Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (hereafter, Mitsubishi Motors) today announced that the all-new eK X EV (pronounced “eK ‘cross’ EV”), an all-electric kei-car1, has won the RJC Car of the Year for 20232 run by the Automotive Researchers’ and Journalists’ Conference of Japan (RJC). In addition, the electrification technology of all-electric kei-car used for the eK X EV has won the RJC Technology of the Year for 20232.
In awarding the RJC Car of the Year, the selection committee commented:
“With a body size that is suited to the traffic conditions in Japan while conforming to Japanese kei-car standards, the eK X EV achieves a high level of perfection as a practical electric vehicle (EV), providing ample driving range for daily use, smooth acceleration and crisp handling, high-quality interior and exterior, and the latest safety features. Also offered at an affordable price for a wide range of users, the eK X EV provides momentum to the promotion of EVs.”
In awarding the RJC Technology of the Year, the selection committee commented:
“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.”
This is the fourth time3 that Mitsubishi Motors has won the RJC Car of the Year, following the award for 2020 won by the eK wagon and eK X height-wagon kei-cars. Also, this is the sixth time4 that the company has won the RJC Technology of the Year, following the award for 2022 given to the evolved plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) and Super-All Wheel Control (S-AWC) systems of the Eclipse Cross.
The eK X EV is a new EV model in the eK X series5, Mitsubishi Motors’ kei-car series with an SUV flavor, offered at an affordable price yet with a driving range of 180 kilometers (km, in WLTC mode)6, 7 on a single charge that is sufficient for everyday use. It has been well received for its spacious and pleasant cabin, user-friendliness, the smooth and powerful driving experience of EVs, a quiet and comfortable ride, advanced driver assistance systems, and connectivity.
With the electrification technology of all-electric kei-car, the eK X EV offers the same spacious and comfortable cabin as the gasoline model by optimizing the layout of the EV system, as well as high steering stability and ride comfort made possible by a low center of gravity and an ideal front-rear weight distribution. In addition to the EV production technology honed through the i-MiEV – the world’s first mass-produced EV – and the Minicab-MiEV, high quality and cost competitiveness have been achieved through the investments for on-site battery pack integrated production, EV platform production line, and more.
At a time when a shift to electrified vehicles is required to achieve a carbon-neutral society, Mitsubishi Motors will continue to provide vehicles that embody Mitsubishi Motors-ness – a combination of safety, security and comfort, as well as environmental-friendliness – and thereby contribute to a sustainable society.
1. Kei-car is a vehicle category in Japan for microcars.
2. Also awarded to the Nissan Sakura
3. Previous winners include the “i” kei-car (award for 2007); the Eclipse Cross crossover SUV (award for 2019); and the eK wagon and eK X height-wagon kei-cars (award for 2020).
4. Previously recognized technologies include the INVECS (Intelligent & Innovative Vehicle Electronic Control System) automatic transmission technology of Galant and Eterna (award for 1993); the INVECS-II Sport Mode automatic transmission of FTO (award for 1995); the GDI (Gasoline Direct Injection) engine of Galant and Legnum (award for 1997); the PHEV system of the Outlander PHEV (award for 2014); and the evolved PHEV and S-AWC systems of the Eclipse Cross (award for 2022).
5. Lineup includes eK X, a height-wagon kei-car, and eK X space, a super height-wagon kei-car.
6. In Japan, approximately 80 percent of users of kei-cars and compact cars drive 50 km or less per day (Mitsubishi Motors’ survey). Accordingly, it is estimated that most users can drive for two days without recharging.
7. WLTC, or Worldwide harmonized Light duty Test Cycle, is an internationally recognized test cycle that is composed of urban, suburban, and highway driving modes with average usage ratios.
SOURCE: Mitsubishi Motors