Price increases on electric cars seem to be the rule these days.

First the 2012 Nissan Leaf got a $2,420 increase (for more standard equipment), then the 2012 Chevrolet Volt got a price reduction that actually proved to be an increase in disguise (comparing similarly equipped models).

Not wanting to be left out, the 2012 Mitsubishi 'i' electric minicar is joining the crowd too--with the added fillip that it hasn't even gone on sale yet.

That puts it in more exalted company, including Fisker Automotive, which raised prices on its Karma range-extended electric sports sedan last December, well before the car reached its first paying customers in July.

MORE: 2012 Mitsubishi 'i' Electric Car: Ultimate Reference Guide

The 2012 Mitsubishi 'i' ES base model will now be priced at $29,125 before Federal or local incentives--up from the $27,990 announced in April--with the SE model at $31,125 and the SE with Premium package at $33,915.

All three models have thus risen $1,135 from the previously announced prices. You'll also need to add a mandatory $720 destination charge to each price.

With the base model coming in at just a hair under $30,000 with destination, it's a tossup whether it or the upcoming 2012 Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid will be the cheapest car sold in the U.S. with a plug. We're still betting on the little Mitsubishi, but the race is getting closer.

GreenCarReports, incidentally, doesn't give prices for electric cars (or any other kind) after deducting Federal incentives. Not every buyer necessarily qualifies, and the array of state, regional, local, and corporate incentives can add up quickly if you're dedicated and/or lucky.

More than that, we think "price after incentive" is just deceptive. The price is the price, and you don't benefit from your $7,500 Federal income-tax credit unless you file your taxes the next year--which could take as long as 15 months.

The 2012 Mitsubishi 'i' electric car is still on track to start deliveries in California in the last month or two of this year, according to the company.



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