has been developing an electric version of their i mini-car in collaboration with Tokyo Electric Power Co. since 2005. Early drives of the car by some European journalists have been largely positive so far. The Japanese carmaker has just delivered the latest development iteration of the car that they hope start selling in the next couple of years to their utility partner. The upgraded model has a new lithium battery pack which now sports a 16kWh capacity. Apparently that's enough for 100-mile range. That's quite impressive considering that GM
is looking for a 40 mile range from the same battery capacity in the Volt. Of course the Volt is a significantly larger car than the iMiev and is being designed to meet U.S. regulations and customer expectations. The 23-mile improvement is achieved through a smaller, lighter and more efficient motor, a smaller inverter and reduced rolling resistance from the wheels. Tepco has received 10 of the upgraded iMiev models for a test program that should run through March of next year.
[Source: Mitsubishi, via GreenCarCongress]