For the current financial year, which ends March 31, 2011, Mitsubishi expects to produce 9,000 units of its i-MiEV electric vehicle, as well as its sister models, the Peugeot iOn and Citroen C-Zero. Mitsubishi said that it intends to export 5,000 i-MiEVs, including models built for PSA/Peugeot-Citroen SA, during this time period.
Meanwhile, the market in Japan will receive the remaining 4,000 units. A Mitsubishi spokesman said that for the 2011 to 2012 financial year, production will be increased to 18,000; and for 2012 to 2013, it will be raised even further to 40,000. The battery-powered minicar is slated to make its arrival in the US in late 2011.
Last week, Mitsubishi’s factory in Mizushima, Japan, has started production of its European-spec i-MiEV, along with the iOn and C-Zero. Since last year, Mitsubishi has been building and selling the Japan-spec i-MiEV.
The European-spec i-MiEV will start selling this December in 14 countries including Germany, France, the United Kingdom, and Spain. The features added to the i-MiEV for the European market include electronic stability control, a different front and rear bumper design, and a re-arranged center stack.
Mitsubishi claims that on a single electric charge, the i-MiEV can run for 150 km (about 93 miles). According to the Mitsubishi spokesman, it is still too early to predict the breakdown of the projected retail compared to the lease sales of its i-MiEV in Europe but that it anticipates that fleet sales will be higher than private sales shortly after its launch.
Before government incentives are taken into account, the i-MiEV will be priced for EUR30,000 to EUR35,000 (about $41,900 to $48,900). The incentives are expected to bring the price down to below EUR30,000.
Mitsubishi Motors Corp. first launched the Mitsubishi i-MiEV -- MiEV is an acronym for Mitsubishi innovative Electric Vehicle – in Japan, first to fleet customers in July 2009 and to general public on April 2010. US customers, however, are still waiting for the arrival of Mitsubishi i-MiEV, which is expected arrive in the North American market in 2011.
The Mitsubishi i-MiEV five-door electric hatchback is basically the electric version of the Mitsubishi i. It is considered as the first modern highway-capable mass production electric car in the world. Derived from the Mitsubishi i kei car, the new i-MiEV was first shown at the 22nd International Battery, Hybrid and Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle Symposium & Exposition in Yokohama, Japan.
Mitsubishi provided the production version of the i-MiEV with a single permanent magnet synchronous motor mounted on the rear axle with 47 kW of output and 180 Nm of torque.