzuki Alto). On Friday, the two manufacturers held a ceremony to honor their EV development collaboration.
Mitsubishi's Mizushima factory in Kurashiki City, Okayama prefecture, hosted the ceremony. At the aforementioned facilities, both firms will build mini-EVs.
The alliance will combine Mitsubishi's expertise in manufacturing Kei vehicles with both automakers' EV development capabilities. Nissan Sakura and Mitsubishi UK X (Cross) EVs are set to debut in Japan next month.
Battery pack integration and EV platform production lines are already in place at the Mizushima factory. The I-MiEV and Minicab MiEV were also produced at this plant.
Both EVs will have "adequate range for everyday use" and a low price, according to Nissan. They provide "a smooth and powerful driving experience, as well as high levels of safety and comfort," according to the report.
In Japan, the Kei automobile category is the most popular. It sold 1.65 million vehicles in a year, accounting for 37% of all car sales. The Japanese market has yet to accept electric vehicles, which will likely be aided by the country's overall popularity of Kei automobiles.