Mitsubishi Motors Corporation’s North American version of the i-MiEV new-generation electric vehicle, now called "i" electric vehicle made its debut at the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show. Mitsubishi also introduced the Outlander Sport compact CUV (RVR in Japan, ASX in Europe) in Los Angeles.
This new car is expected to start selling in North America by the end of this year. In comparison with the Japanese- and European-spec versions, the North American version of the i-MiEV features an enlarged body structure, providing plenty of space for four adults.
The car has been fitted with all-new front and rear bumpers but the other aspects of the design are unchanged. In addition, the new car offers the following equipment as standard: airbags that automatically detect passengers and control deployment force, Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), and Active Stability Control (ASC). The vehicle's MSRP is expected to be around $30,000, not including Federal and available state financial incentives.
The charging times from a very low battery to completely full are approximately 8 hours at 220V and 16 hours at 110V.
On the other hand, the new Outlander Sport comes with the 2.0-liter MIVEC engine paired with a INVECS 2III-CVT Sportronic (six-speed sport-mode CVT) transmission (five-speed manual transmission also offered on some trim levels). Mitsubishi said that the new gearbox has improved fuel consumption and has lower CO2 emissions.
For many years, Mitsubishi "i" has been exhaustively tested and even evaluated. This was done not just by the company itself but also by other institutions, including the seven utility companies based in Japan. Even prototype evaluation programs by a U.S. utilities like Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Portland General Electric, Southern California Edison, and Tennessee Valley Authority, were also involved.
The brand even partnered with large corporations like Best Buy and Eaton Corporation. The goal was to both expand and improve the logistical aspect of owning an electric vehicle. With more than 20,000 employees for its Geek Squad division, Best Buy provided site analysis and work in order to be able to install a Level 2 Charging Station that it will then sell to Mitsubishi "i" owners for use at home.
The 220V charging station was designed and manufactured by Eaton, known for having more than 2 decades of experience in the development of hybrid and electrical power systems for many commercial models. The charging station is expected to fully charge the battery in half the time it takes for a standard 110V electrical outlet to do so.