1. Wide shot of Mitsubishi Motors unveiling the new i-MiEV
2. Close up of the headlights
3. Pan of the vehicle
4. Wide shot of the news presser
5. SOUNDBITE (Japanese) President of Mitsubishi Motors, Osamu Masuko:
"Taking into account the competition with the world's car industries and makers in 10 or 20 years, it is impermissible that Japanese automakers fall behind. We must be prepared in every way."
6. Cutaway of media
7. SOUNDBITE (Japanese) President of Mitsubishi Motors, Osamu Masuko:
"We are aware this is not the price that ordinary people can easily buy. But as we increase our production, we aim to cut the price below 2 million yen (approximately 20,000 US dollars) in the near future."
8. Wide pan of the exterior of Mitsubishi Motors showroom
9. Mid shot of lithium-ion battery charger
10. The nozzle of the battery charger inserted in the side of the car
11. Midshot frontal of i-MiEV
12. Midshot of entrance
13. Close up of the Mitsubishi Motors logo at the showroom
Mitsubishi unveiled the i-MiEV Friday at its headquarters in Tokyo.
The i-MiEV is powered solely by electricity, and can be recharged from a regular home socket.
The four-seater vehicle can run up to 160 kilometres (100 miles) after charging seven hours with a 200 volt charger.
Mitsubishi Motors Corp.'s electric vehicle is twice as expensive as popular hybrid cars by rivals Toyota and Honda, but Japan's No. 4 automaker said Friday the i-MiEV is the answer to its survival in cutthroat global competition.
"Taking into account the competition with the world's car industries and makers in 10 or 20 years, it is impermissible that Japanese automakers fall behind. We must be prepared in every way," said Osamu Masuko President of Mitsubishi Motors at the unveiling of the vehicle.
The i-MiEV costs 4.59 million yen ($47,560), twice as expensive as Toyota Motor Corp.'s new Prius, which is just over 2 million yen ($20,748)
It is far pricier than Honda Motor Co.'s Insight, which starts at only 1.89 million yen, the cheapest gas-electric hybrid on the market ($19,607).
Masuko acknowledged the high price is a major hurdle to boosting demand for the i-MiEV. "We are aware this is not the price that ordinary people can easily buy. But as we increase our production, we aim to cut the price below 2 million yen (approximately 20,000 US dollars) in the near future," he said.
Masuko said Mitsubishi had spent more than 40 years developing the i-MiEV.
He declined to say how much the company had invested in the development of electric vehicles.
It expects to sell 1,400 units mostly to local governments and companies for the current business year to March 2010.
Sales to individual consumers in Japan will begin in April 2010.
The company aims to sell 250 units abroad, mainly in Britain and other European countries, in the current financial year.
Mitsubishi also plans to sell the i-MiEV in China and the United States, but Masuko gave no details.
Mitsubishi hopes to sell 15,000 units worldwide for the business year to March 2012.
But Masuko said Mitsubishi can only make profits from the i-MiEV if it produces 30,000 units per year.
Masuko stressed that the i-MiEV has the potential for growth, adding that the company is considering making a commercial electric vehicle.
The expected growth of such "green" cars is offering a glimmer of hope for the world's automakers, which are battered by plunging auto demand caused by the global economic slowdown and credit crunch.