Japanese OEMs launch plans for HEV/EV/PHEV through 2014

Toyota and Honda will increase HEV lineups, primarily with small-sized cars



 Below is a summary of HEVs (Hybrid electric vehicles), EVs (Electric vehicles) and PHEVs (Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles) launched recently by Japanese OEMs and their launch plans from 2011 to 2014 (based on their press releases and media reports).

 Toyota and Honda will enhance their HEV lineup primarily with small-sized cars while continuing their omnidirectional development of clean vehicles (eco-cars) such as EVs, PHEVs and FCEVs. Though the two companies will launch EVs and PHEVs in 2012 as their next-generation eco-cars, they plan to focus initially on PHEVs judging that the full market penetration of EVs is not likely to happen in the near future.

 Toyota released the third-generation Prius in May 2009 with a starting price of 2.05 million yen while Honda released the Fit HEV in October 2010 with a starting price of 1.59 million yen. Both models are selling well. It is said Toyota is releasing a Vitz-size HEV toward the end of 2011 with 10-15 mode fuel efficiency in excess of 40km/L and a starting price of around 1.5 million yen. This suggests growing competition in terms of fuel efficiency and price.

 Nissan plans to sell 1.5 million units of EVs, including those by Renault, in six years from fiscal 2011 to 2016. Nissan's one motor/two clutch HEV system, originally adopted on the Fuga in 2010, will be made available on the front-wheel drive mid-sized cars as well.

 Mitsubishi Motors plans to release three EV and five PHEV models in five years from fiscal 2011 to 2015. The company has made available lower-priced grades characterized by a lower battery capacity with the i-MiEV and the MINICAB-MiEV slated for delivery starting in the fall of 2011.

 Mazda will launch the Demio-based EV for fleet lease customers in the Japanese market in the spring of 2012, and release HEVs in 2013 after adopting technologies from Toyota.

 Fuji Heavy Industries (FHI) will release their HEV in 2013 and is expected to release their PHEV sometime in the mid-2010s.

 Suzuki Motor has developed a Swift-based PHEV equipped with a 660cc engine for mini-cars.

 Toyota, Honda and Nissan plan to start full scale production of FCEV (Fuel cell electric vehicle) in 2015 if all goes as planned.

HEV sales by Toyota and Honda in Japanese markets

  2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
Toyota Total sales in Japan
HEV sales
(thereof) Prius
HEV ratio
Honda Total sales in Japan
HEV sales
HEV ratio

Source: Japan Automobile Dealers Association (Honda's total sales do not include mini-cars.)

Worldwide sales of HEV by Toyota
  2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
Toyota Overseas HEV sales
Worldwide HEV sales

Source: Toyota press release 2011.3.8

Toyota: Introducing 11 HEV models in 2011-2012 as part of their multiple HEV launch plan aimed at boosting sales in Japanese markets

 In November 2010, Toyota announced details of its "eco-car" development plans including the launch of eleven HEV models by the end of 2012.

 Toyota will launch the Lexus CT200h, Prius α, Camry HEV, Alphard/Vellfire HEV, and a compact-class HEV in 2011. Toyota reportedly plans to increase its sales in the Japanese market through a multiple launch of HEVs.

 In May 2011, Toyota released the Prius α that delivers low fuel consumption and a spacious interior. The HEV received orders for 52,000 units within the first month of the launch against the monthly sales target of 3,000 units. Toyota will increase monthly production capacity from 3,000 to 5,000 units to meet the demand.

 Toyota will launch a compact-class HEV by the end of 2011 having 10-15 mode fuel efficiency in excess of 40km/L. The price of the HEV reportedly will be kept as low as 1.5 million yen and the auto industry is keeping a close eye on its order quantities.

 The Lexus brand cars sold 33,365 units in Japan in 2010, of which 24,145 units (72.4%) were HEV. If the monthly sales quantity of the CT200h released in January 2011 reaches the 1,500-units target (18,000 units a year), it will be the largest volume model among the Lexus cars. If sales of other models remain unchanged from 2010, the ratio of HEV models among the Lexus brand cars will rise to approximately 82% in 2011.

