• Oct 1st 2009 at 10:00AM
  • 11

2009 Mitsubishi i-MiEV Cargo concept - Click above for high-res image gallery

Alongside its production i-MiEV people-mover, Mitsubishi will be showing another baker's dozen of new vehicles in its display at the 41st Tokyo Motor Show next month. On display will be several production cars as well as two brand new concepts based on the i-MiEV powertrain, including the i-MiEV Cargo seen here.

Looking something like a larger, more modern Nissan S-Cargo, it's a smaller option for folks who might not need something as big as a Ford Transit Connect. Whether for small business duty or family recreation, the Cargo adds a big box of usefulness to the basic MiEV platform. And yet it's very funky, like a Citröen C15 for Mars. It's cute and functional and we can't see any good reason why Mitsu shouldn't build it. There's a rather short presser after the jump and a gallery of high-res pics for you to peruse below as well.

[Source: Mitsubishi]


Tokyo, 30th September 2009 – Mitsubishi Motors Corporation will be showing a total of 16 cars at the 41st Tokyo Motor Show in October. Among cars on display at the Mitsubishi Motor stand include two concept cars developed to a "The EV*: Its dawn and future" theme: the Mitsubishi Concept PX-MiEV and the i-MiEV CARGO, the i-MiEV new-generation electric vehicle for which the company is currently accepting pre-orders for the start of sales to individual customers in April 2010; and 10 current production vehicles that qualify for eco-car tax incentives in Japan. The 41st Tokyo Motor Show will be held at the Makuhari Messe in Chiba Prefecture just outside metropolitan Tokyo, open to the public from October 24 through November 4, with press and media days October 21 and 22.

*electric vehicle and plug-in hybrid vehicle

Derived from the production i-MiEV, this concept maximises the outstanding environmental performance and economic efficiency characteristics that define the EV and at the same time adds a generous amount of rear free space to extend the range of uses to which it can be put by corporate users and self-employed operators in particular. The rear space features space-efficient cubic dimensions to allow the user to exercise their imagination fully in adapting it for whatever use he/she chooses. The result is a concept for an EV that meets user needs for a variety of situations: from business use, where maximum payload space is required, to leisure and other individual owner uses.



1. Design
The i-MiEV CARGO's unique styling was developed around a "joint" design concept as it links the i-MiEV's curvaceous front section with a square rear end to give the vehicle a distinctive road presence in a wide variety of situations. Inside, the clean and simple styling eliminates extraneous elements and details to improve usability and create an interior space characterised by its free-thinking design and originality.

2. Luggage compartment
Measuring 1350 mm wide by 1180 mm deep and 1100 mm high and having a flat floor, the cube-shaped luggage compartment at the rear of the vehicle allows every inch of available space to be utilised. The height of the compartment floor has been designed to facilitate loading and unloading of luggage and make it more user-friendly.


Overall length

3395 mm

Overall width

1475 mm

Overall height

1860 mm


2550 mm

Track F/R

1310 mm / 1270 mm




Permanent magnet synchronous

Max. output

47 kW

Max. torque

180 Nm

Max. cruising range

160 km

Drive train

Rear wheel drive

Tire size

Front: 145/65R15; Rear: 175/55R15


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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Ha ho hee, should've known: I'll bet the Japan postal service will order plenty these for parcel deliveries. Maybe someday they'll make an RV version of it, a sort of Japanese Westfalia camper...?

      I can understand Mitsu expanding its i-MiEV platform to cargo carriers and European manufacturers like Citroën and Peugeot, but I sure wish they would just start a waiting list here. Every vehicle destined elsewhere means one less in the garages of the EV advocates in this country who have been longing to put down a deposit for literally years now.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Who said you can't buy the transit connect EV?
      • 5 Years Ago
      I like it.
      But I have to say I don't know that it is as viable as a regular car at this point for EV due to range limitations.
      Most people have a life going on and know just how much they drive in a given day and especially if the EV is used as a second vehicle (so not precluding long trips - which the primary vehicle can be used for) might be very enticing to a lot of people.
      But a little van like this makes me think contractor and delivery people.
      The delivery idea seems like it might overwhelm the range problems.
      For contractors - many might go and park for most of the day but they also typically range over quite a wide area to work.
      I'd hate to have to contemplate turning down work because my work truck couldn't reach the site.
      I'm sure there are some it would work for but I am still skeptical of its current market potential.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Would be cool if a design like this had the front seat raised a bit and sitting on a platform which straddles the entire width of the vehicle and is open to the back.
        Couple that with a flat floor to produce a relatively short vehicle able to transport at least short stacks of 4'x8' material flatly (such as drywall and plywood, etc...) by having them slide up under the front seat platform.
        Add in a removable rear roof panel or even a raising rear roof on the box to accommodate large standing boxes such as refrigerators and other common furniture and that would be hella cool and flexible little lightweight transport.
        Throw in a folding bike rack to when the roof is up/off you can load two bikes on rails vertically in the box.. sweet.
        Maybe some modular tool attachment points on the back to hang a bike repair or table saw or welding equipment or whatever - and fit it with a small ICE of some kind with a nice inverter to run tools out the back - or even weld.
        It really is a cool little form factor.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I agree it's not very suitable for American-size urban sprawl with extensive freeway networks, like LA. It's perfect for more densely populated cities though. I used to live in a Tokyo suburb and regularly drove to another area about 20 km away. It took 1 hour in the middle of the day, much longer during rush hours. And the average speed would be even lower if you're driving around residential areas instead of heading to a specific destination 20 km away. So even if you do deliveries all day, it's pretty hard to rack up 160 km in a day.

        Also, many small businesses have vehicles that are not used constantly. Think family-owned shops and restaurants.

      • 5 Years Ago
      I think Ford's Transit Connect EV makes more sense. It was designed as a commercial vehicle from the start.
        • 5 Years Ago
        This thing is much smaller than the Ford Transit Connect. Not exactly a direct competitor.

        The i MiEV is the electric version of the Mitsubishi i (yes, the model name is "i"). It's a "Kei" ("light") car, which means it's less than 3.4m (11'2") long and 1.48m (4'10") wide and limited to a 0.66-liter engine. It looks like the i-MiEV van has the same wheelbase and overall length, to retain the Kei classification. (Kei cars are much cheaper to own than regular cars - lower registration fee, etc.)

        By comparison, the Honda Fit is 4.0m (13') long and 1.7m (5'7") wide. The Ford Transit Connect is 4.3m long and 1.8m wide.

        The direct competitors of the i-MiEV van would be the existing "Kei" delivery vehicles, like the Daihatsu Hijet:
      • 5 Years Ago
      It looks like the old Popemobile.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I like the idea, but I wish they could have blended the styling a bit more. That rear looks too tacked on.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Stick the smart car engine on the rear axle and put the electric motor on the front axle.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Seems little sense in suggesting the Smart engine when the Mitsubishi i is already sold with a 660cc petrol engine of its own! The petrol variant came before the EV.