Mitsubishi has decided to pull the trigger on the i-MiEV and will export it to the U.S. market. This announcement has been long awaited and even expected by many in the industry. The i-MiEV was on display and available for test drives at the North American International Auto Show in January as a teaser of what we will soon see reach our shores.
The i-MiEV will go on sale to fleets this July and to the public sometime in 2010 in Japan. The recent announcement about expansion into the U.S. market expands on Mitsubishi's belief that the i-MiEV provides a capable electric vehicle that will have strong sales. According to Mitsubishi, "We believe the i-MiEV delivers on the promise of sustainability, suitable range, performance, and innovative packaging."
Real world testing of the i-MiEV is already underway in the U.S. Recently, the State of Oregon and Portland General Electric agreed to join in on the testing and assist Mitsubishi in preparing the i-MiEV for the U.S. market.
The i-MiEV is a mini car powered by a lithium ion battery system. According to Mitsubishi, the i-MiEV can travel 80 miles on a single charge and equipped with the fast charging system, can be recharged to 80% capacity in only 30 minutes.
Pricing is not available at this point. Expect pricing to be in the mid 20s at launch time. The i-MiEV will have to be adapted from right hand drive to left hand drive and will have to meet safety requirements before coming to the U.S.