 Toyota will start selling the Prius-based PHEV in 2012. Toyota will also release the iQ-based EV. Assuming that EV is practical for short-distance travels, Toyota is promoting PHEVs as a more versatile solution.

Toyota: Outline of eco-car technology development initiatives

HEV  Toyota plans to introduce 11 passenger car models in global markets by the end of 2012, including all-new models and redesigned models. Among them, 8 to 9 models will be launched in Japan.
PHEV  Toyota plans to start sales of a Prius-based PHEV by early 2012 mainly in Japan, the United States and Europe. The PHEV is regarded as the "best form of using electricity" and sales are targeted at over 50,000 units a year, including 20,000 in the U.S. and 30,000 in Japan and Europe combined.
 The price in Japan is expected to be in the 3 million yen range before green incentives.
EV  An iQ-based EV will be introduced in 2012 in Japan, the United States and Europe with an initial target of several thousand units a year. Designed under the assumption that the EV is to be used for short-distance travel, the car will be powered by a 11kWh lithium-ion battery and reportedly will have a JC08 mode cruising range of 105km (Note 2).
 Launch in China is being considered and road tests in China are planned for 2011.
FCEV  A sedan type fuel-cell electric vehicle (FCEV) is being developed with a target launch by around 2015 in Japan, the United States and Europe where the necessary hydrogen supply infrastructure is expected to become available. Toyota has positioned EVs as the means of short-distance travel, and the FCEVs for medium to long-range travel.
 A price below the 10 million yen mark is currently feasible but Toyota is seeking ways to further reduce costs to make the car more affordable at around 5 million yen.
Source: Toyota press release 2010.11.18
(Notes) 1. Toyota announced their "Global Vision" on March 9, 2011, in which the company introduced three items under "Models for Minimizing Environmental Impact" including (1) enhancement of their HEV lineup, (2) market launch of next-generation clean vehicles (PHEV, EV, FCEV) and (3) development of high-efficiency gasoline engines.
2. The battery capacity is 24kWh on Nissan's Leaf and 16kWh on Mitsubishi Motors' i-MiEV (10.5kWh model was made available in July 2011). The iQ-based EV reportedly will have a lower battery capacity to reduce the car's price, lower than other EVs by competitors currently in the market, under a policy of market penetration over profit.

