The Republic of Estonia kicked off its drive to lead the world in plug-in vehicles (on a per capita basis, anyway) by inking a deal that had Mitsubishi ship 507 i-MiEVs over to the northern European state in exchange for ten million CO2 credits. In addition, Estonia would install approximately 50 quick-charge stations, allowing the i-MiEV and most other battery-powered rides to be charged to 80 percent capacity in 30 minutes or less. There's just one problem: people don't want the i-MiEV.

Out of the 507 zero-emissions i-MiEVs in Estonia, only 336 were claimed by municipal workers. The application round to secure one of the government's i-MiEVs ended September 3, but low interest means that 171 of the electric hatchbacks remain unclaimed. Merle Ploompuu, project manager at Estonia's Ministry of Social Affairs, says municipalities doubt the vehicle's ability to function in harsh winter conditions.

So, next spring, Estonia will hold another application round to try and get the remaining i-MiEVs into driver's hands. Perhaps with the spring thaw, municipalities will be more willing to try out the pint-sized electric.


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  • 23 Comments
      goodoldgorr
      • 5 Days Ago
      That's a el-cheapo car, they can do better then this. They did better then this with fuelcell cars and trucks and there was no winter problem as they were full of energy, it was green energy without any pollution and the fuel was basocally free. But what happen it was that many folks feared to lose their job including incompetant journalists, petrol heads, car engineers. Stop any expenditure toward gm, ford, toyota, honda, volkwagen till they start to sell good cars and small trucks.
        Edge
        • 5 Days Ago
        @goodoldgorr
        I think there is a conspiracy of people on the net, trying to stop the advance of battery powered vehicles. Crazy eh! But not as crazy as what you're spouting.
      porosavuporo
      • 5 Days Ago
      Um. I read estonian, and this is very much misrepresented here, the fact that "only" 336 cars out of the total 507 _PLANNED_ were claimed in three weeks when municipalities had the time to submit applications for the first round, has little to do with actual demand. The first fifty cars would be available by November in the biggest cities, and most of the initially claimed ~300 will only arrive by late spring 2012. For most, there was simply no point applying now or they simply missed the short ( in bueraucratic terms ) window.
      Michael Walsh
      • 5 Days Ago
      Seriously? I'll take one. I'll even come to Estonia to collect it!
        Dan Frederiksen
        • 5 Days Ago
        @Michael Walsh
        but will you drive it in estonia in winter? : ) some of it might be hysteria but depending on their use it could be a real concern. maybe winters really suck in Estonia. I would be interested in seeing usage statistics for them. as much as I am an advocate of EVs I wouldn't advocate them in applications where they aren't suited. if some regions have horrible winters one could imagine fitting cold weather systems like vegetable oil heaters in EVs. I'd be cool with that : ) another option is to develop a tiny generator say a 200cc single cylinder generator the size of a basketball or even smaller that can serve as a safety net for both range and heating. it doesn't have to be an idiot's solution like the Volt.
      • 5 Days Ago
      There will be more like 200 quick-charge stations, which places the farthest station to not more than 60km away from you, wherever in Estonia you happen to be with your vehicle.
      Jelly
      • 5 Days Ago
      Big governments will eventually own the transport system by pricing you out of your car. Heathrow Airport bus services are getting made redundant, in favour off driverless electric pods that will drive you to your destination. City of London is looking to introduce them which could end up meaning the car will get banned from big city centres that are low speed anyway. Daily Express reports on the future of UK travel is driverless pods the first to be used pioneered at Heathrow Airport in and around the Airport now on mass, 50,000 bus journeys have been removed. Future is driverless pods even return themselves for charges during pick-ups. http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/271473/The-future-Heathrow-unveils-the-driverless-PodThe-future-Heathrow-unveils-the-driverless-Pod
      Bryan Lund
      • 5 Days Ago
      Cold winter driving worries. What will they come up with next to put the cute little Mitsubishi i-MiEV down? Sheesh. Put money down on this little pup and enjoy it!
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 5 Days Ago
        @Bryan Lund
        Rear wheel, rear engine, handles like a go kart, very efficient, and pretty comfortable on the inside considering it's small size.. If i only had the cash.
      • 5 Days Ago
      Let me get this straight, Estonians with pretty flat country are worried about winter driving yet the crazy Norwegians with their wealth funds drive along the mountains with no problem? I know the Gulf Stream heats up Norway abit, but they do have icy winters and springs, portrayed as "planet Hoth".
      Andrew Richard Rose
      • 5 Days Ago
      The Norwegians are very happily buying this car , The i-MiEV was the biggest selling small car there in both jan and feb of this year. The Norwegian winter is as equally as cold as the Estonian one ! I have driven the car and it is very capable , but I guess if you dig deep enough for negative EV story's you will find it is probably not selling very well in Outer Mongolia either ! Mr Loveday ,How about publishing this nice positive little story from BMW in the UK on the out come of the recent MiniEV trials there ? https://www.press.bmwgroup.com/pressclub/p/gb/pressDetail.html?outputChannelId=8&id=T0118820EN_GB&left_menu_item=node__2310 Go on I dare you , but then that would not sit very well with AOL ,would it !
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 5 Days Ago
        @Andrew Richard Rose
        Mr. Loveday would seem to have a negative take on EVs for the most part. He also likes to post the most FUD. I wonder what he is doing at a website devoted to alternative energy cars.
