Mitsubishi i MiEV priced to move, rolls out slowly across US

Mitsubishi promised a fall 2011 launch for the i MiEV here in the US, and we're happy to report the company is right on schedule -- so long as you live in California, Oregon, Washington, or Hawaii. Those states will be the first to see the subcompact at the dealership this November. The all-electric car will make its debut in the northeastern US by March of next year, with the a nationwide rollout expected by December 2012. The basic ES model will start at $27,990, while the SE demands $29,990 for luxuries like a leather covered steering wheel and "upgrade[d] seating material." Both are eligible for a federal tax credit of up to $7,500, which could push the price of entry down to just above $20,000 -- making the Mitsubishi i almost as easy on your wallet as it is on the Earth. PR after the break.

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2012 Mitsubishi i - At-A-Glance
Thu, Apr 21, 2011

The breakthrough Mitsubishi i is the most affordable 100% electric-powered mass-market production vehicle available in North America. Its net MSRP* after federal tax credit is a very affordable $20,490 for the standard ES model and only $22,490 for the upgrade SE version, making the starting price for the all-new Mitsubishi i several thousand less than other mass produced electric vehicles available in the market.

Powered by Mitsubishi innovative Electric Vehicle (MiEV) technology, the rear-wheel drive vehicle's drive system includes a 49 kW (66 bhp) AC synchronous electric motor; an 88 cell, 330V lithium-ion battery pack for a peak storage of 16 kWh; and a single fixed reduction gear transmission. This electric motor is capable of producing its peak torque of 145 lb. ft. almost instantaneously when accelerating from a standstill; the vehicle has a top speed of approximately 80 mph.

This electric vehicle's (EV) shift selector allows the driver to choose between three different drive settings in order to optimize driving fun, increase driving efficiency or to amplify energy recycling from the vehicle's regenerative braking system:

Allows the driver to experience maximum performance as it generates 100% torque in direct response to accelerator input.

Helps to reduce the rate of battery consumption to maximize "energy" economy.

Increases the regenerative brake biasing to augment energy recycling (power production is the same as in the "D" position).

The Mitsubishi i can be recharged using three advantageous methods: A 240V/15A Level 2 home EVSE Eaton charging system (estimated charge time from very low battery to full charge – 6 hours; charging method recommended by Mitsubishi), a CHAdeMO Level 3 public quick charging station (estimated charge time from very low battery to 80% full – 30 minutes; requires optional DC charging port available as an option on SE trim level), and through the conventional 120V Level 1 portable charging cable that plugs into a standard wall outlet (estimated charge time from very low battery to full charge – 22.5 hours; included on all Mitsubishi i models),.

The targeted driving range of the Mitsubishi i is a very robust 85 miles/charge (based upon the EPA LA4 city cycle). All Mitsubishi i models come with an 8-year/100,000 mile battery warranty.

The Mitsubishi i may be compact in its overall dimensions, but this EV's clever packaging and design make for very roomy and comfortable accommodations for four adult-size passengers. With its relatively tall roofline, rear-mounted electric motor and battery pack placed safely and securely in a watertight, stainless steel safety cell underneath the floor of the passenger compartment, even the rear passengers will experience an exceptionally satisfying degree of legroom. There's even a small cargo area at the back of the vehicle that is more than capable of carrying numerous bags of groceries or purchases from the local mall. And with the 50/50 rear seats folded flat, the cargo capacity expands greatly, allowing the Mitsubishi i to become the preferred vehicle for weekend trips for bulkier items at a discount warehouse or home improvement retailer.

Comfort and convenience features included on every Mitsubishi i include energy-efficient HVAC systems consisting of an electric manual air conditioner with micron filter and an electric compressor cabin heater, a driver's side heated seat, power windows/mirrors/door locks, a sweet-sounding 4 speaker 100-watt AM/FM/CD audio system with MP3/WMA playback, auxiliary 12V DC power outlet, 3-spoke steering wheel, floor mats, vehicle security system and the very clever MiEV remote system that allows the battery pack to be charged via timer as well as pre-activating either the air conditioning or heater.

Optional features available on the upgrade SE trim model include a Premium Package ($2790) that includes an HDD navigation system with rearview camera, FUSE Hands-free Link System™ with USB port and handy steering-wheel-mounted audio controls, and a DC quick charging port that allows the Mitsubishi i battery pack to be rapidly recharged from one of the many Level 3 chargers that are installed around North America (with more being installed every day) – only 30 minutes to take a very low battery level all the way up to 80% full!

Residents of cold climate regions (ambient temperatures that can drop below zero degrees Fahrenheit) are strongly recommended to take advantage of the very reasonably-priced Cold Zone package ($150) that includes a Li-Ion Battery Warming system and heated outside side mirrors. This package is available on both ES and SE trim levels.

Standard safety features on every Mitsubishi i include anti-lock brakes (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist (BA); brake override system; Active Stability Control (ASC) and Traction Control Logic (TCL); Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS); and advanced dual front air bag supplemental restraint system (SRS), side air bags and side curtain air bags. Specialized EV-related safety items include a high-voltage cut-off system and an Approaching Vehicle Audible System (AVAS) to help alert pedestrians to the approaching vehicle.

Mitsubishi anticipates an initial rollout of their game-changing EV into its dealership network in California, Oregon, Washington and Hawaii by November 2011, followed by the northeastern U.S. market by March 2012 with nationwide availability expected by December 2012.

*Includes federal tax credit of up to $7500. Retail MSRP of ES starts $27,990 and SE starts at $29,990

Key Specifications
Wheelbase: 100.4 in.
Length: 144.8 in.
Height: 63.6 in.
Width: 62.4 in.
Curb weight: 2,595 lbs.

Major Standard Features

145/65 R15 front and 175/60 R15 rear low rolling resistant tires
100-watt AM/FM/CD audio system with MP3/WMA playback capability and 4 speakers
On-board recharging system with 120V portable 8 amp charging cable
MiEV remote system (pre-activated air conditioning, heater and timer battery charging)
Front ventilated disc and rear drum brakes with regenerative brake power system
Speed-sensitive Electric Power Steering (EPS)
Approaching Vehicle Audio System (AVAS) for alerting pedestrians
Electric manual air conditioning with micron filter
Electric compressor cabin heater
Driver seat heater
Advanced air bag system with dual-stage supplemental front air bags
3-spoke steering wheel
Driver and front-passenger seat-mounted side-impact supplemental air bags
Roof-mounted curtain side-impact supplemental air bags for front and rear-seat outboard occupant protection
Anti-lock brake system (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA) and brake override system
Active Stability Control (ASC) with Traction Control Logic (TCL)
Tire Pressure monitoring System (TPMS)
High voltage cut-off system
Engine immobilizer anti-theft system
Remote keyless entry
Power windows, locks and mirrors
LED rear combination tail lamps
50/50-split fold-down and recline rear seats
Optional Cold Zone Package, includes Li-Ion battery Warming System, heated outer side mirrors

Mitsubishi i SE adds:

15-in. alloy wheels
360-watt, 8 speaker deluxe audio system
Leather wrap steering wheel and shift knob
Upgrade seating material
Fog lamps with DRL function
Auto on/off headlamps
Silver interior accents
2-tone instrument panel (brown/black)
Passenger vanity mirror
Optional Cold Zone package includes Li-Ion Battery Warming system, heated outer side mirrors
Optional Premium package includes HDD navigation system with rearview camera monitor, FUSE Hands-free Link™ with USB port and steering wheel-mounted audio controls, DC port for quick charger, Li-Ion Battery Warming system, heated outer side mirrors