Mitsubishi Motors Corp. has launched two new versions of the i-MiEV electric car. These are the “M” variant with a reduced price, and the “G” variant with an extended range. The company was the first major carmaker to mass-produce pure electric vehicles with the egg-shaped i-MiEV.
It also leads the segment so far with 10,000 units sold all over the world since mid-2009. It has exported another 4,000 EVs for sale under PSA Peugeot-Citroen's brands.
On the other hand, its Japanese rival Nissan Motor Co. has sold 8,500 units of Leaf EVs around the world since it was launched in December 2010. Nissan aims to dominate the EV market with its French partner Renault SA.
The entry-level “M” version, which is the first remodeling for the i-MiEV, has a sticker price of 2.60 million yen ($32,000), dropping from 3.98 million yen. It also has a shorter range of 120 km (75 miles) versus the previous model’s 160 km (100 miles).
According to Mitsubishi Motors, the M will cost 1.88 million yen after Japanese government subsidies. President Osamu Masuko said in a news conference that costs have come down dramatically, with battery prices dropping more than 50 percent in the last two years. The batteries are the main reason for the relatively high price of EVs.
Masuko further stated that they will try to keep the price down even without the subsidies. On the other hand, the higher-grade "G" variant carries a suggested retail price of 3.80 million yen.
It has an extended range, capable of going 180 km (110 miles) on a full charge measured under a stricter Japanese fuel economy reading.
Mitsubishi Motors intends to sell 6,000 i-MiEVs in Japan during its financial year ending March 31, 2012, and 25,000 EVs around the world, including those built for Peugeot-Citroen.