With a base model Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) a full $6,000 less than electric vehicles produced by other mainstream automobile manufacturers the revolutionary Mitsubishi i is the most affordably-priced mass-produced electric vehicle available in the United States.
Thanks to its unique design that makes for a surprisingly roomy cabin and excellent handling, stability and safety the all-new Mitsubishi i is an outstanding choice for the eco-conscious automotive consumer.
First shown as a concept vehicle at the 2003 Frankfurt Motor Show and a hit with show attendees and the media alike, the gasoline-engined version production car of the Mitsubishi i was introduced to the Japanese public in January 2006.
Thanks to the car’s loveable styling, cavernous (for its dimensions) interior, strong reputation for safety and robust sales, Mitsubishi soon began marketing its popular “little big car” throughout Asia and Europe.
One of the truly unique design characteristics of the Mitsubishi i is its engine placement just forward of the rear axle and behind the rear seat – a rarity among compact cars.
Positioned low and toward the center of the chassis, it gives the car a low center of gravity for excellent handling and stability while also maximizing interior volume.
It is this concept of optimal packaging of the drivetrain components that made the i the logical choice when Mitsubishi decided to make a 100 percent electric-powered vehicle as it was relatively easy for engineers to swap the gasoline engine for an electric motor and stowing the lithium-ion battery pack beneath the sub-floor.
Based on the original fuel-sipping Mitsubishi i, this small but very space-efficient vehicle saw its engine and gas tank removed to make way for such technologically-advanced hardware as an electric motor, inverter and lithium-ion batteries in an effort to advance a more sustainable form of transportation.
With its 16 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, 49 kW (66 hp) electric motor and single speed reduction gear transmission, the Mitsubishi i-MiEV has an approximate combined range of 62 miles. With its lithium-ion batteries housed within a remarkably sturdy and waterproof stainless-steel safety cell and a fortified platform thanks Mitsubishi’s innovative RISE (Reinforced Impact Safety Evolution body) energy absorbing safety technology in the event of an impact, the i-MiEV has achieved exemplary crash test ratings from a wide ranging list of governmental safety and regulatory bodies around the world.
The vehicle’s batteries can be recharged in approximately 22 hours by the included 120v Level 1 portable charging cable, 7 hours by a dedicated 240v Level 2 EVSE charger (available for home installation by select retailers or utility companies), and receive an 80 percent charge in under 30 minutes from a public Level 3 quick charging station via the optional charging port.
Inside the cabin, standard appointments on all Mitsubishi i models include a four-speaker, 100-watt AM/FM/CD audio system with MP3/WMA playback capability; speed-sensitive Electric Power Steering (EPS); LED taillamps; a driver’s seat heater; a highly-efficient electric manual air conditioning system with micron filter; and a vehicle security and immobilizer anti-theft system.
An advanced airbag system consisting of dual-stage front airbags, driver and front-passenger seat-mounted side-impact supplemental airbags and roof-mounted curtain side-impact supplemental air bags; 4-wheel anti-lock brakes (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD); and Active Stability Control (ASC) with Traction Control Logic (TCL) are also included as standard equipment.
Vehicle options include a Cold Zone package that includes heated outside mirrors and a battery warming system for the main lithium-ion battery pack and a Premium Package available with the upgrade SE trim level that includes an HDD navigation system with rear view camera, DC quick charging port and the FUSE Hands-free Link System with USB port and steering wheel-mounted audio controls.
Dimensions & specifications
Wheelbase: 100.4; overall length: 144.7; width: 62.4; height: 63.6
All vehicle measurements are in inches
Engine: AC synchronous permanent magnetic motor – 66 hp at 3,000 – 6,000 rpm and 145 lb-ft of torque at 0 -300 rpm.
Battery: Lithium-ion – 16 kWh/330 V
Transmission: single-speed fixed reduction gear automatic
EPA Fuel Economy: 126 MPGe city/99 MPGe highway (gasoline equivalent)
Range combined: 62 miles
Cargo capacity: 50.4 cubic feet