It’s common practice in Europe to sell commercial vehicles of small hatchbacks designed to carry one or two people at the front and a pure cargo carrying layout at the rear, so there are even things like the Peugeot 207 Van.
Mitsubishi is doing just that, as the Japanese car manufacturer is developing a commercial version of the Mitsubishi i MiEV electric hatchback (passenger version shown above) that is designed to handle cargo. The commercial i MiEV “van” will be launched in 2009, but production volume will be limited by the supply of lithium ion batteries available. The electric i-van will be offered in global markets, not just in Japan. It could be stretched or have a different bodyshell based on a stretched chassis to increase cargo area.
According to Mitsubishi, electric vehicles are quite suitable as commercial delivery vehicles as they have predictable driving patterns, relatively short ranges and they return to a common garage so planning the vehicle’s recharging schedule is easier.