Some bits of good news come with a head scratcher. At the New York Auto Show today, Mitsubishi announced that the all-electric i will start at just $27,990. Once you take off the $7,500 federal tax credit, this drops the i's price to an eye-catching $20,490. That's the price for the entry-level ES trim. If you swap those letters around and get the SE version – which comes with a better sound system, fog lamps, special interior design touches and more – you'll have to pony up $2,000 more. There will also be an SE Premium version available for another $2,790 that will offer DC fast charging (get an 80 percent charge in half an hour – a key selling point for some people), an HDD nav system and even better entertainment/audio options. On any model, an extra $150 gets you the Cold Zone package, made up of a battery warming system and headed outside mirrors.
So, what's the head scratcher? To place an order, you have to visit the i reservation site starting tomorrow (Earth Day) and pay two deposits: $299 for the car and $99.99 for a required home inspection. Mitsubishi will waive the $100 fee for the first 2,000 people who place an order and then buy the car. Granted, this isn't all that strange. The bizarre thing is, according to the press release, Mitsubishi is only accepting one type of payment for this transaction: PayPal. Thanks, Elon.
Mistubishi is already selling the global version of the i – the i-MiEV – around the world, in places like Costa Rica, Japan and Europe. Prices vary (and the i is larger and has better "highway manners"), but $20,490 is the lowest out there.
*UPDATE: We just got confirmation that the price listed above does not include the destination charge, which might be around $720 (based on Mitsubishi's gas-powered vehicles), said Mitsubishi spokesman Maurice Durand. The goal was to get the after-tax incentive price down to $19,990, but the earthquake prevented this. Also, we have a timeline: the first demo units will be available this November, and the car should be at dealerships in January 2012.
MITSUBISHI MOTORS NORTH AMERICA, INC. 2012 Mitsubishi i. (PRNewsFoto/Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc.) NEW YORK, NY UNITED STATES
NEW YORK, April 21, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc., (MMNA) has announced the pricing for the company's advanced 100% electric Mitsubishi i, powered by Mitsubishi innovative Electric Vehicle (MiEV) technology, that will be available for pre-order beginning on Earth Day, April 22, 2011.
The all-new 2012 Mitsubishi i (ES trim level) will have a starting net MSRP* after federal tax credit of only $20,490 – a substantial savings of several thousand when compared to its mass-produced production EV competition! What's more, the upgraded SE trim level of this forward-thinking electric vehicle includes a dynamic 360-watt, 8 speaker deluxe sound system, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, upgraded seating material with silver interior accents, unique two-tone interior I/P and door panels, 15-in. alloy wheels, and fog lamps with DRL function at a net MSRP of only $22,490*. An available factory SE premium package is also available for an additional $2,790 MSRP and includes a DC quick charging port for ultra-fast Level 3 battery recharging (80% full in only 30 minutes!), HDD navigation system with rearview camera, FUSE Hands-free Link™ with USB port and steering wheel-mounted audio controls.
Despite its attractive sticker price, the base model Mitsubishi i ES packs a full complement of welcome standard equipment and amenities. These include speed-sensitive electric power steering (EPS), LED rear tail lamps, driver seat heater, electric air conditioning with micron filter, remote keyless entry, 3-spoke sport steering wheel, an on-board recharging system with 120V portable 8 amp charging cable, and a 4 speaker, 100-watt AM/FM/CD audio system with MP3/WMA playback.
An available Cold Zone package will be offered on both the ES and SE trim levels for only $150 MSRP that includes a Li-Ion Battery Warming System and heated outside mirrors.
Additionally, Mitsubishi is making the process of pre-ordering the company's breakthrough all-electric production car a simple 4-step procedure that can be completed in a matter of minutes. And for the first 2,000 who place a pre-order and take possession of the Mitsubishi i, these early adopters will not only be on their way to taking delivery of a unique vehicle that is as space efficient as it is eco-friendly, but Mitsubishi will waive the home electrical inspection fee – a $99.99 value.
Step 1: Visit i.mitsubishicars.com beginning on Earth Day (April 22, 2011) and create your Mitsubishi i account which includes your "My Mitsubishi i" page. Users can then check the order status of their vehicle and receive the latest news and information on the Mitsubishi i. You'll also be able to select your vehicle's color and trim package.
Step 2: Place a refundable deposit of $299.00 via PayPal, plus $99.99** for the required home electrical inspection, (except for those who do not take advantage of the aforementioned Mitsubishi offer to waive the inspection for the first 2,000 to pre-order and purchase Mitsubishi's new EV).
Step 3: Schedule an inspection of your home's electrical system performed by our affiliated trained experts to make sure that it can efficiently charge your new 100% electric-powered Mitsubishi i.
Step 4: As the anticipated delivery date for your vehicle approaches, a Mitsubishi representative will contact you to confirm your vehicle's features and color choice, along with confirming your final sales price (your $299.00 deposit will be applied to the final price of your car at this time).
*Includes federal tax credit of $7500.
**Home electrical inspection may necessitate an additional surcharge, depending upon consumer's location.
Mitsubishi i Green Festival Tour 2011
Mitsubishi's new electric vehicle will be going on tour throughout the west coast of the United States in the first half of this year, allowing eco-friendly consumers the chance to get up close and personal with this game-changing loveable and environmentally-friendly vehicle at the following events:
Go Green Expo
April 15-16: Los Angeles, California – Los Angeles Convention Center
April 17: San Diego, California – Balboa Park
Earth Day San Francisco 2011
April 23: San Francisco, California – Civic Center Plaza
Mother Earth News Fair
June 4-5: Seattle, Washington – Puyallup Fairgrounds
About Mitsubishi Motors Corporation
Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc., (MMNA) is responsible for all manufacturing, finance, sales, marketing, research and development operations for Mitsubishi Motors in the United States. MMNA sells coupes, convertibles, sedans and sport utility vehicles through a network of approximately 400 dealers. In November of 2011, MMNA will launch the battery electric Mitsubishi i as part of a corporate mission to offer consumers more environmentally responsible modes of transportation. This battery electric vehicle technology addresses the need for vehicles that produce zero tailpipe emissions and support a growing agenda for sustainability. For more information, contact the Mitsubishi Motors News Bureau at (888) 560-6672 or visit media.mitsubishicars.com.