Mitsubishi i-MiEV US release date confirmed in November, Price revealed

Mitsubishi i-MiEV US release date confirmed in November, Price revealed

Mitsubishi Motors said it will introduce i-MiEV new-generation electric vehicle in two trim levels. The two trim levels will be the entry-level M Model and a higher-level G Model. The Japanese automaker noted that the M model will debut in Mitsubishi dealer showrooms throughout Japan on July 25 and the G model in August. We’re still months away from getting the Mitsubishi i Electric car, but it’s already getting a refresh in Japan, where it’s been on sale for almost two years (and is referred to as the i-MiEV).

According to a report by Rueters, Mitsubishi is taking a two-pronged approach for the updated egg-shaped EV and will offer customers a choice between a budget and an extended range variant. The low-priced “M” model, priced at 2.60 million yen ($32,000 with current exchange rates), will be equipped with a reduced-capacity lithium-ion battery and will travel up to 120 km (75 miles) on a single charge. The previous model had a sticker price of 3.98 million yen and had a range of 160 km (100 miles). Customers willing to pay extra for added range can now opt for the “G” model, which will cost 3.80 million yen ($46,972) and can travel 160 km (110 miles) on a single charge. Subsidies from the Japanese government significant reduce the costs. The price of the “M” model, for example, goes down to 1.88 million yen ($23,239) when subsidies are taken into account.

The extended range is accomplished through the addition of improved batteries, with the G boasting a 16kWh battery pack compared to the M’s 10.5 kWh pack, although the change means a considerably longer charge time of seven hours for the G (4.5 hours for the M) using a 200V outlet. Also available will be a remote system which will allow i-MiEV G owners to pre air-condition their vehicle before setting off, set charging times and remotely monitor charging.

The i-MiEV M will launch in Japan July 25, Mitsubishi said, while the i-MiEV G is expected to become available in mid-August – although it’s currently unclear if and when the vehicle will launch in overseas markets, Australia already seems to have been partially ruled out, with local reports suggesting that Mitsubishi will not launch the entry-level i-MiEV M model in the market.

Mitsubishi Motors President, Osamu Masuko, explained at the launch of the new i-MiEV models that the price of batteries had more than halved in the past two years. “Costs have really come down dramatically,” Mr Masuko said. “We will try to keep the price down even when the subsidies go away.”

The company noted that for the last two years since the launch of the vehicle in 2009, the company had been collecting the views and wishes of customers. Studying the views and opinions, the company reduced the price of the vehicle with some other major changes. The new i-MiEV comes with upgraded basic vehicle performance and the equipment specification to realize a significant improvement in product content.

Mitsubishi noted that as a dealer-fitted option, it is currently offering the AC Power Supply EZ adaptor that allows i-MiEV’s batteries to be used to power domestic electrical appliances up to a rating of 100W.

Since the i-MiEV’s launch in 2009, Mitsubishi has sold 10,000 units worldwide, not including 4,000 units sold under the PSA Peugeot Citroën brand. With the release of the updated model, Mitsubishi has more ambitious sales figures from now until March 31, 2012; 25,000 units globally (including models branded for Peugeot-Citroën) and 6,000 units in Japan alone.

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