While the automaker has had its struggles in numerous markets, particularly in the United States, Mitsubishi plans on gaining traction here in North America and abroad by developing a new electric vehicle called the i-MiEV.
Already Mitsubishi has announced that production plans are moving forward, and the Japanese automaker plans to build about 9,000 units of the i-MiEV this fiscal year, with 18,000 and 30,000 following next year and the year following April 2012, respectively.
Although the Mitsubishi i-MiEV will be all-new U.S. consumers, it has already gone on sale in Japan, racking up sales of about 1,400 units. Consumers in the U.S. can expect to get their hands on this new EV in April of 2011.
When the Mitsubishi i-MiEV finally reaches U.S. showrooms, it will have ample competition. Not only will there be continual competition from traditional hybrids such as the Toyota Prius and Honda Insight which have recently seen increasing demand among at least one Import dealer Boston, but it will also have to contend with more radical models such as the Chevrolet Volt and the Nissan Leaf EV. The latter is already highly anticipated by customers of Washington DC Nissan and it should make a big impact when it arrives later this year.
As Mitsubishi ramps up its EV efforts, Acura Hamden admits that the timing is perfect. Between increasing consumer demand for efficiency, along with looming federal mileage regulations, all brands are boosting hybrid offerings and are diving into EV development.
Although the Mitsubishi i-MiEV stands out as a true all-electric vehicle, and delivers a 100 mile range following a seven hour charge, its biggest disadvantage is its cost – 4.59 million yen or about $51,000. Costing about double what a Prius costs, and dramatically smaller in size, expect Mitsubishi to work on cutting the cost to consumers before it arrives Stateside at dealers like Mitsubishi Savoy.
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Read more about the i-MiEV and all Mitsubishi news on this blog.