Good news! Mitsubishi Motor Company is finally ready to follow up its i-MiEV (sold simply as the "i" here in the U.S.) with a second all-electric offering. The 8th of December will see the Minicab-MiEV hit dealerships across Japan in both 100-km (62-mile) and 150-km (93-mile) flavors with an MSRP ranging from ¥2,400,000 to ¥2,971,000 ($30,870 to $38,210 U.S. at today's exchange rates). Figure in the Japanese eco-car subsidy, and the price for consumers gets knocked down to about ¥1,730,000 and ¥2,020,000 ($22,260 and $25,990).

Similar to the badge-swapping deal MiMoCo worked out with Nissan, the company is also working with Suzuki to supply it with examples to sell through its dealerships starting in February. The arrangement should help boost production volumes and aid costs. It also gives Suzuki its first all-electric vehicle.

Mitsubishi plans on building 4,000 units in the first year of production and we know they've already sold at least 100 of them. Hit the jump for the official press release with all the specs as well as a bit of video featuring the Minicab-MiEV in (slow-moving) action.

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Mitsubishi Motors to Launch New MINICAB-MiEV Commercial Electric Vehicle in Japan

- Prices start from ¥1,730,000 after application of eco-car subsidy -

Tokyo, November 24, 2011 - Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) announced that it will launch the new MINICAB-MiEV*1 minicar-class commercial electric vehicle (EV)-the second product in its next-generation EV lineup-on December 8, 2011 at dealerships throughout Japan. Depending on specification the new model will carry a pre-incentive manufacturer's recommended retail price (MSRP) of between \2,400,000 and \2,971,000, consumption tax included.

*1: Mitsubishi innovative Electric Vehicle

Derived from the MINICAB Van minicar-class commercial vehicle, the MINICAB-MiEV has been developed maximizing the technologies and knowhow gained from the development of the i-MiEV in delivering the superior environmental performance inherent to an EV, together with the high levels of operating economy, payload capacity, drivability and reliability demanded of a commercial vehicle.

The MINICAB-MiEV will come with a choice of two sizes of drive battery to allow the customer to choose the cruising range best suited to his or her needs. The CD 10.5 kWh battery version provides a cruising range of 100 km (at JC08 mode) on a single charge, while the CD 16.0 kWh version takes this up to 150 km. MMC has set prices at an accessible level: with the application of the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry's eco-car subsidy, the final cost to the consumer for the CD 10.6 kWh and CD 16.0 kWh battery versions will be reduced to \1,730,000 and \2,020,000 respectively. As with the i-MiEV, the MINICAB-MiEV will be sold on a maintenance lease, credit or cash basis.

When MMC started sales of the i-MiEV new-generation EV in the Japanese market in July 2009 it was the first auto manufacturer to offer a truly "ultimate eco-car" that fully addresses issues facing our society today including environmental pollution, global warming and exhaustion of petroleum-based energy supplies. Since then MMC has sold some 5,000 units in Japan and has shipped a total of about 17,000 units (as of October 31, 2011), including units supplied to PSA Peugeot Citroën. As a leading manufacturer of EVs, MMC is confident that as it expands its lineup of EV models it will serve as pioneers on the path toward quickly making possible a low-carbon society.

1. MINICAB-MiEV Product Features
The new MINICAB-MiEV is derived from the CD model in the MINICAB series of minicar-class commercial vehicles. Powered by the same drive battery and motor drivetrain already well proven in the i-MiEV, the new model offers payload capacity on a par with the MINICAB CD, as well as a cruising range that is ample for the requirements of a minicar-class commercial vehicle. The new MINICAB-MiEV also provides outstanding operating economy at an accessible price. MINICAB-MiEV provides a level of all-round performance that is well above that of conventional minicar-class commercial vehicles as its electric motor drivetrain delivers superior environmental performance and outstanding power and its whisper-quiet driving make for a pleasant and comfortable operating environment.

1) Environmental performance
The MINICAB-MiEV is a "zero-emissions vehicle" (zero drive-time emissions) and so is the ideal type of vehicle for transporting foodstuffs, fresh flowers and other sensitive cargo, or for delivery/collection work in areas normally inaccessible to a gasoline-powered vehicle (within facilities, in an environmentally protected area, etc.).

