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Mitsubishi, PSA to work on EV powertrains

Power load: Mitsubishi's i-MiEV 'Cargo' delivery van could help PSA challenge Renault's upcoming Kangoo ZE.

Mitsubishi looks set to supply PSA with an EV micro-van under new collaboration

2 Jul 2010

MITSUBISHI Motors Corporation and PSA Peugeot Citroen have extended their collaboration on electric vehicles, announcing this week that they had started a feasibility study for the development of EV powertrains, starting with light commercial vehicles.

In a joint statement, the two companies said they would investigate the development and supply of EV powertrains, which would include “the packaging of batteries and its business viability”.

Mitsubishi is already preparing to supply the French car giant with rebadged versions of its i-MiEV EV hatchback for sale in Europe and beyond as the Peugeot i0n and Citroen C-Zero.

First deliveries are due to commence in October as part of a deal which involves an initial production run of 100,000 vehicles, split evenly between Peugeot and Citroen.

Mitsubishi revealed its intention to produce an all-electric compact van at the Tokyo motor show last year, displaying a ‘Cargo’ delivery van version of the i-MiEV.

21 center imageLeft: Peugeot i0n.

Below: i-MiEV Cargo.

PSA, in turn, relies heavily on sales of its Berlingo and Partner vans in Europe and lacks a competitor for the soon-to-be-released electric Renault Kangoo ZE.

While the i0n and C-Zero have negligible styling changes over the i-MiEV, the production version of the i-MiEV Cargo concept is still to be seen under the Mitsubishi brand name, let alone Peugeot or Citroen.

However, PSA electric vehicles director Ayoul Grouvel told Automotive News recently that the company was looking to develop an EV van that resembled its current conventional-engine models.

“We see goods delivery as the biggest potential in the first phase of the electrification of urban mobility,” Mr Grouvel said.

The two-seater i-MiEV Cargo has a customisable rear end that could be adapted for a range of applications, from business use, where maximum payload space is required, to leisure and other individual owner uses.

The cargo area on the concept measured 1270mm long, 1350mm wide and 1100mm high, making it a little more compact than the current Peugeot Partner.

It used the same 47kW/180Nm electric motor as the i-MiEV hatch, driving the rear wheels and offering a maximum cruising range of 160km.

“Being a zero-emission vehicle that produces no drive-time CO2, the i-MiEV Cargo offers the ideal solution to users in the welfare and medical fields where clean low emission vehicles are becoming a requirement,” the company said at Tokyo.

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