Toyota; Launching 11 all-new HEV models in 2011-2012

  -2010 2011 2012 2013 2014-
HEV (already launched) Harrier 2005        
Estima 2006        
Lexus GS450h 2006        
Lexus LS600h /LS600hL 2007        
Crown 2008        
Camry (overseas) (made in US since 2006) made in China, Thailand, Australia        
Highlander (overseas) 2007        
Lexus RX450h 2009        
3rd generation Prius 2009, made in Thailand        
Lexus HS250h 2009        
SAI 2009        
Auris (overseas) made in UK        
HEV (launched from 2011) Lexus CT200h (Note 2)   Launch      
Prius α (Note 3)   Launch      
Next Camry (Note 4)   Launch      
Alphard/Vellfire (Note 5)   Launch      
Compact HEV (Note 6)   Launch      
PHEV Prius-based (Note 7) Limited launch in 2009   Sold in Japan, US, Europe   All Prius models to be converted to PHEV
EV iQ-based     Launch in Japan, US, Europe    
RAV4-based (Note 8)     Launch in US    
FCEV Sedan-type FCEV (Note 10)         Launch in about 2015
Source: Toyota press releases 2010.11.18/2011.1.12/2011.5.13/2011.6.14
(Notes) 1. Years in "-2010" indicate the years of launch of the then-new models; "Launch" indicates the models were released for sale in 2010 in this and all other tables.
2. In January 2011, Toyota released in Japan the Lexus CT200h, a five-door hybrid hatchback, a premium-compact model with an overall length of 4,320mm, and powered by an 1800cc Atkinson cycle engine and the same hybrid system used on the Prius. The hatchback has a 10-15 mode fuel efficiency rating of 34.0km/L and 89g/km CO2 emission. It is the smallest in size among the Lexus cars along with the lowest price at 3.55 million yen.
3-1. Toyota launched the Prius α in May 2011. The new model has an overall length of 4615mm, longer than the Prius by 155mm, and has a fuel efficiency of 31.0km/L in 10-15 mode and 26.2km/L in JC08 mode tests. The Prius α is available in two types, the two-row five-seat model with Ni-MH battery (starting price 2.35 million yen) and the three-row seven-seat model with a lithium-ion battery (starting price 3 million yen).
3-2. The Prius α was released to the Japanese market on May 13 and received orders for 52,000 units (38,000 for the five-seat model and 14,000 units for the seven-seat model) as of June 12 against the monthly sales target of 3,000 units. Delayed delivery is anticipated and the customers may not be able to benefit from the eco-car tax reduction set aside through March or April 2012. Toyota plans to increase monthly production to 5,000 units in August to September.
3-3. The five-seat Prius α will be introduced in North America in the summer of 2011 as the "Prius V" (equipped with Ni-MH battery with EPA fuel efficiency of 40 mpg combined), the seven-seat model is slated for market launch in Europe in mid-2012 as the "Prius Plus" (equipped with a lithium-ion battery with the "astonishingly high fuel performance among seven-seat MPVs").
4. Toyota is planning a total renovation of the Camry in the summer of 2011 and plans to convert the model entirely into a HEV for the Japanese market (the Camry HEV is not available in Japan at present).
5. Toyota will make hybrid versions available with the Alphard/Vellfire to coincide with their partial redesigning in the fall of 2011. The Alphard HEV was once released for marketing in 2003 but the availability was discontinued in 2008.
6-1. The "compact class HEV" to be released by Toyota toward the end of 2011 reportedly will have 10-15 mode fuel efficiency in excess of 40km/L and a price tag of around 1.5 million yen. The auto industry is keeping a close watch on its order leads.
6-2. Toyota exhibited the Prius C Concept at the Detroit motor show in January 2011 ("C" stands for city-centric). The Prius C is slated for market launch in the United States in 2012. It is based on the FT-CH Concept exhibited at Detroit motor show in January 2010 (overall length 3895mm, width 1695mm and height 1400mm), nearly the same as the Vitz (3885mm×1695mm×1500m).
6-3. Toyota has announced plans to start production of small-sized HEV in 2012 at its plant in France where the Yaris (Vitz) is produced. It is unknown at the present whether it is the same as the compact-class HEV being released in Japan toward the end of 2011.
7-1. The Prius PHEV uses a lithium-ion battery and about 600 units were sold from the end of 2009 to fleet users in Japan, the United States and Europe. The car has an EV range of 23.4km (JC08 mode) after full-charge.
7-2. Slated for release to individual customers in early 2012 with sales targeted at over 50,000 units including 20,000 in the United States and 30,000 units in Japan and Europe combined (announced in November 2010). The targeted price in Japan is around 3 million yen.
7-3. Toyota reportedly plans to convert all of its Prius models into PHEVs in 2014. Toyota is developing energy-sustainable homes in view of the smart grid infrastructure concept. Toyota's goal in this direction includes using the PHEV battery as a storage battery for home use or as an emergency supply of electricity.
8-1. Toyota exhibited the RAV4 EV, co-developed with Tesla Motors, at Los Angeles Auto Show held in November 2010 and announced the plan to launch the EV in the United States in 2012. Powered by Tesla's battery pack, the EV is to have a cruising range of 100 miles (approx. 160km).
8-2. Tesla Motors will supply the batteries, charging systems, motors and gearboxes for Toyota's RAV4 EV. An agreement was reached in July 2011 for Toyota to pay US$100 million to Tesla Motors for three years' supply of those components from 2012 to 2014.
9. An agreement was reached in September 2010 between Toyota and Daihatsu regarding the OEM supply of mini-cars from Daihatsu to Toyota after the fall of 2011. It was also agreed for the two companies to cooperate with each other in the field of environmental technologies. Specific products and technologies will be decided by the end of 2011.


