Mitsubishi Motors Corp. has a goal – it wants to sell 2,000 units of its new i electric car in North America by April. Mitsubishi’s goal is pretty ambitious, considering that the i arrives at North American retailers in November and it’s only pre-sold about 350 to date.
According to Yoshikazu Nakamura, senior executive officer of Mitsubishi’s electric vehicle business office, the company expects North American sales of the i (aka i-MiEV in Japan and Europe) to reach to 20,000 units by the end of Japan’s fiscal year in March 2016.
The goal is attainable, as the U.S. model of the i has a base price of about $28,000. That means it’s one of the least-expensive highway-capable EVs sold in the United States. It also means that it will be sold at a loss for the first few years.
From now until 2016, we can expect to see three new Mitsubishi electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles (in addition to the i). Following in the footsteps of the i is the plug-in hybrid version of the Outlander crossover, which will be available in April 2013.
As part of a plan to establish itself as a global EV leader, Mitsubishi will launch eight electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles around the world by 2016. Of those, North America can expect to see four of these models. And the company isn’t starting from scratch – it plans to launch versions of existing gasoline-powered vehicles with all-electric or plug-in powertrains.