When we drove the jellybean on wheels (the Mitsubishi i MiEV) at the New York Auto Show last month, we were pretty swept away. This is one nice EV. Maybe we weren't quite as enthralled as the kids in this commercial for the all-electric car, but we're still in favor of the i MiEV making it to showrooms soon.

While my Japanese has gotten seriously rusty ever since I moved away from Japan in 2001, you don't even need my level of understanding to get something out of these videos. As our tipster Yanquetino wrote:

They are worth seeing, IMHO. The second one is especially informative. Despite the Japanese, you can still catch words like "braking," "CO2," "engine," "motor," "battery," etc. (I guess these are all imported from English). More importantly, they provide the specification numbers in Arabic numerals and symbols (14 hours full charge with 110V, 7 hours with 220, 30 minutes to 80% at charging stations, 160 km range, etc., etc.).

I wouldn't be surprised if they eventually port these movies over to English, but for now... they are understandable! Evidently Mitsubishi is committed to bringing the iMiEV to market in Japan. Let's hope that they'll bring them here soon afterwards!

(If you're in favor of the i MiEV in the U.S., don't forget to sign this petition.)

When I watched the commercial, I understood the part where the voiceover says "It's like a cell phone" when the woman plugs the car in. I think it also says "Running on zero" at the end, which means running on zero CO2 emissions. In this clip, a more technical description of what the i MiEV is all about, a vision of what driving an electric car could be like is laid out. I describe this clip after the jump.



First off, the opening shot is pretty genius. Powering our EVs from wind is a dream I'm sure I share with a lot of readers. That sort of renewable electricity generation is just hinted at in the video, the bulk of which is dedicated to describing the way the i MiEV works. It has rear wheel drive and the video starts with an example of how much more efficient an electric motor is compared to a gasoline engine (55.5 percent of the energy in the fuel/batteries is used to move the vehicle in the electric version vs. 16.3 percent in the gas version). Plus, the EV uses regenerative braking. The i MiEV has LEV50 lithium-ion batteries, and - when carbon from electricity generation is figured in - the i MiEV emits 50 grams of CO2 per km for the EV compared to a little over 70 for a hybrid and 140+ for a 660cc gasoline engine. The i MiEV has a 160 km range with li-ion batteries that are coming in 2009. Mitsubishi's plans seem to indicate setting up quick charging stations at convenience stores, train stations, Mitsubishi dealerships, shopping centers, and gas stations. If anyone with better Japanese skills wants to correct my translations, please feel free to do so. One thing that we can all understand is that cool logo. Thanks to Yanquetino for the tip!


[Source: Mitsubishi]

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