Honda: HEV accounts for 47.1% of all Fit cars, 86% of orders for the Fit Shuttle

 In July 2010, Honda announced plans to launch HEV models, mainly small-sized cars, featuring lightweight, compact IMA (Integrated motor assist) systems in Japanese markets within the next year.

 In October 2010, Honda released the Fit HEV carrying the lowest price tag (1.59 million yen) among all HEVs sold in Japan. Honda's Fit sold 88,282 units and was listed as the best-selling model in vehicle sales by model including mini-cars in the first half of 2011 (January to June), leaving the Prius behind (83,319 units). The semiannual sales of the Fit included 41,610 units of HEV models (accounting for 47.1% of all Fits), which led to the public notion that Honda's pricing strategy proved quite successful.

 In June 2011, Honda released the Fit Shuttle HEV. Honda announced that its order quantity for the Fit Shuttle and Fit Shuttle HEV rose to 12,000 units in two weeks after the release, and that 86% of the orders were for the HEV type.

 In April 2011, Honda launched the Civic HEV in the United States, the first Honda equipped with a lithium-ion battery.

 Honda is reportedly developing a two-motor HEV system, other than the IMA, for use on mid-sized vehicles starting in 2012. Honda says it will develop several HEV systems that will best suit specific vehicle size and use, thereby meeting customers' needs more precisely.

 Honda exhibited the U.S. Accord-based PHEV and the Fit EV at the Los Angeles Auto Show held in November 2010. The cars will be released for sale in Japan and the United States in 2012. Honda also announced plans to start production of EVs in China in 2012 at the earliest.

Honda: Releasing Fit HEV and Fit Shuttle HEV, developing 2-motor HEVs

  -2010 2011 2012 2013 2014-
HEV Insight 2009   Launch in China    
CR-Z Launch   Launch in China    
Fit (Note 1) Launch   Launch in China    
New Civic (Note 2)   Launch in US      
Fit Shuttle (Note 3)   Launch      
Freed   Launch      
Two-motor system HEV (Note 4)     Launch    
PHEV Inspire-based (Note 5)     Launch in Japan and US    
EV Fit EV (Note 6)     Launch in Japan and US, production in China    
FCEV Mass production model of FCEV (Note 7)         Mass production to start in 2015
Source: Honda press releases 2010.7.20/2010.10.8/2010.11.18/2011.4.19/2011.6.16
(Notes) 1-1. Honda released the Fit HEV in October 2010 priced at 1.59 million yen. The lowest price among the HEVs sold in Japan was possible by sharing key components with the Insight that was released in February 2009. The Fit HEV has the same 10-15 mode fuel efficiency of 30km/L as the Insight.
1-2. Honda announced at the Auto Shanghai held in April 2011 that the company will launch the Insight, Fit and CR-Z HEVs in China in 2012 in addition to the Civic HEV already sold in China.
2. In April 2011, Honda launched the new Civic HEV in the United States, Honda's first HEV equipped with a lithium-ion battery (supplied by Blue Energy, a joint venture company between Honda and GS Yuasa). The HEV uses the same IMA system as the previous model and has an EPA fuel efficiency of 44 mpg in all city/highway/combined modes (Toyota Prius has EPA ratings of 51/48/50 mpg, respectively).
