Rival Japanese automakers Nissan and Mitsubishi are planning to work together to develop a new electric car by 2016-17, reported the Nikkei Asian Review.
The two firms have agreed on a 50-50 joint venture to launch a low-cost electric car. The price for the new version of electric car will be around 1.78 million yens, or $16,000.
In addition, both companies will be equally responsible for the source, design and manufacturing of crucial components including the lithium-ion battery, power electronics and motor.
The low-cost car will be designed keeping Japanese customers in mind, specifically the kei jidōsa car segment.
Kei jidōsa compliant cars belong to a limited class with specific dimensions and engine size that does not need parking permits and their tax as well as insurance is far cheaper, says the report.
For Japan, the kei jidōsa market is extensive and profitable for both Nissan (LEAF) and Mitsubishi (i-MiEV) offering great hopes for new electric car.
Mitsubishi’s local version of i-Miev electric car already meets kei class guidelines.
Currently, after subsidies i-MIev has a sale of 1.78 million yen.
The joint venture is sure to have a knock-on effect on the electric car industry, forcing a decline in component costs and making electric cars cheaper.
In addition, the companies have also formed an alliance to develop the Dayz and Dayz Roox microcars in Japan.