i MiEV Electric Car to be Sold 1 Year Ahead of Schedule in Japan
Mitsubishi's i MiEV Electric Car is Ahead of Schedule
A couple months ago, we got our hands on Mitsubishi's roadmap for its i MiEV electric car. The plan was to lease a few units to fleet customers first in 2009 and then launch it in 2010 (with a focus on Japan, but also in North-America and Europe), but reality is turning out better than even the optimists thought.
Japanese Launch: Summer 2009
The new plan is to launch the retail version of the i MiEV electric car in Japan in the summer of 2009. The reasons are "smoother-than-expected" preparations for mass-production and, as we can imagine, the increased demand generated by skyrocketing oil prices. There's really nothing like an economic incentive to focus the mind.
i MiEV Electric Car Specifications
The i MiEV is powered by a compact 47 kW electric motor (133 lb-ft of torque) and a 330V, 16 kWh lithium-ion battery pack from Lithium Energy Japan (LEJ). LEJ is a joint venture of GS Yuasa Corporation, Mitsubishi Corporation (MC) and Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC). Top speed of the i MiEV is 130 kph (81 mph), with a range of up to 160 km (100 miles) in the Japanese 10-15 cycle driving conditions.
How Much Will the i MiEV Electric Car Cost?
Mitsubishi Motors intends to set the price for the i MiEV at around 4 million yen. But government subsidies for low-emission vehicles are likely to reduce the actual retail price to an estimated 3 million yen [US$28,000].
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More on i MiEV Japanese Launch
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Report: Mitsubishi to Begin i MiEV Retail Sales In Japan A Year Early