3-1. In June 2011, Honda launched the wagon style Fit Shuttle HEV. The launch date was originally planned for March but was postponed due to the Great East Japan Earthquake and the production site was changed from the Sayama to the Suzuka Plant. Production started in early May and the HEV is sold at a starting price of 1.81 million yen including tax.
3-2. The Fit Shuttle HEV uses the same IMA system as does the Fit HEV. Both have the fuel efficiency ratings of 25km/L in JC08 mode and 30km/L in 10-15 mode.
4-1. The IMA (Integrated motor assist) hybrid system currently in use has a simple structure consisting of a single motor that doubles as the generator and the drive motor, placed between the engine and the transmission. Honda is developing a new HEV system with two motors, one for driving and the other for regeneration, and plans to use the new system on the STEPWGN, Accord and certain other mid-sized vehicles starting in 2012. The new system will use a lithium-ion battery.
4-2. The two-motor system being developed by Honda does not use a planetary gear as does Toyota's HEV system or the Chevrolet Volt. Honda's new system will control the two motors electrically to make them work as an electro-CVT (ECVT, system details have not been disclosed).
4-3. The HEV equipped with the present IMA system falls behind Toyota's Prius and other HEVs in terms of fuel efficiency. However, it is never inferior in terms of system structure and Honda is working on improving the IMA.
5. Honda exhibited a PHEV based on the US Accord (called Inspire in Japan) at the Los Angeles Auto Show held in November 2010. The PHEV uses a 6kWh lithium-ion battery supplied by Blue Energy and has an EV-mode range of 10 to 15 miles. Demonstration tests began in Japan and the United States in December 2010 and the PHEV will be released for sales in Japan and the United States in 2012.
6-1. Honda exhibited the Fit EV Concept at the Los Angeles Auto Show held in November 2010. The vehicle uses a lithium-ion battery supplied by Toshiba and has a cruising range of 100 miles (160km in LA-4 mode). Demonstration tests began in December 2010 in Japan and the United States. Once the EV's market acceptability is verified, the Fit EV will be released for sales in Japan and the United States in 2012.
6-2. Honda announced during Auto Shanghai in April 2011 that the company would start production of EVs in China in 2012 at the earliest.
7. Honda has been leasing fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV), FCX Clarity, in Japan and the United States since 2008. Honda aims to reduce the cost of the FCEV to about the same level as an EV. In the meantime, however, Honda plans to lower the price to below the 5 million yen mark and start mass production in 2015. Honda foresees differentiation between FCEV and EV where FCEV will serve the needs for medium to long-range travels while EVs will take care of short-range activities.


