Mitsubishi Delivers i MiEV Prototypes to Japanese Utilities for Testing



Holding your breath until an affordable and practical electric car is within your reach is probably not advisable. But with a modest auxiliary oxygen supply, you just might make it. Things are happening. Phoenix Motorcars' electric SUT has launched and will soon be part of the PG&E; fleet, and Tesla Motors promises its next EV will be a family car. In Japan, Mitsubishi is making confident moves towards commercializing affordable EVs. The automaker just announced that it is delivering prototypes of its i MiEV electric four-door to two Japanese power utilities to test driving and battery performance. The i MiEV (Mitsubishi Innovative Electric Vehicle) is built around a 47 kW motor. Two variations on the battery pack give the i MiEV prototype a driving range of between 81 and 99 miles between charges, with an 81 mph top speed. Mitsubishi has been giving significant attention to its "i" concept for small, efficient cars. More ambitious plans for in-wheel electric motors, however, have been set aside in favor of the single motor design. Mitsubishi expects to put the i MiEV on the commercial market by 2010 with a starting price of $17,000. ::Green Car Congress