Mitsubishi is an automaker based in Japan and is well-known for its SUVs, pickup trucks, and hybrid vehicles. They launched the world’s first mass-produced electric vehicle (EV), the i-MiEV, in 2009.
According to a Mitsubishi news release, Mitsubishi Motors Thailand is working with Eternity Grand Logistics to conduct a pilot study on compact commercial EVs. Eternity is part of the Hitachi Transport System Group. Here’s more information on how Mitsubishi will test its EVs and how this can be beneficial for other automakers.
How is Mitsubishi testing its compact electric vehicles?
Electrification might come to commercial vehicles soon
The pilot study will focus on the commercial viability of compact EVs in Thailand. Mitsubishi will provide one unit of the Mitsubishi Minicab MiEV, a compact commercial EV sold in Japan, for testing.
Eternity will use the vehicle for one year in its logistics operations. The main goal of the study is to explore commercial applications of EVs and verify usage data including mileage, charging history, and delivery route.
The study can also be used to determine how helpful commercial fleet EVs can be for combating climate change and whether they can reduce operational costs.
How is the testing helpful?
It's all in the delivery for Japan Post as they introduce 1,200 EVs in the form of our Minicab MiEV van.
The #Mitsubishi Minicab MiEV is an electric commercial vehicle which has a range of up to 94 miles and its max payload is 350kg (plus two human occupants or one giant bear). pic.twitter.com/E6HHNjJ68V
This testing is part of Mitsubishi’s New Environmental Plan Package, which contributes to the Thai government’s electrification goals. Eiichi Koito, president and CEO of Mitsubishi Motors Thailand, said “This study will enable us to explore opportunities to apply EVs for commercial applications.”
Ryuichi Honda, chairman of Eternity, said that “As one of the leading players in the logistics industry, we have a responsibility to reduce our carbon footprint while also cutting operational expenses.”
Companies will be the most motivated to switch to an electric delivery fleet if it means reduced costs. It has to be worth the higher initial price of electric commercial vehicles for companies to switch to electric.
Eternity believes that Mitsubishi has the advanced technology and capability to produce high-tech EVs. This partnership will help Eternity’s goal to be a corporate leader for industrial and environmental sustainability.
Mitsubishi also plans to improve the Minicab-MiEV and continue to build an eco-conscious society along with other companies in various industries.
We’ll likely continue to see similar collaborations between delivery companies and automakers as the commercial vehicle industry moves towards electric fleets. Hyundai is also testing a hydrogen fuel cell bus in Europe.
Other Japanese automakers have recently formed a coalition to collaborate on improving mini-commercial vehicles. This will allow Toyota, Isuzu, and other automakers in the partnership to accelerate their manufacturing process by sharing information.
The results of this study can be beneficial for North American automakers to learn from as well. As we look towards an electric future, it’ll be important for automakers to continue improving on EV technology so they are accessible to consumers.
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