Nissan: Selling 1.5 million units of EVs, including Renault's, in six years from fiscal 2011 to 2016

 In October 2010, Nissan began production of the Leaf EV at the Oppama Plant and released them in Japan, the United States and Europe. Nissan will start production of the Leaf at the Smyrna plant in the United States in 2012 and at the Sunderland plant in the United Kingdom in 2013. Nissan announced in its new midterm business plan published in June 2011 that the company had set a goal to sell a total of 1.5 million units of EVs, including those of Renault, in six years from fiscal 2011 to 2016.

 In November 2010, Nissan launched the Fuga HEV with a one motor/two clutch HEV system, considered to form the core technology for Nissan's HEV systems, and Nissan plans to adopt the same system on its FWD midsized cars as well. Nissan is also developing a PHEV that uses the one motor/two clutch system.

 Nissan is developing a FCEV in partnership with Daimler and will reportedly start mass production by 2015.

Nissan: Starting global mass production of the Leaf EV in 2012, launching FWD HEV

  -2010 2011 2012 2013 2014-
HEV Altima (made in US) 2006 Production discontinued      
Atlas H43 HEV 2007        
Fuga (Note 1) Launch        
Other RWD models   Being developed
FWD compact to mid-sized models (Note 1-2)     Launch in FY2012 at the earliest  
EV Leaf (Note 2) Launch in Japan, US, Europe   Mass production global scale    
Light commercial EV (Note 3)     Launch    
Infiniti EV       Launch  
Commuter type EV (Note 4)       Launch  
Dongfeng Nissan original brand EV (Note 5)         Launch by 2015
PHEV Medium to large-sized model (Note 6) Being developed
FCEV Affordable FCEV (Note 7)         Mass production to start by 2015
Source: Nissan press release 2011.6.27, Nihon Keizai Newspaper 2011.6.23
(Notes) 1-1. Nissan developed a "one motor/two clutch" type HEV system and used it on the Fuga in the fall of 2010. The engine that normally resists in the motor drive mode or during deceleration is disconnected entirely from the system so that the motor power is used in full during motor drive and the tire's rotational energy is used in full for electric generation when the car is decelerating. The result is extremely-high energy efficiency and the Fuga HEV has the 10-15 mode fuel efficiency of 19.0km/L (15.8km/L on Toyota Crown HEV).
1-2. This system can be used on FWD compact to mid-sized vehicles as well and necessary development is under way toward such an application. Nissan reportedly will use the system in combination with 2000cc to 2500cc engines on the Altima/Teana and other mid-sized vehicles in fiscal 2012 at the earliest.
2-1. The Leaf sold 5,457 units in Japan and 3,875 units in the United States in the first six months of 2011.
2-2. Production of the Leaf began in Japan in October 2010, and is to begin at the Smyrna plant in U.S. (annual capacity of 150,000 units) in 2012, and at the Sunderland plant (50,000 units) in the United Kingdom in 2013.
3-1. The light commercial EV will be developed on the basis of the NV200. Nissan will conduct road tests in Japan and Europe starting in July 2011.
3-2. The NV200 was chosen as the next-generation taxicab in the city of New York and an agreement has been reached for Nissan to deliver a total of 13,000 units in phases starting in the second half of 2013. Nissan will deliver six units of the Leaf in 2012, free of charge, for the purpose of a pilot program of EV taxicabs. If the program proves successful, Nissan will produce and supply an EV version of the NV200 taxicabs starting in 2017.
4. Nissan will launch a commuter type EV based on the Land Glider, a longitudinally tandem-style vehicle exhibited at the Tokyo motor show in 2009.
5. Nissan plans to produce the Venucia EV, carrying the original brand of Dongfeng Nissan Passenger Vehicle Company in China, and start sales by 2015.
6. Nissan reportedly will develop a PHEV using the one motor/two clutch system in the medium and large-sized vehicle segments (it has also been reported that Nissan is developing a series hybrid system in which the engine works as a generator exclusively).
7. Nissan is developing FCEV jointly with Daimler and plans to start mass production by 2015.


Mitsubishi Motors: Launching three EVs and five PHEVs from fiscal 2011 to 2015

 In the Mitsubishi Motors mid-term business plan "Jump 2013" published in January 2011, the company announced plans to launch three EV models and five PHEV models in five years from fiscal 2011 to 2015.

 Mitsubishi Motors' EV will consist mainly of mini-cars and compact cars and the company plans to increase global sales from 8,200 units in fiscal 2010 to 25,000 in fiscal 2011 (10,000 in Japan, 15,000 overseas), and to 50,000 in fiscal 2012.

 Mitsubishi Motors plans to produce 75,000 units of EV/PHEV in fiscal 2015, which will account for 5% of the total production target of 1.5 million units.

 Mitsubishi Motors will also launch a HEV in fiscal 2013.

Mitsubishi Motors: Launching three EV models and five PHEV models in fiscal 2011 to 2015, introducing HEV as well

