In 2009, Mitsubishi Motors introduced their Mitsubishi i MiEV, a 5-door hatchback electric car. MiEV is an acronym used for Mitsubishi innovative Electric Vehicle. Mitsubishi Motors Corporation claims that the i MiEV, an electric vehicle covers 100 miles (160 km) on Japanese test cycle and 75 miles (121 km) on the US test cycle.
In July 2009, Mitsubishi introduced the i MiEV solely for its fleet customers. It was made available to general public on April 1, 2010. Initially, it was offered at ¥3,980,000 (US$43,000) in Japanese market. As this electric vehicle worthy of government subsidies of ¥1,140,000, the actual price of the car reduced to ¥2,840,000 (US$30,700). In May 2010, the i MiEV was offered for sale in Hong Kong with a price tag of HK$395,000 (US$50,631). However, it was offered to fleet customers in Australia through leasing system in August 2010. As of November 2010, Mitsubishi had produced about 5000 units of i MiEV.
In Germany, the i MiEV was introduced in December 2010 with a price tag of €34,990 (US$51,000), while UK market saw the i MiEV in January 2011 with a price tag of GB£28,990 (US$45,100). US$61,500 was the price set for Costa Rica market where it was introduced in February 2011. For Canada and United States, the company has scheduled the sales in late 2011 and January 2012 respectively. Currently, the only American version ‘i’ is relatively larger than the Japanese versions along with a range of additional equipments and features.
The Mitsubishi i MiEV is based on the previously introduced Mitsubishi i Kei car. It was revealed for the first time at 22nd International Battery, Hybrid and Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle Symposium and Exposition in Yokohama in 2006. Mitsubishi gave up the in-wheel motors (MIEV) in favor of traditional range of batteries, motor and inverter to fill the place of ‘rear midship’ engine and fuel tank. In order to evaluate the capability of fast-charging infrastructure for the EVs, Mitsubishi engaged three power companies in 2006 and 2007 to conduct joint research on their its vehicle. In 2007, a joint testing was conducted by five companies. For the 16 kW-h lithium-ion pack, the car could rate at 130 km (80 miles), while rated at 160 km (100 miles) for the 20 kW-h pack. The car attained a maximum speed of 130 km/h (80 mph). In 2008, the company announced the schedule for the sale of i MiEV in European market which suggested that the car would be offered as Peugeot iOn and Citroen C-ZERO.
Powertrain and Batteries
The production model of 2009 came with a single permanent magnet synchronous motor fixed on the rear axle generating an output of 47 kW and 180 Nm of torque. The vehicle featured a single-speed reduction gear transmission. A 16 kWh lithium-ion battery pack was used in the vehicle that comprised of 88 cells positioned on the base floor. The 22 cell modules in a pack were fixed in set at the reasonable voltage of 330 volts.