Mitsubishi CA-MiEV Concept: Compact Electric Car At Geneva

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As Mitsubishi rolls out its "global small" platform across the globe, it showed what could be the next generation of small car at the Geneva Motor Show.

The Concept CA-MiEV is a full electric car with class-leading aerodynamics and high-density lithium-ion batteries, giving a driving range of up to 186 miles--far greater than we've seen from existing vehicles of the same size.

The aim of the new concept is to take electric cars beyond the urban environment.

Mitsubishi's current small electric car, the 'i' or i-MiEV, is very much an urban electric car--both in size, and because of its relatively modest range. With over 100 miles of extra usable range, the CA-MiEV would be much more suited to longer journeys.

An 80 kilowatt (107 horsepower) electric motor powers the front wheels, supplied by a 28 kWh lithium-ion battery. An "integrated power unit", consisting of the motor, inverter and charger, keeps the unit's size to a minimum, while the battery is flat and compact, ensuring better cabin space.

The CA-MiEV also features magnetic resonance wireless charging technology. Wireless charging could become a popular feature of future electric cars, and Mitsubishi Motors Coporation and parters WiTricity and IHI have been testing the technology since 2011.

That long range isn't just the result of battery technology--Mitsubishi has worked hard to give the CA-MiEV an aerodynamic profile too.

At 0.26, its drag coefficient is better than the 0.3 class norm--and slightly below the already slippery Mirage, on the global small platform, at 0.27.

There's a distinct Prius look to the side profile, albeit more stylized than the Toyota (and more similar to last year's Toyota FT-Bh concept), and a little more squat. Sharp angles feature heavily, and both head and tail-lights are formed into arrow shapes, giving the car a much more aggressive look than the cutesy i-MiEV.

Common to many electric cars and concepts, smartphone integration is becoming more prevalent. The CA-MiEV features automatic emailing in case of theft, automatic calls in an accident, remote starting of the car, map transfer between phone and car, and remote energy monitoring and pre-heating.

We look forward to seeing whether a production model emerges over the next few years. Technology and styling aside, it's the increased range that has really got our attention.

Head over to our Geneva Motor Show page for more photos and information from the show floor.


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Comments (13)
  1. Yeah, baby! Now price it at $25k and make it safe and I'm sold.

  2. Not bad for a mini car at all.

  3. Wow, this could be a very compelling car if they decide to take it into production. My criteria is to make a 105 mile round trip to the airport with enough range margin to comfortably run the HVAC.

  4. There previous EV has been partly withdrawn from sale in Australia (it has to be ordered in)the high price and lack of support charge stations etc has killed it.

  5. Don't worry, the charging stations are on their way. I like this new Mitsubishi but it's going to take a lot to get me out of my present Mitsubishi, our 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS. Great compact car from Mitsubishi. It's gonna be Mitsubishi or nothing for me until the day I die. Period. They're the best car manufacturer on the planet. Bar none.

  6. This is one concept from which not a single part (except for the large battery and the wheels) should make into the production car :-) I still think it's all DOA for Mitsubishi but what do I know...

  7. Sorry to put a little cold water on part of the hype, but the 186 mile range comes fron the VERY easy Japanese protocol and while still clearly better/longer than the Gen 1 iMIEV this new one is more like 125-130 mile on the US standard.

  8. I doubt it will even break 100 miles (at regular speeds) on the highway with the 28 kWh battery.

  9. I regularly travel the highway at 100 KmH about 60 MPH. At that speed i achieve the best mileage on my Fluence ZE

  10. let me give you real numbers. The 22 KwH Fluence ZE will give you 90 miles before crawl mode. i use it all the time. This being a smaller car my eke out 95-100 on 22KwH and as you said 125 miles on six more KwH

  11. Well, I can get 60 miles tops at 'Murican speeds (70+ miles) out of 24 kWhs in the LEAF. This thing has 28 which is obviously more than 16 in the i-MiEV but the current car will struggle to break 50 miles on the highway. If this new car is an upgrade sizewise then 100 miles will obviously be problematic. That's how my original statement came about. Yes, you can drive 55-60 and probably make it (still a far cry from the Japanese figures) but I stressed "regular speeds". Otherwise, it's just another compromise.

  12. Price? Price? Price? 28 KwH means at least 14K dollars, which is a whole ICE car in the US? That assures the car a very small following of dedicated tree-huggers, not the wide public. However, if the battery was swappable, and its price amortised in miles, then its a usefull car with a useful range at an affordable price

  13. It will never be swappable. It's over - time to forget about it. It's a dead concept in the US and soon in Europe and Israel too.

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