  -FY2010 FY2011 FY2012 FY2013 FY2014-
EV i-MiEV (Note 1, 2) Released to individual customers Revised model launch      
Released in markets overseas Launch in North America      
MINICAB-MiEV   Launch      
New EVs (Note 3)       Launch Launch
PHEV SUV-based (Note 4)     2 models launch 1 model launch 2 models launch
HEV Small car-based (Note 5)       Launch  
Worldwide EV sales (units) (Note 1) 8,200 25,000 50,000    
Source: Mitsubishi Motors press releases 2010.11.9/2011.1.20/2011.4.1/2011.7.6
(Notes) 1-1. The 8,200 units sold in the fiscal 2010 include 5,600 units sold outside Japan. Mitsubishi has been shipping right-side drive models to the United Kingdom, Hong Kong etc., since the fall of 2009, and shipping them to Europe in general including vehicles for PSA, since October 2010.
1-2. The 25,000 units targeted for sales in fiscal 2011 include 15,000 units destined to Europe and other markets outside Japan. The 10,000 units targeted for Japan include 6,000 i-MiEVs and 4,000 MINICAB-MiEVs.
2. Launch in North America is slated for November 2011. The US model is larger than in size with an overall length of 3680mm (+285mm), width of 1585mm (+110mm) and height of 1615mm (+5mm) to provide a spacious cabin for four adults.
3. Mitsubishi Motors will launch a new EV model in fiscal 2013 and in fiscal 2014-2015 each. One of the two models will be based on the "Global Small" to be produced at the new plant in Thailand slated for the start of operations in March 2012 and to be introduced in emerging and other markets (it is not decided, as of early July 2011, whether the EV will be produced in Japan or Thailand).
4. Mitsubishi has been developing a series type PHEV, in which the engine works as a generator exclusively, taking advantage of the know-how acquired from its EV experience. Mitsubishi will also develop a parallel type PHEV, in which the engine is also used to drive the wheels, as it is a preferred choice for developing a PHEV based on gasoline-fueled vehicles. Mitsubishi reportedly will have both series and a parallel-type PHEV on the next Outlander and RVR and release them, one after the other, in fiscal 2012.
5. Mitsubishi will develop a HEV based on a compact vehicle and launch them in 2013 in emerging markets where charging infrastructure is not readily available; hence, EV launch is not foreseeable in the near future. Mitsubishi is aiming to develop a HEV with 10-15 mode fuel efficiency of 40km/L.

 Mitsubishi released revised versions of the i-MiEV in July 2011 reflecting customers' demands for "longer range" and "lower pricing" heard during the EV sales activities in the past two years. The "G" grade, powered by the same battery as before, has a range extended to 180km. Also made available at this time is the "M" grade powered by a lower electric energy capacity resulting in a range decreased to 120km, but the net purchase price was reduced to 1.88 million yen.

 In April 2011, Mitsubishi started taking orders for the MINICAB-MiEV based on a mini-size commercial vehicle for delivery starting in November. The MINICAB-MiEV is also available in two grades characterized by different electric energy capacities.

i-MiEV and MINICAB-MiEV available in two grades

  i-MiEV (Note 1) MINICAB-MiEV (Note 2)
Entry-level M Higher-level G 10.5kWh battery version 16.0kWh battery version
Delivery End of July Mid-August Around November 2011
Rated capacity 10.5kWh 16.0kWh 10.5kWh 16.0kWh
Range/charge (JC08-cycle) 120km 180km 100km 150km
Battery manufacturer Toshiba Lithium Energy Japan Toshiba Lithium Energy Japan
Customers' net price ¥1,880,000 ¥2,840,000 ¥1,700,000 ¥2,050,000
Source: Mitsubishi Motors press releases 2011.4.1/2011.7.6
(Notes) 1-1. Mitsubishi had a major revision of the i-MiEV in July 2011. A regenerative brake system linked with the brake pedal is now used on all models (the regenerative braking force increases as the brake pedal is depressed unlike the conventional system in which the brake pedal action increases the hydraulic braking force but has little effect on the regenerative brake). The new system increases the amount of deceleration energy collection and contributes to extending the driving range per charge by nearly 20% compared to the previous system. For instance, the G grade powered by the battery of the same capacity as before has the driving range extended from 150km to 180km in JC08 mode.
1-2. The M entry grade released in July has a 10.5kWh battery capacity and a driving range of 120km in JC08 mode but the net purchase price has been lowered to 1.88 million yen. Since Lithium Energy Japan, partly owned by Mitsubishi, cannot supply enough batteries, Mitsubishi has decided to use a lithium-ion battery SCiB supplied by Toshiba.
2. In April 2011, Mitsubishi started taking orders for MINICAB-MiEV built upon a mini-sized commercial vehicle. Delivery will start in November. The vehicle's potential customers are fleet users such as delivery vans and postal services and private business operators such as florists and catering services. Two types of driving batteries will be available to meet customers' needs. The 10.5kWh battery version vehicle will use lithium-ion batteries supplied by Toshiba.


