Mitsubishi i-MiEV – Click above for high-res image gallery

When Nissan set the price for the Leaf electric vehicle (EV) at an unbelievably low $32,780, Mitsubishi almost immediately responded by chopping some $6,700 off of its little electric i-MiEV. Then, Mitsubishi took its aggressive pricing response a step further by announcing a sub-$30,000 target for its i-MiEV in the U.S. In the world of price wars, we partially expected that Mitsubishi was playing the game and perhaps hoping that Nissan could not stick with the low price. As we now know, the Leaf's price is here to stay.

Thankfully, Mitsubishi remains committed to a sub-$30K price for its i-MiEV and was not just throwing some numbers around to impress. As Mitsubishi Motors North America executive Joe Delello told Automotive News, the i-MiEV will be priced under $30k when it arrives in the U.S. in the fall of 2011. Now, if you deduct the $7,500 federal tax credit, then the out-of-pocket cost should be right around $22,500. This price undercuts the Leaf, but Nissan's EV should not be considered a direct competitor to the i-MiEV. As Dellelo stated:
We're very keen on being as competitive as possible. We certainly want to make it as close as possible to the reach of many intenders.
While it's likely that the i-MiEV will be one of the lowest-priced EVs out there, the Leaf's amenities and size will likely sway many buyers to pony up some additional coin for what appears to be a more versatile vehicle. We'll find out soon enough (ok, in a year and a half or so) if this assessment turns out to be true.

[Source: Automotive News – sub. req.]

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