Mitsubishi’s innovative i-MiEV electric city car will go on sale this year in Japan, despite having an eye-watering price tag approaching $50,000 (dollars, not yen! 50,000 yen probably wouldn’t buy chewing gum). The little guy incorporates Mitsubishi’s MiEV system (did the name tip you off?), but confusingly, drops the in-wheel electric motors usually employed in MiEV cars in favor of a traditional battery array and single electric motor. More details inside.
With a 100 mile claimed range, and a quick-charge capability that brings the vehicle to 80% charge in around 30 minutes, the i-MiEV has a lot of potential for the densely populated urban areas of Japan. Kei cars do enormously well in Japan, and the gasoline “i” on which this EV is based is classified as a kei-car there. The motor puts out the equivalent of 63 HP and 132 ft-lbs of torque, which is suitable to move the small but heavy (2500 lbs) i-MiEV around urban environments confidently (as long as you’re not in a huge hurry). It’s intended for worldwide sale in 2010, and apparently Mitsubishi will be testing the car in Oregon to determine if it’s suitable for US consumption.