I wonder what this means for the Peugeot Partner / Citroen Berlingo Electrique compact vans? They use the Imiev drivetrain (with 22.5kwh battery packs no less!) and I believe PSA have a fleet contracts with several utility companies and government bodies in the EU for significant numbers.
I think Mitsu have seriously dropped the ball with the imiev and would have stood to recoup much more of their investment if they stayed the course. The Zoe is a more accomplished vehicle, but is lumbered with Renault's god-awful battery lease and clever but somewhat dead-end AC rapid charging. Yes you can buy it without without a lease, but at a hefty price premium, and outside of Europe the charging situation for 48kw rapid AC is poor to non-existent.
Another competitor is the VW E-up, which like unicorns, may be an urban myth, for the numbers of them you get. It's also only available in Europe, as far as I know. It is also stupidly expensive, about 65% more, for directly comparable battery size. Both of these are a shame as I think it's the best evolutionary improvement.
Finally there is the Smart ForFour. It costs way more. It was no rapid charge ability whatsoever. It is larger than the Miev, but less practical. Range is comparable, except you can't charge it on the highway, unless spending 4-5 hours starting at motorway traffic and inhaling the petro fumes from the servo is a big hobby of yours.
Up the quality of the the interior, put the revised cells used in the PSA Partner/Berlingo in there. It'll cost pocket money to do in the wider scheme of things and Mitsu could really bring something to the Nissan-Renault Alliance :
0. Twizy. Because f*ck you. We want you to die of hypothermia. Slowly. No, fair enough. it's a fun beach buggy for messing about in summer, and if marketed correctly (perhaps with a modified Twizy 2 with proper doors) could find a niche with fleets for delivery companies / couriers / post offices etc., and perhaps urban car club / hourly hire? Maybe Renault branding for the "fun" one, and Nissan for the "serious" version?
1. New I-miev: Affordable, practical no frills but well built and rugged EV (maybe market it in Europe as a Dacia?). Perfect for commuting, "2nd car", first car for new drivers, anyone on a budget or who just wants to go A to B. Great too for fleets as site runabouts - i.e. airports, universities, big corporate campuses etc. Van versions for postal/local delivery services?
2. Zoe / Micra: Young, fun EV - zoom zoom. I'm assuming these will be basically be the same car with minor differences (Chademo on the Micra, or will both migrate to CCS for Europe?)
3. Leaf: Family car. Reliable, sensible, room enough for a labrador, and taking gran out to the weekender. Also great for fleets.
4. E-NV200. New battery pack - 40 or 60? Fleets, taxis, big families with kids, buggies and people who like to take their neighbours kids to football practice.
5. Outlander PHEV. The mandatory SUV. Why? Only the gods know, but in Europe you can't move for them. They sell. Kick up the battery game to make it a Volt competitor. It should be easily possible to get it to 15-18kwh, possibly more and introduce some efficiency improvements. The only other SUV EV game in town is the Model X, so it's a clear run.
5. Future executive model? Something to replace the Renault Fluence, with an upmarket/executive feel. Big battery. Leather, wood, chrome, all that stuff.
If Mitsu won't do justice for the Miev, maybe another manufacturer like Mahindra-Ssangyong will buy up the design, modernise it, and do it justice. I'm not optimistic, but I sincerely hope so. Reva's E2O has struggled badly, and the Miev would be a clear path forward for a more accomplished EV in the same basic mould.