Mitsubishi i-MiEV: Electric Car Coming to U.S. in 2011

Electric cars — By Stephanie on September 30, 2010 at 6:34 am
Mitsubishi i MiEV electric vehicle Mitsubishi i MiEV: Electric Car Coming to U.S. in 2011

The Mitsubishi i-MiEV

Another new electric car is about to hit U.S. roads in 2011.  The Mitsubishi i-MiEV is already available in Japan, with plans to start selling in America in fall of next year.  After several years of fine-tuning its concept EV, Mitsubishi is finally ready to put this urban car on the global market.

The i-MiEV sub-compact hatchback is 100% electric powered – its not a plug-in electric hybrid car, like one of its other competitors, the Chevy Volt.  Mitsubishi i-MiEV runs on a motor that is powered by a lithium ion battery pack, with an impressive range of 50-80 miles on a single charge.

I’m well aware of the public’s concerns about the Mitsubishi i-MiEV, and electric cars in general.  So, consider these facts:

1.  Charging time:  You won’t have to be plugged in for hours on end (or overnight) to keep your EV running.  Quick-charge stations give you an 80% recharge of the lithium ion battery pack in only 20 minutes.  Lunch time or a quick coffee stop can re-fuel your car, as well as your stomach!  Outside of quick-charge stations, a 220-volt outlet will give you a full charge during the workday, or overnight (6-8 hours).

2.  Speed, acceleration and handling:  You won’t be winning any NASCAR races in this sub-compact car, but you can get up to 81 miles per hour.  Acceleration and handling are comparable to other small cars in its class.  The propulsion system includes a 300-volt battery pack and a permanent magnet synchronous motor with 63 HP and 133-foot pounds of torque.

i miev Mitsubishi i MiEV: Electric Car Coming to U.S. in 2011

Mitsubishi i-MiEV runs on 100% electric power

3.  Price:  Mitsubishi is planning on a base price of less than $30,000 before government subsidies, which could knock another $5,000-7,000 off the price.  At that price, the i-MiEV could be a perfect second car.  Use it for trips around town, short commutes, running errands and carpooling (soccer moms, anyone?)

4.  Safety:  The U.S. version of the Mitsubishi i-MiEV will come with required air bags and seat belts.  Like any other small, subcompact car, you’ll have to dodge tractor trailers and SUVs carefully!

Granted, EVs are not for everyone, but as the public gets more and more fed up with rising gas costs and concerns about global climate change – not to mention oil spills – watch for electric cars to start nudging traditional fossil-fuel-based vehicles off the road.

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