$43k electricity bill
This small car doesn’t come cheap, writes NEIL McDONALD
THE price of going green is $43,000. That’s the cost of the new all-electric Mitsubishi i-Miev in the Japanese market, where it is about to go on sale.
The i-Miev will cost more than its bigger hybrid rivals from Toyota and Honda.
Despite the micro-car’s high price, Mitsubishi Australia spokeswoman Lenore Fletcher believes it will be popular when it arrives here, possibly next year.
Local pricing is not yet confirmed but Fletcher says the reaction of 150 people at recent drive days around the country indicates the car will be a hit.
‘‘If we had 20 i-MIEVs tomorrow they would all be sold,’’ Fletcher says. ‘‘We’ve had people trying to give us firm orders for the car.’’
Participants were surprised by the power and refinement of the little hatch, she says.
Fletcher is confident prices will drop as electric cars become more common and greater production allows economies of scale.
Mitsubishi Australia is buoyed by the interest from fleet buyers who want to sell a green message.
The rear-drive i-Miev develops 47kW, the same as the threecylinder petrol-powered Mitsubishi ‘‘i’’, but delivers 180Nm from zero revs compared with the petrol car’s 94Nm.
Its CO2 emissions are 70 per cent less than those from a similar sized hatchback.
The car has been certified to Australian Design Rules and Mitsubishi Australia is just waiting for the nod from Japan.
It has a range about 160km from its lithium-ion battery pack and given 85 per cent of commuters drive fewer than 100km a day, Fletcher says the i-Miev is an ideal city car. Only 2000 i-Mievs will be built in Japan this year, but the car’s popularity has prompted Mitsubishi to lift production. Next year it will build 5000 and by 2013 it hopes to build 30,000 a year. Mitsubishi, like many leading carmakers who are pushing the electric button, faces a shortage of battery components for its vehicles.
The Toyota Prius goes on sale next monthand is expected to cost slightly more than the Honda Insight.
Honda Australia plans a sub$30,000 price for the Insight. It had hoped to have the car on sale here this year but its popularity overseas has delayed its local launch to the second half of next year.
In Japan, the i-Miev will initially be sold to fleets and private sales will start later this year. It will be sold in Europe and North America as well as Australia.
Mitsubishi and Nissan Australia want the government to provide incentives to encourage people into electric cars.
the Mitsubishi iMiev has been popular at drive days around Australia.