Mitsubishi's much delayed electric car for America, the Mitsubishi i, will be launched with demo units in November 2011 for phase 1 markets in the West Coast U.S., followed by the North East region in March 2012 and a nationwide launch in the fall of 2012. Along with the attractive price of $27,990 (just $20,490 after federal tax incentives) the bigger, heavier U.S. version will stretch the little Mitsubishi's battery capability and Mitsubishi's Chief Engineer for North American R&D, Dave Patterson, told AutoblogGreen that the vehicle's 85-mile rated range is "the best case scenario." Speaking at the Electric Drive Transportation Association (EDTA) meetings in Washington DC this week, Patterson explained:
While it's not clear exactly how much the range will drop below 85 miles in real-world situations, the i's 16-kWh battery will have its work cut out to meet U.S. driver expectations. Mitsubishi hopes that partnerships with local communities and Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) partners will help roll out the necessary charging infrastructure to support sales. Looks like Google's new EV charger location app will come in handy.
85 miles is the best case range scenario. It's better to put in a network of DC fast chargers in the right locations for our customers than to put in a lot more expensive batteries in our vehicle.