Mazda and Fuji Heavy Industries to team up with Toyota for HEV launch while Suzuki eyes PHEV launch

 Mazda will start in the spring of 2012 leasing the Demio-based EV currently being developed. Mazda will also launch a HEV in 2013 after adopting the necessary technologies from Toyota.

 Fuji Heavy Industries (FHI) released the Stella EV in 2009, but its production and sales were discontinued when the production of the mini-car Stella was ended (replaced by OEM procurement from Daihatsu). Development will continue but the release date of the next EV has not been decided. FHI plans to team up with Toyota in developing clean vehicles, starting with HEVs and PHEVs.

 Suzuki is developing a PHEV based on the Swift with a 660cc engine for mini-cars.

Mazda: Launching Demio EV in 2012, a small HEV in 2013

  -2010 2011 2012 2013 2014-
HEV Tribute HEV Sales ended        
Premacy Hydrogen RE Hybrid 2009        
Small car-based (Note 1)       Launch  
EV Demio EV (Note 2)     Start lease sales    
Source: Mazda press release 2011.1.24, Nihon Keizai Newspaper 2011.1.25
(Notes) 1. Mazda is developing a next-generation powertrain that embodies a drastically efficient SKYACTIV technology. Mazda launched the Demio in 2011 powered by a 1300cc gasoline-fueled engine. Mazda is currently developing a 2000cc engine and plans to combine the new engine with the Prius HEV system licensed by Toyota. The resulting HEV, to be launched in Japan in 2013, will most likely be the Axela.
2. In January 2011, Mazda announced that the company had developed a Demio-based EV with a plan to lease it to local governments, corporate and other fleet customers in Japan starting in the spring of 2012. Its driving range is aimed at 200km. Mazda plans to verify convenience and utility for customers through lease sales. The car is expected to be sold for around 3 million yen including the government's eco incentives.

Fuji Heavy Industries: Launching HEV in 2013

  -2010 2011 2012 2013 2014-
EV Stella EV (Note 1) 2009 Sales ended      
HEV Horizontally opposed engine car (Note 2)       Launch  
PHEV PHEV (Note 3)         Launch in mid-2010s
Source: FHI press release 2011.7.6, Nihon Keizai Newspaper 2010.11.7
(Notes) 1. FHI discontinued production and sales of the Stella EV in early 2011 following the discontinued production of the Stella mini-car. FHI will continue EV development but the exact date of launching the next EV has not been decided.
2. FHI announced HEV launch plans in 2013 under licensing by Toyota. The HEV will be combined with a horizontally-opposed engine developed for the Subaru models. The HEV system will be used first in the Impreza slated for full remodeling in 2011, and also made available with the Legacy and Forester at the time of their full remodeling.
3. FHI is expected to launch PHEV in mid-2010s under cooperation extended by Toyota.

Suzuki: Series type PHEV system developed and now going through road tests

 Suzuki Motor is conducting road tests of the "Swift plug-in hybrid" powered by Sanyo's lithium-ion battery and having an EV driving range of approximately 15km. The test car is of the series hybrid type in which the 660cc engine works as a generator when the battery level becomes low. Suzuki plans to sell the PHEV for 2 million yen or less. The test model is currently called the "Swift range extender."
 The test vehicle uses a compact battery pack with 2.66kWh capacity and is built upon the development concept of "downsizing the costly lithium-ion battery and using engines developed for mini-cars to reduce the total cost (in pursuit of low costs for short-distance users)." The test vehicle has an EV range of 15km. However, it was learned during the road tests that "a longer EV range" is a common demand among potential users and it has been reported that Suzuki plans to increase the range to 30km before launching the PHEV in the market.

Source: Suzuki press release 2010.5.13, Nikkan Jidosha Newspaper 2010.6.1/2011.6.7 (Note) The series type PHEV in which the engine is used as a generator exclusively offers a number of advantages: (1) a driveline in a simple layout similar to that of the EV, (2) the engine revolution is more stabilized and delivers higher fuel efficiency when the engine is used to turn the motor than to drive the vehicle.

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