More seats, fewer dollars.

That's what one Mitsubishi dealer in Oregon is advertising after cutting the price of one of its Mitsubishi i electric vehicles by more than $5,000.

Town & Country Mitsubishi near Portland is advertising what was once the cheapest mass-produced EV in the U.S. at $24,900, according to Green Car Reports. That's about $850 lower than the 2013 Smart ForTwo EV, which announced its pricing earlier this month.

Dealers are trying to spur sales of the four-seat Mitsubishi, which has sold in more-or-less novelty numbers since debuting in the US. Sales topped out at 85 units in May and have been largely in the 30- to 40-unit monthly range since then. Through September, Mitsubishi sold 439 of the EVs in the US. Better than zero, sure, but not as many EVs as Nissan sells in a month.

The Mitsubishi i has a 62 mile single-charge range, about 11 miles less than the Nissan Leaf EV. Smart says the EV gets 87 miles on a charge, but that's on the more generous European-cycle testing.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 14 Comments
      DaveMart
      • 2 Years Ago
      That's a pretty good buy for a commuter vehicle. I just wish it had the Toshiba battery instead of the GS Yausa lithium manganese, which presumably will loose capacity at a similar rate to that in the Leaf, and when you start with 60 miles of range when it is new, that is serious. Like the Leaf, lease only IMO.
        Turbo Froggy
        • 2 Years Ago
        @DaveMart
        The battery in the Miev is actually lithium titanate not lithium manganese. They have twice the cycle life and are not effected by fast charging and is very resistant to high heat. The pack is also force air cooled. I suspect that all the Miev's packs will last twice as long as the Leaf's pack.
          DaveMart
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Turbo Froggy
          Unfortunately that is not the case. The lithium titanate batteries from Toshiba are only being used in their MiniCab, and in some cars which have an even smaller battery pack and are Japan only: http://www.greencarcongress.com/2011/06/scib-20110617.html
      Spec
      • 2 Years Ago
      Damn . . . that is cheap. That puts the price at $17,400 after tax-credit. That is a great deal if you want a really cheap commuter car with a limited range. By what I understand, they are kinda desperate for ZEV credits up in Oregon so Mitsubishi may needing or selling ZEV credits to other automakers that need them.
      MTN RANGER
      • 2 Years Ago
      Quality-wise compared to the Leaf and Volt, the i is worth 25k. An official MSRP price drop from $30k to 25k would be justified and necessary.
      raktmn
      • 2 Years Ago
      The 265 mile EPA rated Model S makes it really hard to get excited about an EV with 62 miles of range, even with the huge price gap. The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV would solve that range problem without having as much price-tag pain of the biggest battery pack Model S. Anyone heard any news on that car?
        Actionable Mango
        • 2 Years Ago
        @raktmn
        The news is that I f'n want one! Unfortunately I'm about 100% sure that the feature to use the vehicle generator as a household generator during outages will be removed for the US market because we are lawsuit-happy dummies who run generators in enclosed garages.
          Ele Truk
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Actionable Mango
          Yea, but in a car with emissions controls, I don't think that's as much as an issue. Like people who try to commit suicide in a Prius in a garage, you can't do it unless the garage is hermetically sealed.
        Spec
        • 2 Years Ago
        @raktmn
        Huge "price gap"? You can buy 4 Mitsubishi-is for the price of the only Model S available right now. That is not a gap, it is an order of magnitude.
      SVX pearlie
      • 2 Years Ago
      The MIEV outsells the Ford Focus Electric more than 2:1, so it's not all bad news
      Marcopolo
      • 2 Years Ago
      It's heresy to point out to die hard EV fans that very few people are interested in low range, 'commuter' EV's. Not at any price ! This latest sales stunt places the iMEV in direct price competition with its rival ICE. But still no sales. The iMev is not a bad little car, but it's a sales failure in the western world. Only two years ago, these pages, and the media was full of praise for the promise of success for low range "Commuter" EV's. Angry letters were written, condemning manufacturers like Ford motors for not producing 'affordable' pure EV's. Earnest EV fans pointed out that no one needed cars to travel more than the average daily mileage of 40-60 miles per day, and if the makers produced them, the public would flock to the fuel savings ! Of course, it was nonsense, the public didn't flock to buy EV's, not even the excellent little Leaf. Instead they bought Hybrids,and EVER's. 'Range anxiety' once sneered at as an invention of Fox News, has proved to be very real indeed. To build a mass volume selling EV, at an affordable price, will require an energy storage devise, to match the convenience of ICE. Today that simply doesn't exist ! That's not to say, it would never developed, but right now the emphasis should be on equipping as many vehicles as possible with EREV technology.
        DaveMart
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Marcopolo
        The question that interests me is how much range at what price is needed to sell battery electric vehicles. I don't like the choice or lithium manganese batteries for the iMiEV or the Leaf. The battery chemistry basically just has lousy cycle life, exacerbated by their lack of liquid cooling. Lithium Iron phosphate as used in the Coda or lithium titanate, or the chemistry used in the latest Smart EV in conjunction with its liquid cooling system last a heck of a lot longer, although the 80% Smart reckon you can get after 10 years has to be seen in the context of its low initial range. I'd put a really worthwhile battery car for commuting as having around 90-100 miles on the EPA, and with a long lasting battery chemistry. Until then PHEV's win, other than for specialist uses, IMO. Fuel cell cars may alter the ball game after 2015.
          Marco Polo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          @ Dave mart Fuel cells may well be game changing technology. In the meantime, EV's need a minimum of 250 miles, and even then need very fast charging capability to overcome range anxiety. Just wishing for something, won't make it happen ! But EREV's will continue to get more sophisticated.
      Giza Plateau
      • 2 Years Ago
      I suppose it's a step in the right direction. Two more and you might have something
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