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Talk about an international collaboration. Currently on display at the Geneva Motor Show, the electric mircrobus Mia will be manufactured in China by a small French-German company called Mia Electric, powered by batteries built in Israel and developed by EVida (which has offices in the US, UK, and Israel) and sold in Europe come 2012. There currently are three models to choose from that will seat one to four people, depending on configuration.

With EVida's 8kWh lithium-iron-phosphate battery pack, which can be fully charged in three hours, expected range is about 55 miles. Opt for the larger 12kWh pack and range jumps up to about 80 miles. Getting so many miles out of so few kWh is no doubt helped by the lightness of the vehicle which tips the scales at less than 1,730 pounds. Top speed is 68 miles per hour, allowing drivers to take to the freeways (just make sure to stay out of the fast lane).

At this time it is unknown whether the Mia will make its way Stateside. This will probably be determined by its success in the European market, and no doubt may require a few American tweaks before it arrives.

*UPDATE: We had Olivier, a reader, send in the following clarifications:
  • the vehicle will not be assembled in China but in France (at the Heuliez factory at Cerizay where it was created before the recent sale of the electric division which became MIA Electric)
  • the 8 kWh batteries will be built by Evida (Israel), but the 12 kWh batteries will be built in a Le Mans factory (France) by E4V (a French company) (see http://www.e4v.eu/?langue=GB)
  • the 2012 date is for consumer sales, but the date for institutions is June 2011.
  • the price in France is expected to be €15,000 for the cheapest model (€20,000 minus a €5,000 ecological bonus in France).

[Source: All Cars Electric | Image: mia-electric]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 10 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      already seen as the heuliez mia: http://www.google.com/images?client=safari&rls=en&q=heuliez+mia&oe=UTF-8&um=1&ie=UTF-8&source=univ&sa=X&ei=faJ6TbLfFM7Nswb1oaDhBw&ved=0CDsQsAQ&biw=1280&bih=914
      last year i saw it in the flesh at the yearly monaco (montecarlo) electric cars show ( http://www.ever-monaco.com/accueil_us.php)
      very roomy and bright inside, the center driver's position is cool, perfect fit for outnumbered cities, with a small range externder this will be a perfect taxi for europe and japan
      i'm happy the concept didn't die with heuliez
      • 4 Years Ago
      Potentially cool. Throw a couple of surfboards on top and walla, perfect go to the beach vehicle.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Ah, the 5-leaf clover is Mia's logo (why doesn't Aol's crummy blog software have an "edit comment" button?)
        • 4 Years Ago
        As long as you live less than 20 miles from the beach.
        • 4 Years Ago
        (why doesn't Aol's crummy blog software have a private message feature?) You mean voilà, as in "Lo! There it is", ta-da, or presto.

        Everyone else, what's that five-leaf clover on the panel in front of the sliding door?
      • 4 Years Ago
      I do not trust those range estimates at all.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yea, they seem awfully optimistic. The Tesla and Leaf get around 250 Wh/mile, this one says it can get 145 (55M with 8KWh). Sounds too good to be true. If it was 55 Km, that would be much more likely.
        • 4 Years Ago
        The lowered top speed would increase efficiency and range, but even so it does appear to be exaggerated. Wait for official test results.

        I don't think it will come to the US, due to the difficulty of meeting US standards, shipping costs, competition, and the small size of the company.
      • 4 Years Ago
      That van is actually kinda neat looking.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The range does seem optimistic, but what a great looking little vehicle!

      But at nearly $US 28,000, it not that cheap. The retail after importing, dealer mark up etc would have to be over $US 42000. Even with incentives that's expensive.