TOKYO -- Other carmakers may build hybrids or clean diesels. Mitsubishi Motors Corp. is betting on electric cars.
Mitsubishi says it will sell a minicar powered by lithium-ion batteries and two in-wheel motors in Japan in 2010.
The automaker will begin road tests of the vehicle next year. A four-wheel-drive version also is being developed. Mitsubishi intends to sell the car in Japan. It declined to say whether it might export the cars.
Mitsubishi showed reporters a Colt EV subcompact modified to use the system. The carmaker removed the engine, transmission and fuel tank and added batteries and two in-wheel motors. The car's weight rose just 110 pounds, compared with that of the standard gasoline-powered Colt, to 2,530 pounds.
The car links four 3.7-volt battery cells into a single module. It uses 22 modules to create a 325-volt battery pack.