Mitsubishi has been working on electric vehicle (EV) technology for quite a while and for there efforts are credited with the first electric car sold to be sold in volume globally. That achievement was set over 12 months ago, but Mitsubishi hasn’t stopped working. For those unfamiliar, we are talking about the Mitsubishi i-MiEV (“EYE-meev”) electric mini car. Now, Mitsubishi has announced that they will be bringing this forward looking mini car to the U.S.—however the car will have a name change.

Even though i-MiEV might have been a descriptive name at the original time of inception, it just doesn’t seem to roll of the tongue for the American markets. What is a car company to do? Mitsubishi has decided to shorten the name for the States to the “i.” Okay, so they aren’t just going to stop there—they are going to tac “powered by MiEV technology.” Curious what MiEV stands for? It stands for “Mitsubishi innovative Electric Vehicle.”

Enough with the naming and history lesson; the more interesting part of this is the actual vehicle itself. Since the Mitsubishi is a mini car one of the first things that come to people’s minds is safety. That is probably why Mitsubishi upgraded the “i” by strengthening both front and rear bumpers and adding separate turn signal indicators. In addition, the airbags have been upgraded (could be a matter of opinion) to variable deployment by passenger weight and the car will come standard with active stability control and tire-pressure monitoring system.

The 2012 Mitsubishi “I” electric will be powered by a 47-kilowatt (63-horsepower) motor coupled to a 16-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery. The thing we don’t know right now is an estimated range, however we can tell you that the car will come with three modes similar to other EVs on the market. was surprised by the room inside the small four-seater, but feel it is a stretch to be comfortable with it on the highway. That seems to fit with Mitsubishi’s intention to market the car as an urban runabout. At 145 inches long and 62.5 inches wide we know that the “i” should be a pinch to park, even in markets like New York City or San Francisco.

Bottom line—we are starting to see a lot of EVs and Mitsubishi is right in the thick of the competition.


[Source: Mitsubishi and]