Sunday 10 August 2008

Mitsubishi i-MiEV announced

Mitsubishi has completed the design and testing of an electric car, in a bid to be the first manufacturer to launch a viable, crash-tested, mass-produced electric vehicle in Britain.

Company sources have revealed that the i-MiEV, an electric version of the Mitsubishi i-car is production-ready and that Mitsubishi Japan is building a factory that can produce 10,000 unit per year for 2010.

The huge positive response from the UK and other European markets for the i-MiEV has prompted Mitsubishi to raise its output target the all-electric city car that’s set to be introduced in the Japanese market in 2009 with Europe following in 2010, from 2,000 units per year to 10,000 units. To do so, Mitsubishi announced that its joint venture with Lithium Energy Japan and will build a separate plant in Kusatsu, Shiga Prefecture, to supply the additional anticipated demand.

The brand new plant is scheduled to be ready for next April’s start of production of the rear-wheel-drive i-MiEV all-electric city car. The plant will initially produce 1 million palm-size lithium-ion cells a year, which is enough to power 10,000 vehicles. An additional investment of more than 10 billion yen is planned by 2012 to add a second plant and doubling output to cope with demand.

It uses new-generation lithium-ion batteries, which recharge more quickly and last longer than conventional nickel metal hydride units. This means the i-MiEV has a real-world range of 100 miles and can be recharged overnight from a conventional three-pin mains plug.

Transport for London has already announced plans to treble the number of high-voltage recharging points in the city and to offer free parking for electric cars.

According to the Japanese automaker, Mitsubishi Motors UK has requested that a proportion of the first 2,000 RHD units be allocated to the British market to support a launch in London in 2009, something that is being seriously considered by the company.

Since it'll be using electric power, you will be forced for fork out at least £15,000 and don't expect any generous discounts from Mitsubishi dealers either.


Anonymous said...

Very nice car but beyond my budget for one.

Laguna said...

Indeed £14,000 is alot of money for a kei-car but I'd rather buy it than be guilty if I'm doing some shopping around town in a car that uses fossil fuel.

Thanks Yashuwa, you too...

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