2) Economy
Being derived from the low cost/high performance MINICAB Van and employing most of the same major EV components as the i-MiEV allows Mitsubishi Motors to sell the MINICAB-MiEV at an accessible price. In addition, with the application of the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry's "Subsidies for measures designed to promote introduction of clean energy vehicles," the CD 10.5 kWh version comes with an attractive price tag starting at \1,730,000.
Commercial vehicles are usually owned longer and cover longer cumulative mileages than family cars; so the MINICAB-MiEV also offers possible advantages over a comparable gasoline-powered in terms of total operating cost, including the price of the vehicle, because the main running cost is just that of the comparatively inexpensive electricity used to charge its battery. Further, because the MINICAB-MiEV can be charged at the business or at home it eliminates the need to make separate journeys to gasoline stations.

3) Payload capacity
The MINICAB-MiEV sports the same outstanding packaging as the i-MiEV where the high-capacity drive battery is located under the floor and the motor, inverter and other EV components are located under the cargo compartment. The result is cargo compartment space and payload capacity (350 kg with two occupants) which are on a par with the MINICAB CD, therefore delivering the high levels of utility required in a commercial vehicle.

4) Driving performance
The MINICAB-MiEV leverages the electric motor's inherent characteristic of generating maximum torque as soon as the vehicle starts to move off to enable stress-free gutsy performance even when fully-loaded.
In addition, because of the EV's inherently quiet operation, the MINICAB-MiEV makes the ideal commercial vehicle for delivery work early in the morning or late at night in residential districts. The lack of vibration also makes it well suited to transporting delicate goods. The stress-free and very quiet performance are complemented further by excellent ride comfort and all this helps to reduce fatigue in full-time drivers who are behind the wheel for many hours a day.

5) Reliability
The MINICAB-MiEV uses the same drive battery, motor and other major components that have been well-proven in the i-MiEV and also shares the advanced MiEV OS integrated vehicle management system. Constantly monitoring the charge remaining in the battery while at the same time regulating the regenerative braking system, the MiEV OS operates to ensure smooth and powerful off-the-line performance. The system contributes to pleasant, safe and reassuring vehicle operation while optimizing and saving energy use.

2. Product Overview (Main changes over MINICAB CD base model)

MINICAB-MiEV specifications (2-seater with high-roof model)

1) Major components

The MINICAB MiEV shares the following components with the i-MiEV: drive battery, motor, inverter, on-board charger, air-conditioner and rear suspension.
The MINICAB MiEV uses the same 10.5 kWh and 16.0 kWh lithium-ion drive batteries as the i-MiEV, and these provide a cruising range ample for normal minicar-class commercial vehicle use.
The MINICAB MiEV uses the same compact, lightweight and high-efficiency Y4F1 motor as the i-MiEV but with its motive performance tailored to the vehicle's presumed use as a minicar-class commercial vehicle. The motor generates maximum off-the-line torque and provides gutsy performance even when the car is fully loaded. The regenerative braking system can use the motor as a generator during braking and store the recovered kinetic energy as electricity in the drive battery.

2) Interior (controls and displays)

As on the i-MiEV, the driver can use the drive selector to choose from three modes: "D," "Eco," and "B." This allows him or her to choose between normal operation, lower output/energy-saving operation, and operation in which the regenerative brake bias is increased.
The MINICAB-MiEV uses the i-MiEV's combination instrument cluster which houses Digital Speedometer, Power Meter, Drive Battery Residual Charge Indicator and Available Range displays.

3) Safety features

All models are fitted with ABS and TCL (traction control) as standard.
The advanced MiEV OS vehicle management system constantly monitors the state of the drive battery. In the event of a collision, electricity leak or a fault occurring, the system cuts off the high-voltage circuitry from the drive battery to protect the safety of occupants and rescue teams.
All models are fitted as standard with a vehicle-approaching alert system which, at vehicle speeds of approximately 25 km/h or less, emits an audible warning to alert pedestrians to the approach of the vehicle.

4) Other features

For regular charging purposes The MINICAB-MiEV comes standard with a 200V AC (15 amp) cable that fits outdoor sockets used for EV battery charging. A 100V AC (10 amp) cable and a Quick Charging Connector are available as factory-supplied options.
The MINICAB-MiEV comes in a choice of three body colors: White Solid, Cool Silver Metallic and Titanium Grey Metallic. Exclusive decals (for the body sides and tailgate) which accent the advanced nature of EVs are available as factory-supplied options.
The MINICAB-MiEV is available with the Exceed Package exterior and interior upgrade kit which includes a chrome-finish front grille, color-keyed door mirror and front and rear seat upholstery using fabric cloth as a factory option.

3. Sales information
1) Sales target: 4,000 units (December 2011 through March 2012)
2) Available at: All Mitsubishi Motors affiliated dealerships in Japan
3) MSRP: (Prices do not include recycling fee, insurance, taxes other than consumption tax or registration costs)

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