Electric cars have been in the news a lot as of late; a lot of the news is coming from the much-anticipated announcement of the 2011 Chevrolet Volt entry-level price. We have also heard about the Volt battery warranty and the industry reviews of the 2011 Nissan Leaf. Late today, we started hearing about he Mitsubishi electric mini car—the i-MiEV. The Mitsubishi i-MiEV was supposed to make its debut during the 2011 calendar-year, but according to our partners over at TheCarConnection.com the official announcement may come later this fall. What about actual vehicles getting to the U.S. shores? We will get to that, but first a little background.
The Mitsubishi i-MiEV is a mini car powered by a fully electric drivetrain system. Some of the major competition that will be coming to market soon is the Smart Electric Drive and Think City. The i-MiEV is equipped with a 47 kW electric motor, 16 kWh lithium-ion battery pack and has four seats to boot. Another improvement to the production car our partners over at TCC observed while test driving the i-MiEV was a reduction in noise. What about price you ask? Mitsubishi is hoping to offer it to U.S. customers for less $30K.
Bottom line—Mitsubishi is still working on making their EV minicar so that there would be enough economies-of-scale to bring it for sale in the U.S. at a reasonable price. Given the four seats, extra power and comparable range to the up and coming 2011 Nissan Leaf, Mitsubishi could find success like MINI and Smart has with American customers. When will it arrive? Expect U.S. versions to show up in the fall of 2011.
Be sure to read the full driving review of the 2011 Mitsubishi i-MiEV over at TheCarConnection.com.