This is the Peugeot iOn, better known as the Mitsubushi iMiEV, and about to be in short supply.

Japanese automaker Mitsubishi has “temporarily” halted shipments of its i-MiEV electric car to PSA Peugeot Citroen.

The firm said it would stop deliveries of the vehicles, sold as the iOn Peugeot and Citroen C-Zero in Europe, that began after the two firms signed a supply deal two years ago.

a Mitsubishi spokesman in Tokyo said: “This is a temporary stoppage for adjusting stocks of inventory,” but declining to elaborate.

“We are the supplier, and we fill the orders of the client.”

Mitsubishi has been shipping the battery cars to Peugeot since 2010 with an agreement to supply a total of 100 000 of the i-MiEV, which was one of the world's first commercially produced electric cars.

The Japanese automaker would not disclose how many cars had so far been shipped to Peugeot, citing a confidentiality clause in their agreement.

Mitsubishi said it had made 28 000 i-MiEVs in Japan since 2009.

Electric cars represent a tiny fraction of the global automobile market with relatively high prices and limited range often cited as a barrier to sales. The i-MiEV can travel about 160km on its lithium-ion battery.

Mitsubishi firm has other agreements with Peugeot, including supplying it with 4X4s sold under Peugeot's brand while they jointly operate a Russian factory. - AFP