It looks like Mitsubishi is planning to bring an all-electric compact car to the United States. According to Automotive News, Mitsubishi president Osamu Masuko made the announcement last week in Las Vegas, saying that the lithium-ion battery-powered, zero-emissions car would be launched first in Japan and then shipped eastward to the U.S. market. We got an insight into Mitsubishi's vision of an all-electric sporty hatchback at the 2006 Detroit Auto Show, where it showed off its MIEV concept, which is driven by hub-mounted electric motors--a propulsion system that we also saw recently in GM's Sequel Fuel Cell vehicle.
There is no word from Mitsubishi on whether its production version will resemble the MIEV (which stands for Mitsubishi In-wheel motor Electric Vehicle), but Automotive News says that more details are expected shortly. The Mitsubishi news is the latest in a recent resurgence of activity surrounding the electric car. This summer, California-based Tesla Motors said it would begin sales of a production version of its all-electric Tesla Roadster in late 2007, while last month, Zap, another electric car manufacturer, commenced delivery of its three-wheeled electric Xebra sedans to dealerships across the country.