It was recently announced that the Mitsubishi PX-MiEV, a plug in gas/electric hybrid vehicle that debuted at the Tokyo Auto Show as a concept vehicle and was recently presented at the LA Auto Show, will be modified for production and actually go on sale in north America sometime within the next four years.
Osamu Masuko, president of Mitsubishi, was quoted at the LA show saying that the SUV “matches the needs of the North American market” and the company plans to “revamp the vehicle for release in North America by the year 2013.”
As shown in Tokyo and LA, the PX-MiEV is derived from the production i-MiEV electric vehicle scheduled to go on sale next year but unlike the i-MiEV it will be a plug-In hybrid capable of operating in either electric-only mode or with a direct-drive boost from the internal combustion motor.
The car operates in full EV mode at low speeds, but as the battery level falls, A 1.6-liter inline-four will power a generator which delivers power to both front and rear-wheel electric motors and the battery pack. Under strong acceleration and at higher speeds, the internal combustion engine will also help drive the front wheels mechanically. Driving mode is determined by the i-MiEV operating system which monitors speed, acceleration, wheel-slip and battery level to optimize efficiency. Full EV-mode range is said to be approximately 30 miles.