Mitsubishi Motors Corporation today, on World Environment Day, unveiled the production version of the i-MiEV *1 *2 new-generation electric vehicle, describing it as “the pioneer that will open the door to the next 100 years of our automobile society. The i-MiEV will go on sale on the Japanese market in late July of this year.
The i-MiEV represents the crystallization of some 40 years of electric vehicle development at Mitsubishi Motors. The company is presenting the production i-MiEV as the ultimate eco-car, a solution to the various challenges the automobile faces today including environmental pollution, global warming and the depletion of petroleum-based energy supplies. The company will continue its extensive collaboration with both private and public sectors in Japan and overseas in developing infrastructure to promote ownership of EVs.
Mitsubishi Motors expects to distribute, on a maintenance lease *3 basis, some 1,400 i-MiEV models in fiscal 2009 principally to corporations and to local authorities. The company plans to start sales of i-MiEV to individuals in April 2010 and will start taking orders in late July of this year.
*1 MiEV: Mitsubishi innovative Electric Vehicle
*2 i-MiEV: For the full production model a hyphen has been added to the name by which the advance experiment and proving models have been known.
*3 Maintenance lease: A lease in which the monthly payments include some of the taxes, insurance and maintenance costs.
i-MiEV : Overview
The i-MiEV makes maximum use of the long wheelbase that stems from its base model the “i” minicar’s rear-midship layout to install a large capacity lithium-ion drive battery under the floor and the power unit under the luggage compartment. This provides a cruising range that is ample for everyday use without compromising the generous seating or luggage space of the “i.”
The introduction of the MiEV OS (MiEV Operating System) *4 – an advanced integrated vehicle management system into which the company has poured its wealth of know-how garnered from many years of EV research and development – has provided the kind of high performance and reliability that befits a new-generation EV.