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Mitsubishi announces $48,800 i-MiEV price
Australia’s first mass-market EV to cost less than $49K as Mitsu sets i-MiEV price
16 Jun 2011
MITSUBISHI has finally put a pricetag on the first mass-production electric vehicle to hit Australia, the i-MiEV.
Announced today at $48,800 plus on-road costs, the sub-$49,000 price is almost 25 per cent less than the $63,000 Mitsubishi charged selected ‘foundation customers’ who leased the pioneering EV from last year.
It also undercuts the circa-$50,000 price Mitsubishi suggested a week ago on June 9, when the company announced its timetable for public i-MiEV sales but postponed a final price following a delay in the decision at its Japanese HQ.
“We are very pleased to announce the new recommended retail price of our 2012 model year i-MiEV is $48,800 plus on-road costs,” said Mitsubishi Motors Australia Limited president and CEO, Genichiro Nishina today.
“This represents a 22.5 per cent reduction on the cost of the previous model, and makes this groundbreaking technology more accessible to general consumers.” While the price of the i-MiEV- four of which could be bought for less than the cost of Australia’s first factory EV, the $220,000-plus Tesla Roadster - is lower than expected, it is still higher than that of every Mitsubishi, except the Pajero and fully loaded versions of the Outlander, Challenger and Triton.
However, Mitsubishi says future versions of its ground-breaking four-seat micro-hatch, which consumes no fuel and produces no exhaust emissions while driving, will be cheaper as production of its most expensive component – the lithium-ion battery pack – ramps up.
More importantly, its sub-$50,000 pricetag should be in line with the first wave of mainstream plug-in vehicles to arrive in Australia next year, including the larger Nissan Leaf EV and Holden Volt plug-in hybrid.
The 2012 i-MiEV, limited numbers of which will become available to Australian individuals from mid-August, features a number of upgrades over the 110 MY10 models leased last year.
They include automatic headlights, a unique keyless entry system to prevent battery depletion while the car is unattended and renamed drive modes, plus European tweaks such as bigger rear bumper and side privacy glass.
More importantly, new safety features for the i-MiEV, which has already achieved a four-star ANCAP safety rating, include front-side and curtain airbags, a crash safety system that cuts the high-voltage power on impact, a safety cut-off for the charging cable and electronic stability control, allowing it to be sold in Victoria and, from November, Australia-wide.
As we’ve reported, a total of only about five i-MiEVs per month will initially begin filtering into five selected Mitsubishi dealers in each mainland state capital city from August, with others to follow in 2012.
Before then, customers can direct availability questions to a dedicated i-MiEV phone number - 1300 13 12 11.
Mitsubishi will offer a five-year warranty on the battery – bringing it into line with other Mitsubishis - even though it says the unit should retain 80 per cent efficiency after 10 years.
According to a new Australian Design Rule test, the production car has an official range of 155km, but Mitsubishi admits it will accommodate only about 100km of real-world city driving.
That is expected to double to about 200km by 2015, as advances in battery technology see weight and efficiency improve.
Like the i-MiEV available elsewhere since last year, the 2012 version – available in White, Black, Cool Silver, Ocean Blue, Raspberry Red and Titanium Grey paint colours – uses a 16kW/hour battery pack and 49kW/180Nm electric motor to drive its rear wheels to a governed top speed of 130km/h.
Mitsubishi says the cost of charging the i-MiEV’s batteries depends on the electricity tariff paid by the consumer, but even at an expensive 25-cent/kWh ‘green electricity’ rate, the i-MiEV costs just $4 to ‘fill up’.
Recharging from ‘empty’ is said to take about seven hours on a 240-volt system - less via fast-chargers planned for some locations around Australia – but each owner will need to have a special 15-amp charging point installed in their garage or workplace, which Mitsubishi says costs about $150.
Naturally, Mitsubishi recommends the i-MiEV - which has gone straight to number one in the federal government’s Green Vehicle Guide, with a 10-out-of-10 score rating for both greenhouse gas and air pollution emissions - is always charged using renewable or ‘green’ energy.
Mitsubishi admits the i-MiEV will not be profitable for the company in Australia, but says it will pave the way for eight full-electric (EV) or plug-in hybrid (PHEV) models in its pipeline, with an all-new Outlander PHEV and electric version of the smaller ASX expected on sale in Australia by 2013.
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