Mitsubishi i-MiEV

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Mitsubishi i-MiEV
Mitsubishi i-MiEV.jpg
Overview
Manufacturer Mitsubishi Motors
Also called Peugeot iOn
Citroën C-Zero
Mitsuoka Like (LWB)
Subaru O2 (2014)
Production 2009–present
Assembly Kurashiki, Okayama, Japan (Mizushima Plant)
Body and chassis
Class Kei car
Body style 5-door hatchback
Layout Rear-engine, rear-wheel-drive
Related Mitsubishi i
Mitsubishi Minicab MiEV
Powertrain
Electric motor 47 kW (63 hp), 180 N·m (133 lbf·ft) permanent-magnet motor[1]
Transmission Single speed reduction gear
Battery 16 kWh / 58 MJ (Li-ion battery)
Range 160 km (99 mi) (Japanese cycle)
100 km (62 mi) (US EPA cycle)
Plug-in charging 15 A 240 V AC (3.6 kW)[2] on the SAE J1772-2009 inlet, optional Chademo (max 44 kW 480 V DC[3]), adapters for domestic AC sockets (110-240 V)
Dimensions
Wheelbase 2,550 mm (100.4 in)
Length 3,395 mm (133.7 in)
3,680 mm (144.9 in)(US)[4]
Width 1,475 mm (58.1 in)
1,585 mm (62.4 in)(US)[4] (excluding side-mirrors)
Height 1,600 mm (63.0 in)
1,615 mm (63.6 in)(US)[4]
Curb weight 1,080 kg (2,380 lb)

The Mitsubishi i-MiEV (MiEV is an acronym for Mitsubishi innovative Electric Vehicle[5]) is a five-door hatchback electric car produced by Mitsubishi Motors, and is the electric version of the Mitsubishi i. The i-MiEV is also sold in Europe rebadged by PSA Peugeot Citroën (PSA) as the Peugeot iOn and Citroën C-Zero.

The i-MiEV was launched for fleet customers in Japan in July 2009, and on April 1, 2010, for the wider public. International sales to Asia, Australia and Europe started in 2010, with further markers in 2011 including Central and South America. Fleet and retail customer deliveries in the U.S. and Canada began in December 2011.[6][7] The American-only version, called "i", is larger than the Japanese version and has several additional features.[8][9]

According to the manufacturer, the i-MiEV all-electric range is 160 kilometres (100 mi) on the Japanese test cycle. The range for the 2012 model year American version is 62 miles (100 km) on the United States Environmental Protection Agency's (US EPA) cycle. In November 2011 the Mitsubishi i ranked first in EPA’s 2012 Annual Fuel Economy Guide, and became the most fuel efficient EPA certified vehicle in the U.S. for all fuels ever, until it was surpassed by the Honda Fit EV in June 2012.[10][11]

As of July 2014, about 32,000 i-MiEV family vehicles have been sold worldwide, with Japan as the leading market with over 10,000 i-MiEVs sold, followed by Norway with more than 4,900 units, France with over 4,700 units, Germany with more than 2,400 units, all three European countries accounting for the three variants of the i-MiEV family sold in Europe; and the United States with over 1,800 i-MiEVs sold through August 2014.

History[edit]

Mitsubishi i-MiEV, based on the Mitsubishi i kei car, was first exhibited at the 22nd International Battery, Hybrid and Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle Symposium & Exposition in Yokohama. Mitsubishi eschews the in-wheel motors (MIEV) in favour of a more conventional array of batteries, motor and inverter to replace the "rear midship" engine and fuel tank of the conventional car. Mitsubishi Motors provided three power companies with vehicles in 2006 and 2007 in order to conduct joint research to evaluate how fast-charge infrastructure may be developed for EVs. Fleet testing by five power companies was conducted in 2007. The car had a range of 130 kilometres (80 mi) for the 16 kW•h lithium-ion pack and 160 kilometres (100 mi) for the 20 kW•h pack. Top speed was 130 kilometres per hour (80 mph).[12]

