2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV priced at $32,998 in Canada

Article by Christian Andrei, on June 10, 2011

Canadian fans have recently received information on the pricing and trim levels for the i-MiEV electric vehicle from Mitsubishi Motors that it describes as the pinnacle of its green technologies.

It is priced from CAD32,998 or USD33,891 at the current exchange rates. Canadians will only be getting the global form as the longer and wider i version will not be offered since it’s exclusive to the U.S. Two trim levels are available.

The standard one features air con, heating for the driver’s seat and keyless entry – items that are found in a regular car. The premium package uses a bigger set of wheels and is installed with a better stereo and navigation.

This is priced at CAD 35,998 or USD36,972. In 2010, Mitsubishi shipped over a fleet of 50 i-MiEVs to Canada to be tested. Mitsubishi Canada’s website has put up a message that states: The “Drive coast to coast for less than it cost to run your fridge last year.”

This refers to the Clean Across Canada Tour that Mitsubishi participated in last year. Koji Soga, president and CEO of MMSCAN, said that it is “very proud” to lead electric car development and to promote a greener and more sustainable future by coming up with environment-friendly vehicles that’s fueled by clean, renewable energy. He also said that the participation of Hydro-Québec and the City of Boucherville is proof of their environmental leadership.

Building on the company's more than 35 years of involvement in advanced electric vehicle development, Mitsubishi Motors has finally unveiled the new Mitsubishi i, its first all-electric vehicle that will be sold in North America. Building on its over 35 years of participation in advanced EV development, Mitsubishi chose to derived this zero emission model from the four-door 2012 Mitsubishi i minicar that has been popular in Japan. This has given the carmaker a good platform that would accommodate its Mitsubishi innovative Electric Vehicle (MiEV) technology. This MiEV is an innovative drivetrain engineering that would underpin the carmaker’s future ultra-environment-friendly vehicles. This includes advanced components like an electric motor and a lithium-ion battery system as well as an efficient charging system. This would mean a tactical shift from the conventional systems that include a gasoline or diesel engine, a transmission and a fuel tank. The viability and reliability of the all-new Mitsubishi i as a transport mode have already been tested and verified as the carmaker has been marketing the EV in Japan since the summer of 2009. It has already started production of the European-spec i-MiEV.

The North America Mitsubishi-bound Mitsubishi i features a retooled body that is larger than its Japanese and European counterparts. It also features new North American-spec front and rear bumpers as well as airbags Active Stability Control (ASC) and a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS).

Mitsubishi plans to initially deliver the Mitsubishi i to its dealership network in California, Oregon, Washington and Hawaii (western United States) in November 2011, and to dealers in the northeastern market in March 2012. The new Mitsubishi i will be available across the US by the end of 2012. Its MSRP is expected to hit $30,000, excluding Federal and available state financial incentives. Since the Mitsubishi I features an efficient all-electric powertrain, it emits no on-road carbon dioxide.

When the carbon dioxide emitted by the power plants generating the electricity that powers the Mitsubishi i is taken into account, this new EV offering from Mitsubishi produces just around about 30 percent of the carbon dioxide released by the 660cc gasoline engine found on the non-electric Japanese version.

Furthermore, the displacement of the 660cc gasoline engine powering the Japanese version of the Mitsubishi i is just a third of those of conventional four-cylinder gasoline engines in North America.

Meanwhile, the already efficient electric powertrain of the “I” could become more energy-efficient when the Eco (Economy) or the Brake driving modes are selected. When the Eco mode is on, excessive power usage is limited upon reaching the electric motor. When the Brake mode is on, the resistance of the regenerative braking system – particularly during downhill driving) is hiked to send back more energy to the EV’s lithium-ion batteries.

In Japan, the operating cost per mile of the i EV is just a third of that of the 660cc gasoline engine-powered version of the minicar. This comparable operation cost could be further lowered by re-charging the battery at night or during off-peak hours, when electricity rates are much cheaper. Clever packaging and outstanding engineering allow the new Mitsubishi i to offer a remarkable level of passenger and cargo space as well as safety. This was achieved by ingeniously placing the high-capacity lithium-ion batteries below the floor, and then positioning the electric motor, inverter and battery charger behind and below the rear passenger area.

This configuration did not only make the interior of the EV offer ample room, but it also lowered its center of gravity, which – along with the placement of the wheels at the farthest corners – renders the Mitsubishi i very stable and agile.

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