Mitsubishi i-MiEV is the first mass-produced Electric vehicle,and has been trialled and tested worldwide since its debut in July 2009. By of the end of October 2010, the i-MiEV has sold more than 3,000 units in Japan alone, in a time span of one year and three months. This is remarkable achievement for the i-MiEV in spite of its high price tag of $4,300 (4,000,000 yen).
Buoyed by this success, Mitsubishi Motors has started production of left-hand drive versions of i-MiEV meeting European specs last month for European markets. This move will surely bring sales much higher. Mitsubishi plans to expand its production for the US market by the start of 2011 fiscal year. This is a strategic move by Mitsubishi Motors to introduce i-MiEV in the global markets.
The i-MiEV is assembled at Mitsubishi’s Mizushima plant in Kurashiki, Japan. Hong Kong Government was the first customer to buy a large batch of i-MiEV cars after carrying out extensive testing that lasted for six months. Other than Japan, Hong Kong is the first Asian country where i-MiEV electric cars are sold.
In the fiscal year 2011, Mitsubishi plans to move assembly of the i-MiEV from the existing assembly line to the assembly line for mini-cars. Mitsubishi aims to move the assemble lines with a goal to increase its production capacity for supplying i-MiEV cars to the European and North American markets.
Mitsubishi promised a fall 2011 launch for the i MiEV here in the US, and we’re happy to report the company is right on schedule — so long as you live in California, Oregon, Washington, or Hawaii. Those states will be the first to see the subcompact at the dealership this November. The all-electric car will make its debut in the northeastern US by March of next year, with the a nationwide rollout expected by December 2012. The basic ES model will start at $27,990, while the SE demands $29,990 for luxuries like a leather covered steering wheel and “upgrade[d] seating material.” Both are eligible for a federal tax credit of up to $7,500, which could push the price of entry down to just above $20,000 — making the Mitsubishi i almost as easy on your wallet as it is on the Earth.
For the success of Electric Vehicles, apart from the car design, infrastructure development plays a major role. Mitsubishi has been tying up with Japanese government agencies and other industries to work together for the implementation of Electric Vehicles. Mitsubishi has also been conducting collaborative research with electric power companies for evaluating and analyzing quick-charge compatibility and practical applicability of Electric Vehicles. This research will help to develop infrastructure and vehicles for convenient and safe EV use.