Plans were announced in 2008 to sell the i-MiEV in European markets as the Peugeot iOn and Citroën C-Zero.[13] Mitsubishi began supplying the electric cars to PSA Peugeot Citroën (PSA) since 2010, and PSA has a contractual commitment to buy 100,000 i-MiEVs over a period that remained confidential.[14][15]

Specifications[edit]

Mitsubishi i MiEV. Under the rear load platform. The inverter, rectifier and DC-DC voltage reduction device (For auxiliary battery). The motor, differential and reduction gear assembly are beneath. On the left, the red filler cap is for motor coolant (water antifreeze mix). On the right, the electric vacuum pump for the braking system.
Mitsubishi i-MiEV's System Diagram

Powertrain[edit]

The production version of the 2009 i-MiEV has a single permanent magnet synchronous motor mounted on the rear axle with a power output of 47 kW and torque output 180 N•m. The motor is water cooled, there is a conventional automobile radiator in the front of the car with an electric fan. The coolant (with antifreeze) level is monitored via a tank under the rear load platform on the left hand side of the vehicle.(See picture adjoining.)

The vehicle uses a single-speed reduction gear transmission driving the rear wheels and has a 16 kWh lithium-ion battery pack.[16] The car's top speed is 130 kilometres per hour (80 mph).[17]

Under its five-cycle testing, the US EPA rated the American 2012 model year Mitsubishi i with a combined fuel economy equivalent of 112 MPGe (2.1 L/100 km), with an equivalent 126 mpg-US (1.87 L/100 km; 151 mpg-imp) in city driving and 99 mpg-US (2.4 L/100 km; 119 mpg-imp) on highways.[18][19] This rating allowed the 2012 Mitsubishi i to get a higher MPG-e rating than the 2011 Nissan Leaf, which was rated at 99 MPGe (2.4 L/100 km) combined, but the Leaf rated a better range due to the Mitsubishi i's smaller battery pack.[19][20]

Battery[edit]

EV Quick Charger (200V)

The 16-kilowatt-hour (58 MJ) lithium-ion battery pack consists of 88 cells placed under the base floor. The pack has 22 cell modules connected in series at a nominal voltage of 330 V. There are two 4-cell modules placed vertically at the center of the pack and ten 8-cell modules placed horizontally. Developed by Mitsubishi and GS Yuasa for both high specific energy and high rate discharge and manufactured by Lithium Energy Japan, a joint venture of GS Yuasa Corporation, Mitsubishi Corporation and Mitsubishi Motors Corporation. The entire pack has a specific energy of 80 Wh/kg.[21] The battery has a forced air cooling system to prevent overheating during high charge and discharge rates and consequent damage. There is an integral fan in the battery pack. For rapid charging, the battery pack is additionally cooled with refrigerated air from the cars air conditioning system.[citation needed]

In June 2011 Mitsubishi announced the introduction of lithium titanate oxide SCiB battery technology for its two new models of electric vehicles, the i-MiEV and Minicab MiEV. The SCiB technology was developed by Toshiba, which stated that its SCiB batteries can withstand 2.5 times more charge/discharge cycles than a typical lithium-ion battery. In addition, recharging via CHAdeMO takes much less time than charging at the AC Level 2 rate used by most electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE), allowing the SCiB battery to reach 80% capacity in 15 minutes, 50% in 10 minutes and 25% in 5 minutes. In terms of performance, the SCiB battery offers a higher effective capacity than a typical lithium-ion battery, which combined with more efficient regenerative charging during braking or coasting downhill, allows the SCiB battery to deliver 1.7 times the driving range per charge of a typical lithium-ion battery of the same size. Alternatively, the carmaker could install a smaller battery with less weight and keep the same range to contribute to lower the vehicle price as compared to lithium-ion batteries.[22] Recharging is estimated to take 14 hours from a 110 volt power supply, 7 hours from a 220 volt power supply and as little as 30 minutes from a quick charging station.[23][24]

