2011 Mitsubishi i-MiEV, E.U. specEnlarge Photo
As our sister site GreenCarReports covered last week, the online pre-ordering process is now live for the 2012 Mitsubishi ‘i’, with the car due to hit the roads of California in January 2012.
The 2012 Mitsubishi ‘i’ is now the third all-electric car from a major automaker to open up the ordering process, joining the 2011 Nissan Leaf and 2011 Chevrolet Volt in the race to become the dominant plug-in electric vehicle.
But just which car should you chose? To help you make the buying decision here’s our basic rundown of each car’s strengths and weaknesses.
Let’s be honest here: price is normally the first thing that most consumers consider when looking at a new car, followed closely by everything else. For ease of use we’ll quote the Manufacturer’s Standard Retail Price (MSRP) before any dealer incentives, tax credits or rebates are applied.
Weighing in at $41,000 the base level 2011 Chevrolet Volt is the most expensive of the three cars, but does come with the most versatility when it comes to long-distance travel thanks to an on-board range-extending gasoline engine.
2011 Chevrolet VoltEnlarge Photo
Second comes the 2011 Nissan Leaf. 100% electric unlike the Volt, the base model SV retails for an MSRP of $32,750.
But if you want the ability to take advantage of the Leaf’s ultimate party trick of recharging to 80% full in around 20 minutes you’ll need to buy the SL model, which retails at $33,720 plus an additional $700 for the rapid charger port.
This leaves the 2012 Mitsubishi ‘i’ well ahead when it comes to price, winning with a base level MSRP of just $27,990. But just like the Leaf, ordering a model with rapid DC charging capability lifts the price to $30,790
All three cars are currently eligible for the $7,500 federal tax credit for plug-in electric vehicles, and some states have additional credits available to assist in everything from purchase costs to installing charging points in your garage.