          Marco Polo
          • 5 Days Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          Andrew, thank you for sharing your observations. IMO, for the last ten years, EV's have attracted very substantial press coverage. Most EV press coverage has been very positive, (in fact a bit too positive, creating unrealistic expectations). Andrew, I'm sure you wouldn't want ABG to be just an uncritical propaganda organ for EV enthusiasts. Mainstream media must publish a variety of viewpoints, often contradictory so as to appeal to a wide range of opinions and interests. Take the recent example of the UK release of GM's Vauxhall Ampera. Mainstream media was mostly positive and supportive. One of the largest motoring magazines even made the GM Ampera "Car of the Year' !. It was the Green-left media who provided bitter, ideologicaly-driven, negative media coverage. In the US , some of America's more tabloid media, have identified EV's (especially GM's EVs) with extreme leftist doctrines and ''Green Preaching'. Why ? Well, some elements within the Green Left , have chosen the EV to be the symbol of their cause. It's regrettable that environmentally friendly aspects of EV technology have been converted into weapons to evangelise about other ideological, political, or philosophical agenda. , Fox has no monopoly on ranting fanatic's! EV adoption is more harmed by all those left wing crazies who do not manufacture EV's, but do manufacture moralistic, sanctimonious conspiracy theories! As a result, the completely non-political advantages of EV technology, become a bitter assault on mainstream lifestyles. Naturally the mainstream media responds to its readers outrage, and EV adoption get's caught in the cross-fire. EV industry history, is littered by billions of dollars of investment money wasted by poorly conceived and badly managed EV projects. Who would blame the media for becoming a little sceptical? It's always the same old excuses from the WKTEC apologists. Ranting on about evil oil companies, Big auto manufactures, satanic forces, conspiracies, followed by demands for more government money, only damages EV creditability. If was not for Toyota popularising the Prius Hybrid, and Lexus hybrid EV technology would still languishing under a mountain of failed EV enterprises. (Ask Carlos Ghosn). Hopefully, the production of high quality, elegant PIEV's and practical light commercial transport by large mainstream mass manufacturers will give EV technology the chance to be criticised and assessed on it's own merits, free from idealogical considerations. I hope ABG, will be there to report on those development, with fearless candour!
          Marco Polo
          • 5 Days Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          A good point. But then consider this. Most of the EV motoring sites are boring because they are little more than EV fan clubs. ABG attracts a wider general audience, because it treats EV's with the same objective journalism as ICE cars. Ev's do have drawbacks. Different models will be less competent and of poorer quality than others. Eric Loveday does seem to have it in for the Volt, and GM, but probably more to provoke a reaction than any real malice. IMHO, ABG, is the most objective of the EV and 'Green', websites.
          Andrew Richard Rose
          • 5 Days Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          You are missing the point , It is not just ABG , it is the whole mainstream media that is piling the crap on EV's , ABG is just that friend you thought you had , then ten years down the line you find out was no friend at all !
        Edge
        • 5 Days Ago
        @Andrew Richard Rose
        He's reporting someone's opinion, about the harsh winters. Nothing to do with an agenda with AOL. Carbon credits for cars! That just tells me that Mitsubishi does not need the production to meet paying customers demand. Sad, but I can't see this car succeeding. Good thing with the have the Leaf with the demand it's getting.
          Andrew Richard Rose
          • 5 Days Ago
          @Edge
          The trouble is , Autobloggreen is only reporting the negative aspect , If you took the time to read the report from BMW you would understand where I am coming from on this ! Big Media all has the same agenda , BBC , CNN ,all the UK press etc
      Marco Polo
      • 5 Days Ago
      Ah,...fordinsight, solar charged, 2WM, Micheal Walsh, ....um, Guy's, I have some disturbing news! How do I put this..... you are aware that over 90% of all Estonia's power is generated by burning (shale) oil, right? The other 10% is Russian nuclear ? The Estonians probably figure that driving a crappy little car, running on de facto oil, is not very inspiring!
        Michael Walsh
        • 5 Days Ago
        @Marco Polo
        Ah.....MP. I wouldn't keep my new iMiev in Estonia....I would be out of there as soon as I could find me a RoRo ship! Now, that's not to say I don't like Estonia - we visited Talinn in summer 2009 and had a very pleasant time!
          Marco Polo
          • 5 Days Ago
          @Michael Walsh
          Great greetings Micheal! Once again, we here at the former No 5 Peoples Auto-plant and Cabbage Distillery, have answer to your problems!! Forget crappy Estonian iMev , buy a Russian YoYo Go! Very Electric Car. Half price! But if you must have iMev, I can get from my cousin in Estonia Ministry of Social Affairs.(cash deal only) You need any cabbage or vodka? maybe cabbage vodka? Your old friend, Boris (Honest). Putin Motors Inc.. (also slightly used Mig's, and T-72 Tanks for sale, big discount for cash)
        • 5 Days Ago
        @Marco Polo
        A couple of nuclear reactors will provide plenty of power for the small countries of the Baltics with very low carbon: http://www.energy-daily.com/reports/Estonia_Lithuania_vow_energy_security_999.html Import bills would crash as uranium costs a tiny fraction of that which oil does.
          Marco Polo
          • 5 Days Ago
          @David Sounds good! Except that Estonia is an oil exporter! The oil sands it uses are it's own resource. ('course, they could always export more, and use uranium. Hmmmm...but then that would make the Estonia's largest earner, cement, uneconomic.)
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