Charging (Europe, 230 volts)[edit]

On the left hand side of the car towards the rear is the “rapid” DC . CHAdeMO charging point. It is beneath a cover (released from inside the car), there is a dust cover beneath to keep out insects etc. There are two large pins (for the charging current) and eight small ones for control circuitry. The cable used for this purpose is captive to the roadside charging point. When the car is on fast (DC) charge, the air conditioning system is automatically started and refrigerated air is blown through the battery pack for cooling purposes. There is a diverter flap in the ventilation system for this. From depletion, the battery may be charged to 80% full in 20 minutes using this socket.

On the right hand side of the car is the “fast” and “slow” AC charging point, accessed in a similar way to the DC charge point. This is a five pin IEC62196-2 Type 2 point. Three large pins are the line, neutral and earth/ground. The two small pins are a control circuit. This circuit enables the charge current to be cut off when charging is complete, cuts off power if the plug is removed from the vehicle (the plug and socket are both unshuttered), prevents both rapid and fast charging being done simultaneously and also prevents the vehicle from being driven while the plug is inserted. For “fast charging”, the control box (mounted at the roadside) is limited to 20 amps enabling a charge time (from depletion) of four hours. For “slow charging”, a non-captive lead/cord is provided with the car. It is intended for use in the home or other domestic places. This has a local plug at one end and a Mennekes connector at the other. The Mennekes plug has a retaining trigger with a hole for a padlock to prevent the plug from being removed from the car if deemed necessary. There is a “floating” control box in the middle of this lead/cord that functions similarly to the fast charger but limits current to 10 amps so enabling an eight hour charge time (from complete depletion on 230 volts)

Emergency power supply[edit]

In the aftermath of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, Mitsubishi introduced one year ahead of schedule a device called MiEV Power Box that enables the i-MiEV to supply power to home electric appliances in the event of a power outage or natural disasters. The device provides 100-volt outlets, converting the i-MiEV's direct current (DC) battery power into 100 volts alternating current (AC) to power up to 1,500 watts of small electrical equipment. Mitsubishi estimates that the i-MiEV total battery capacity is enough to provide power for between 5 and 6 hours, equivalent to one day of power consumed by an average Japanese home.[25][26] The device was scheduled to be available by the end of April 2012, at a cost of ¥149,800 (US$1,800) but as of November 2013 it is not clear if this is widely available.

Regeneration control[edit]

The manufacturers have made every effort to make the very different technology of this car appear similar to conventional cars. The lever between the front seats appears to be an automatic transmission control but is not so, though it works in a similar fashion. It is in fact a switch which reverses the electric motor and also offers a degree of control (European cars) over the regeneration. Correct use of the regeneration control can influence the range of the car. As well as "park" "neutral" and "reverse" there are three regeneration positions, intended for city driving, hilly terrain, and flat terrain respectively. Used correctly, on most journeys, a large percentage of kinetic energy and potential energy can be returned to the battery. Lifting off the accelerator/”gas” pedal also induces regeneration as does light pressure on the foot brake. The only other mechanical losses are frictional. The main loss is aerodynamic drag which is proportional to the square of speed, hence high speeds are inefficient and reduce range. Regeneration and power consumption can be monitored by the driver with an analogue instrument on the dashboard/control panel which shows both instantaneous power consumed and regeneration.

Electrical equipment[edit]

The heating of the passenger cab is by a conventional "wet" automotive system. Heat is derived from the traction battery via a resistance element. Use of the heater significantly reduces range. The traction motor cooling system runs at much lower temperatures than in a conventional car and is therefore separate from the cab heating system. While the car is charging, the interior can be preheated to alleviate the range reduction problem.

