The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance is still in talks of splitting up the Alliance into two separate branches for gasoline-powered vehicles and electric vehicles (EVs). With the auto market shifting towards a more electrified lineup, more focus is being given to what automakers are doing in regards to EVs and battery-electric vehicles (BEVs), partner Mitsubishi Motors grabs some spotlight for the Mitsubishi mini EV kei car in Japan. Overseas, the Automotive Researchers’ and Journalists’ Conference of Japan (RJC) concluded its run for the RJC Car of the Year for 2023 and named the eK X EV (pronounced “eK ‘cross’ EV”) as the winner.
Overseas competitions may not reach stateside news, but this all-electric kei-car also nabs the sixth win for Mitsubishi Motors during RJC of the Year. Recently discussed to be a product result of a collaboration between Mitsubishi and Nissan, the eK X EV is a new EV model in the eK X series produced by Mitsubishi Motors in Japan. A series of kei cars designed for more space and wagon modifications, the automaker has been working towards more environmentally-friendly vehicles since the production of the i-MiEV, the world’s first mass-produced EV capable of driving on the highway. No longer sold in America, this model has expanded into its own Minicab model, sporting a new EV platform in production.
“Utilizing the electrification technology that Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors have cultivated over the years, the eK X EV has achieved reduction in size and cost. While conforming to the standards of a kei-car, it has been perfected as a model with enhanced product appeal. The electrification technology is highly recognized as a cornerstone technology of future small EVs.” – RJC selection committee
The new ek X EV could be another platform that could see mass production. According to recent reports, the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance has four new platforms currently in development to launch a lineup of 35 new EV models by 2030, with a new EV platform set for production in 2024, and another compact EV platform by 2025. It has been undisclosed if either series of the Mitsubishi EV models are using one of these new platforms, but the win could mean good things for future EV models in the global lineup. The aforementioned split of the Alliance requires an investment into a new EV plant Renault and Nissan are already talking numbers for, with Mitsubishi Motors yet to give an answer. Perhaps this win for the ek X EV will be enough proof to spur the automaker into the investment.
Although not sold in America, the new EV system for the kei car maximizes the layout of the cabin for a comfortable ride. With a reported range of 111 miles on a single charge, consumers can keep in control with responsive steering and the low center of gravity of the placement of the EV system, an added bonus to help maintain a comfortable ride for passengers. The smooth ride of an EV also benefits from the spacious cabin for enhanced user-friendliness with installed advanced driver assistance systems and connectivity. With the continued shared resources between Alliance members, software-defined vehicles are next up for EVs and BEVs in the lineup. A driver experience run by a Google Operating System (OS), the next EV could be a miniature computer. 2023 should be a year for a lot of new announcements for upcoming plans. Keep up with Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi and Mitsubishi Motors news when you follow us on Miami Lakes Automall social media.