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Vietnam Partners With Mitsubishi to Look Into Future With Electric Cars

On Monday, the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade announced that they will sign an MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) with Mitsubishi Motors to study the potential for the country to support electric vehicles.

According to the Nikkei Asian Review, before completing the study – which will assess the suitability of Vietnamese roads, traffic conditions and charging station infrastructure - the Japanese car company will supply Vietnam with Outlanders – a plug-in hybrid vehicle.

While electric cars are currently rare in Vietnam, they are well-suited to the country because it already runs on the 200-plus-volt system required for charging. Kenichi Horinouchi, General Director of Mitsubishi Motor Vietnam, stated that government tax incentives will be necessary for the cars to be competitively priced.

Despite a recent drop in sales due to a looming change in tariffs, car ownership in Vietnam is on the rise. Thanks to a growing middle class, the Ministry of Industry and Trade predicts new auto sales will more than double to 600,000 units annually in 2025. Meanwhile, car manufacturing is expected to be a key element of the country’s developing economy.

Mitsubishi is hoping to appeal to an increasingly environmentally conscious citizenry. Traffic and coal-powered plants are already having devastating effects on the country’s air quality, while electric cars do not emit toxic gases or smoke. In the long run they also save drivers money in fuel costs.

The partnership with Mitsubishi coincides with numerous efforts to expand electronic car use in Vietnam.

Last November the Central Power Corporation (CPC) purchased two battery charger stations in Da Nang, along with two Mitsubishi electric cars for city use. Thanh Hoa Province officials recently signed an MoU with an American firm to construct the country’s first electric car factory. In 2015, Mai Linh Taxi partnered with French car producer Renault to import thousands of electric vehicles into the country over a five-year period, and last year Taiwanese company SYM announced plans to start selling its small electric vehicles to local consumers. Finally, in late 2017 Vingroup began construction of a factory in northern Vietnam that will produce VINFAST vehicles, which will include electric cars.

[Photo via Mitsubishi Quang Ngai]

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