Mitsubishi Corp. is looking to develop a lithium project in Chile to power its new fleet of Mitsubishi innovative Electric Vehicles (i-MiEV), according to newspapers in the South American country.
El Mercurio reported that the Japanese group intends to manufacture 20,000 units of i-MIEV in 2011 and plans to further this to 50,000 units per year.
According to the Santiago Times, president of Mitsubishi Chile, Masaji Santo, said: Lithium is the heart of the electric car and we want to develop our own source for the mineral.
He reportedly said Mitsubishi would be entering discussions with the Chilean government on removing an existing ban on new lithium projects.
At present, Mitsubishi buys lithium from SQM, the worlds largest producer, which extracts lithium solutions from the Salar de Atacama in the north of Chile.
Commenting on the development, Daniela Desormeaux of Chile-based consultancy SignumBOX, told...