• Apr 22, 2011
Mitsubishi i – Click above for high-res image gallery

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:

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.

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.

[Source: Mitsubishi]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      Michael Walsh
      • 21 Hours Ago
      Good...looks like more support for CHAdeMO over the fantasy protocol from the SAE!
      • 21 Hours Ago
      Sounds good. Mitsu will take the low price, short range, city car segment. Nissan and Ford will fight over the mid-ranged, $32k-$38k ($25k to $31k after credit for Nissan and Ford, respectively) bracket, the Volt will be perfect for people that need long range a bit more frequently, are willing to pay for a bit more luxe and sportyness, and can afford the $42k MSRP ($35k after tax credit) and Tesla S and Fisker will work on the more expensive price point. Bring them all on! But I somehow doubt that any of them are going to be selling as many as some of the more optimistic projections are talking at the prices they are looking at this year or next. The prices just have to come down, or the cost of gas has to go over $5 a gallon to keep sales moving after the early adopters have theirs.
        • 21 Hours Ago
        Well summed up! However, I think you underestimate the appeal of GM's Volt to the fleet market. Volt is a real competitor for Prius and the planned Buick version should be a strong seller in the semi-prestige market. If Mercury can improve the capabilities of it's hybrid to include a PIREEV, the EV will become a solid performer in this market segment.
        • 21 Hours Ago
        I worked out the break-even price on electric cars as around $4.60 US gallon for running costs offsetting battery depreciation against petrol. Since you buy not lease batteries that means that you can afford to pay several thousand more for the electric version, although I have not worked out the exact figures as it is tougher to do than for leasing and I don't live there anyway! :-) That does not allow for reduced maintenance though, or the reduced depreciation when that feeds through to s/h car prices in due course. If you throw in an allowance for the extra security of transport, ie knowing that you will be able to get to work no matter what happens in the Middle East and so on, then economic viability is not far off, but only because of the $7,500 subsidy.
      • 21 Hours Ago
      If 85 is best case scenario, and the LEAF best case is about 130, this car is going to disappoint.
      Dan Frederiksen
      • 21 Hours Ago
      specs? vehicles dimensions? how is it different than iMiev
      • 21 Hours Ago
      " electric cars as around $4.60 US gallon for running costs offsetting battery depreciation against petrol." With the already paid for solar array on the house more than offsetting our driving, the break-even point is less than gas can ever be. As solar efficiency continues to increase and acquisition costs continue to decrease, I hope that more people start to realize that a solar array can pay for itself in offset gas costs within 3-6 years. After that, you can be like me, driving for free.
      • 21 Hours Ago
      Don't know how you did the math, but already at current gas prices you save money with an EV.http://money.msn.com/car-buying/is-an-electric-car-right-for-you-mainstreet.aspx?GT1=33006 Note that the chart ignores that additional costs of maintaing an ICE vs. Electric. No oil changes, no tune ups, no belts to replace, etc. The batteries will last the life of the vehicle, so there really is no battery replacement issue (unless you plan to keep the car over 10 years).
      Levine Levine
      • 21 Hours Ago
      Mitsubishi, the Rodney Dangerfield of Japanese car maker, is again the laughing stock of EV. Always looking for ways to cut corners, shave a bit here and there, for nearly 4 decades Mitsubishi lost out to Toyota, Honda and even Subaru for quality, reliability and styling, despite being the older and larger industrial company. Calling 85 miles range under the best scenario is tantamount to admitting the Miev is a golf cart. On the North American shore the Miev is DOA like the Smart. With Tesla and Leaf offering much greater range and power, Mitsubishi once again has let the competitors dominate the new market with better technology while it languishes as a mere contender.