Mitsubishi i Makes Headlines at LA Auto Show
Mitsubishi i sporting larger interior than i-MiEV expected to reach North American market in 2012
Mitsubishi continues to forge ahead with new products for electric car buyers, and the latest and greatest one, the Mitsubishi i, is totally battery powered and larger on the inside to please US consumers. Displayed initially at the Los Angeles Auto Show last week, the Mitsubishi i will reach the North American market in the fall of 2012 and tentative pricing is around $30,000.
In comparison to the i-MiEV, the new Mitsubishi i will be longer and wider, in part to meet US safety regulations, but also because Americans are used to more spacious vehicles. The new electric car is expected to sell 20,000 models by 2015. Mitsubishi is recommending the Mitsubishi i for commuting rather than long road trips. Buyers of this electric car will be encouraged to buy a 220 volt charging station made by Eaton. An empty battery will be fully recharged in 8 hours. The charging stations will be available from retailer Best Buy in the future.
Mitsubishi compares the new Mitsubishi i electric car to the popular gasoline-fueled "i" minicar in Japan. The more roomy 2012 four-door Mitsubishi i will feature zero emissions and is powered by the i-MiEV technology which replaces the gasoline engine, fuel tank and transmission on conventional autos. A lithium-ion battery, electric motor, and charging station will power the Mitsubishi i while keeping the environment cleaner.
The model shown in LA had the motto “40 years of EV development” depicted on its back bumper. Mitsubishi is definitely moving forward with products for the electric car marketplace, and that’s a good sign for environmentally-conscious U.S. car buyers. The announcement of the Mitsubishi i comes at a time when the EV purchases are increasing around the world, and buying options are expanding well beyond the highly marketed Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Volt. It remains to be seen how the Mitsubishi i will fair when competing against the expanding list of EVs expected to be released in 2012.