MITSUBISHI plans to resume electric car sales in November, with models starting at an affordable $16,000.
The Japanese automaker’s move comes as public demand for electric vehicles grows despite their rising cost.
Mitsubishi started selling electric vehicles (EVs) in 2011, but stopped last year due to poor sales.
Electric vehicle registrations then rose 60% in the first quarter of 2022, even as overall auto sales fell 18%, reports Automotive News.
But a chronic shortage of automotive supply is making electric cars increasingly out of reach for most drivers’ budgets.
Current supply constraints primarily revolve around a lack of chips, which are needed to operate complex vehicle electrical systems.
The average price of electric vehicles in the United States rose to $66,000 in June, a year-over-year increase of more than 13%, Electrek reports.
Automakers are simultaneously facing pressure from governments to focus on increasing their production of electric vehicles to protect the environment.
A Mitsubishi official said, “Replacing company cars with electric vehicles is a relatively affordable way to reduce carbon dioxide emissions,” reports NHK World Japan.
The announcement also follows President Joe Biden’s announcement in September that the United States would invest $900 million in electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
The massive fund will help manufacture around 500,000 charging stations in 35 US states and 53,000 miles.
Japanese automakers Suzuki and Daihatsu are also expected to sell commercial electric vehicles, with sales starting next fiscal year, NHK World Japan reports.
In recent years, Mitsubishi has focused on electric driving primarily around the development of its plug-in hybrid technology.
The Mitsubishi i-MiEV, the company’s only fully electric car available in the United States to date, entered production in 2009.
The i-MiEV was the world’s first mass-produced electric automobile.
Mitsubishi unveiled its Airtrek electric SUV with an average range of 323 miles at Auto Guangzhou in November 2021, reports Jerry.
Airtrek electric vehicles are only available in China.