The Mia Electric three-seat minibus will debut in the UK this summer, and the cool thing is that the seats won't need to be switched for right-hand drive.

The made-in-France Mia, which debuted in 2010 and began service in a car-sharing program in France's Poitou-Charentes last year, will be imported to the UK by Venture Automotive Holdings Ltd. for fleet sales. The odd little EV, which has 16 horsepower and a 74-mile single-charge range from two Lithium Ion Phosphate (LiFePO4) batteries, is being promoted as a way for drivers to avoid London's Congestion Charge, which will allow plug-ins to be exempted from fees starting next month.

The funky little car has a single center driving seat in front (hence the right-hand drive non-issue) as well as sliding doors. Prices will start in the UK at £16,995 ($26,675 US). Check out Mia's press release below.
Show full PR text
MIA-ELECTRIC POWERS UP FOR UK LAUNCH

A brand new electric vehicle is coming to the UK fleet market from this summer, thanks to a new, official import deal struck for the Mia-Electric range of electric vehicles.

Mia-Electric is a specialist, dedicated EV vehicle manufacturer, producing both car and CV bodystyles, offered on a common chassis and drivetrain and designed specifically for urban environments. All vehicles are produced in France, at the former Heuliez factory in Cerizay, and are already on sale across Europe.

Designed to put the 'fun' into functional, all Mia-Electric vehicles are bespoke EVs, designed for the city and offering a central driving position, sliding doors, a cut-out floor and roof and ABS body panels.

Each is driven by two Lithium Ion Phosphate (LiFePO4) batteries, generating 12 kW, a stable chemistry giving a range of up to 74 miles and recharging fully in 5 hours. Batteries can be charged at any time, with a 10-minute charge providing a 5-mile range.

The official British Mia-Electric importers will be Venture Automotive Holdings Ltd, trading as 'Mia-Electric UK'. The company will target business drivers and fleet operators initially, based on the vehicle's obvious economic and environmental advantages, in urban and return-to-base, delivery use.

"There is a very real and practical place for EVs in the UK vehicle market," explains Venture Automotive Holdings' MD, Paul Evans, "but, we are realistic in the best place for them. Urban environments, short journeys and regular return-to-base delivery fleets are ideal for electric vehicles. That's where the cost per mile and zero emissions benefits are greatest and what Mia is designed for."

Mia-Electric's launch to the UK fleet market will coincide with revisions to the London Congestion Charge in July, which will see only vehicles emitting 75 g/km CO2 exempt from the charge – something only attainable currently by plug-in hybrid and fully electric vehicles.

Mia-Electric vehicles will be offered with a 'Peace of Mind' programme, comprising a five year/ 70,000-mile warranty for vehicle, battery, electric drivetrain and anti-corrosion and roadside assistance.

Prices will start from £16,995 + VAT, on-the-road, including the UK Government's Plug-In Car Grant.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 18 Comments
      carney373
      • 1 Year Ago
      I'd really like to get a sense of scale. If not the usual car show girls, at least have an executive from the company standing beside it.
        DaveMart
        • 1 Year Ago
        @carney373
        Here you go: http://de.sap.info/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/microbus_mia_electric.jpg And: http://www.earthtechling.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/miamicrobus-450x304.jpg
          carney373
          • 1 Year Ago
          @DaveMart
          Thanks, Dave. She used to drive a Cabrio, so maybe she'd think this is "cute". But safety concerns might override it.
      Marco Polo
      • 1 Year Ago
      What I dislike about such odd little vehicles, is they project an image that all EV's are eccentric little vehicles of little practical worth. The little Mia is not a bad vehicle in itself, but it's hard to think of who would pay $27,000 for one of these when the iMev is so much cheaper ,and better.
      Spec
      • 1 Year Ago
      Should make for a nice clown car in a circus act.
      Reggie
      • 1 Year Ago
      Gotta say l like this looks very practical, was hoping VW was going to do the 6 seater microbus Bulli. Reminds me more of the old classic 1956 Fiat 600 Multipla.
      Rob Mahrt
      • 1 Year Ago
      According the UK autotrader you can get a Leaf for the same price or cheaper (these cars may be slightly used though, didn't look too close). So.. why this over a Leaf would be my question if in the UK.
        Letstakeawalk
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Rob Mahrt
        The Leaf has better range, carries more people, has better performance, and has better build quality.
      DaveMart
      • 1 Year Ago
      If they sell one of them, I will be surprised
      carney373
      • 1 Year Ago
      Not bad! My wife currently hauls our two kids around in a flex-fueled Chrysler Town & Country minivan. We only get to fill it up on E85 ethanol when on out-of-town trips because there is no filling station selling ethanol in our area. I've been looking around for a family-hauler that can avoid gasoline yet handle at least local driving needs. This might do the trick. Persuading the missus is another issue...
        DaveMart
        • 1 Year Ago
        @carney373
        The Kangoo Maxi ED is a proper 5 seater load carrier and available in the UK
          carney373
          • 1 Year Ago
          @DaveMart
          Cool, thanks. Was unaware. Unfortunately we are in the USA.
          Grendal
          • 1 Year Ago
          @DaveMart
          Then definitely go with the Leaf if you can live without the sliding doors. Otherwise, wait until the Gen III crossover. But that would be 2018 at the earliest. You kids will be well past the car seat phase though.
          DaveMart
          • 1 Year Ago
          @DaveMart
          You are not going to get the Mia in the States either then, AFAIK
        Letstakeawalk
        • 1 Year Ago
        @carney373
        This will not replace a T&C minivan. You'd do better with a Nissan Leaf. http://www.earthtechling.com/2011/03/geneva-auto-show-mia-electric-microbus/
          carney373
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          Except that a Leaf doesn't have sliding doors, and is probably more difficult to fit kids into especially considering the size of added car seats / baby seats.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          Car seats fit fine in a Leaf. I understand the desire for sliding doors, though. "What is realistic and practical is that the Nissan LEAF will accomodate two kids comfortably – regardless of whether they are infant twins or teenagers. The truck space should be ample enough for most strollers plus whatever else you need to throw back there on a daily basis. No, it’s not cavernous but it’s not itty-bitty either." http://carseatblog.com/8364/the-nissan-leaf-review-%E2%80%93-family-vehicle-of-the-near-future/ I think on the whole, the extra range and vastly better performance and build quality of the Leaf would cause me to choose it over the Mia as a family-hauler. The Mia's 0-60 of 34 seconds (!!) is simply ridiculous.
      Tysto
      • 1 Year Ago
      I'm usually quite skeptical of minicars, but I like this one fine. It looks practical and fun, altho 16 HP doesn't sound like MUCH fun.
    • Load More Comments