The car is fitted with air conditioning. The compressor is located beneath the HVAC controls in the car and has its own electric motor driven from the traction battery via a dedicated inverter. The condenser is mounted in front of the traction cooling radiator at the front of the car. The evaporator is inside the HVAC control. Use of the air conditioning system can significantly reduce range. To alleviate this, the car can be set to "precool" whilst on charge. A remote control/timer device is provided that controls the preheat function, air conditioning and also controls and monitors battery charging.[citation needed]

There is an auxiliary, 12volt conventional lead acid battery under the bonnet/hood for the accessories. It is also needed to control and charge the main traction battery and to start the vehicle. It is charged from the main traction battery via a DC-DC voltage reduction device. If it is discharged, the vehicle cannot be started, neither can the main traction battery be charged. Use of 12 volt "jump cables" from another vehicles is possible.

The steering is rack and pinion with electric power assistance.

An emergency cutoff for main battery is located under the front left hand seat. If the car is involved in a collision, there is a cutoff switch that is operated by the "G" forces involved.

Wheels[edit]

The front and rear wheels are different sizes. Instead of a spare wheel, a roadside repair kit with a 12 volt electric compressor (plugs into cigarette lighter) and a bottle of repair fluid is located under the cushion of the rear passenger seat.

Braking system[edit]

The braking system is conventional hydraulic (Power assisted) with disk brakes at the front and drum brakes at the rear. Anti-lock Braking System and Traction Control System is fitted. The hand/parking brake is cable operated, acting on the rear wheels. The hydraulic fluid reservoir is under the front bonnet/hood. As there is no manifold vacuum, there is an electric vacuum pump located under the rear loading platform. There are interlocks on the braking system so that the starting up process can only be initiated when the brake pedal is pressed.

Range[edit]

Mitsubishi i-MiEV charging

The all-electric range is 100 miles (160 km) on the Japanese test cycle.[27] Two additional trim levels will be available in Japan beginning in late July 2011, the entry-level “M” with a 10.5 kWh battery pack has a reduced range of 120 kilometres (75 mi), and the higher-level "G" with the same a 16.0 kWh battery as the original i-MiEV has a range of 180 kilometres (110 mi). The "G" trim will be available by mid August.[28]

The US EPA official range for the 2012 model year American "i" version is 100 kilometres (62 mi) based on the five-cycle tests using varying driving conditions and climate controls. Under the LA4 driving cycle for city conditions, EPA's rated range is 98 miles (158 km).[18][19] According to the carmaker, the city range of the 2012 Mitsubishi i was improved as compared to the previous i-MiEV versions, through software upgrades and a revamped regenerative braking system.[18]

The Australian Government's Green Vehicle Guide estimated the i-MiEV's range to be 155 kilometres (96 mi).[29]

In practice range is affected by driving style, hilliness of the terrain, speed and use of passenger compartment heating and cooling. Strong head and following winds also make a noticeable difference.

Towing the car (breakdown)[edit]

The drive system is permanently connected to the rear wheels. This means that if there is mechanical damage to the power train the vehicle must be transported/towed with the rear (driving) wheels off the ground to prevent further damage. For other problems so long as power is available for the braking and steering system, the vehicle can be conventionally towed subject to instructions in the owner's manual. Using the car to tow trailers is not recommended.

Safety[edit]

2010 i-MiEV's frontal view
2010 i-MiEV's rear view

The European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP) awarded the i-MiEV a four star car safety rating, earning the following ratings for each criteria. The tested model was a left-hand-drive 5-door hatchback registered in 2011:

Euro NCAP test results
Mitsubishi i-MiEV (2011)[30]
Test Points %
Overall: 4 /5 stars
Adult occupant: 26 73%
Child occupant: 38 78%
Pedestrian: 17 48%
Safety assist: 6 86%

Euro NCAP also states that it "believes that the star rating of the i-MiEV can also be applied to the Citroën C-Zero" because the agency was informed that the Citroën C-Zero is structurally identical to the Mitsubishi i-MiEV and has the same interior fitting and levels of safety equipment.[31]

The Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) rated the i-MiEV four out of five stars for crash safety, scoring 28.35 out of 37. This score takes into account a 10.95 out of 16 rating in the frontal offset crash test, and a score of 14.4 out of 16 received for the side impact test.[32]

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gave the 2012 model year i-Miev a four out of five star crash rating.[33]

Fire incident[edit]

In March 2013 Mitsubishi Motors reported two separate incidents with lithium-ion batteries used in its plug-in electric cars, one with an i-MiEV and the other with an Outlander P-HEV whose battery pack overheated and melted some of the battery cells. The battery packs are produced by GS Yuasa, the same company that supplies the batteries for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, whose entire fleet was grounded in January 2013 for lithium-ion battery problems. The lithium-ion battery of an i-MiEV caught fire at the Mizushima battery pack assembly plant on March 18 while connected to charge-discharge test equipment.[34][35] Mitsubishi did not issue a recall, but halted production and sales of the two models until it determines the causes of the battery problems. According to Mitsubishi, the problem with the i-MiEV battery pack is related with a change in the GS Yuasa manufacturing process, and the carmaker notified fleet-vehicle operators with i-MiEVs whose batteries were made under the same process as those that overheated, and is working on a possible fix.[34][36]

Production[edit]

Full production of the i-MiEV started in July 2009 and Mitsubishi expected initial sales volume to be small, to sell up to 1,400 vehicles by March 2010, but expected sales to rise to 5,000 vehicles in the following twelve months, once retail sales had started.[37] Mitsubishi decided to target sales to corporate customers in Japan at first to allow local governments and businesses to set up recharging stations around the country. The company said initial sales were constrained by production capacity but expects production to ramp up quickly from 2,000 units in 2009/10 to 30,000 vehicles within three years as it expands production of lithium-ion battery through Lithium Energy Japan, a joint venture with GS Yuasa Corporation and Mitsubishi Corporation.[38][39][40] Production was projected to increase to 9,000 units in its fiscal year 2010/11, and to 18,000 in the following twelve months.[37]

Production of the left-hand drive European-spec i-MiEV began in October 2010.[41][42] By the end of November 2010 cumulative production had reached 5,000 units at Mitsubitshi's Mizushima Plant.[41] In May 2011 Mitsubishi announced a new production target of 25,000 i-MiEVs worldwide in fiscal year 2011. The carmaker also plans to export about 15,000 units overseas, mainly to Europe, where the company will promote sales to the European public sector, such as police departments and local governments.[43] Production of the American-spec i electric car began in late October 2011.[44] Since July 2009 Mitsubishi had manufactured more than 33,000 i-MiEVs and rebadge versions by March 2013,[45] including more than 11,000 units rebadged in France as Peugeot iOn and Citroën C-Zero, and sold in the European market.[14][46]

In August 2012, and as a result of Europe's debt crisis that resulted in PSA Peugeot Citroen (PSA) Group slow sales, Mitsubishi Motors announced the suspension of its supply of the i-MiEV electric vehicle to PSA, although the period for supplying vehicles under their contract as part of original equipment manufacturer agreements has not yet ended. The suspension is part of the decision of several Japanese manufacturers to suspend their joint development projects and contracts with several European partners.[47][48] By early August 2012, PSA had sold a total of 6,575 Peugeot iOns and Citroën C-Zeros since their launch in Europe in 2010, while Mitsubishi had assembled almost 11,000 electric cars destined to PSA, leaving the French carmaker with more than 4,400 electric cars in unsold inventory. PSA only sold 50% of the sales target set for 2011 and according to PSA the supply was only temporarily interrupted.[14]

In May 2014, PSA Peugeot Citroen Chief Executive, Carlos Tavares, announced that the carmaker will decide over the next 12 months whether to continue selling electric vehicles manufactured by its partner Mitsubishi. Sales of both of PSA rebadged electric cars fell significantly from 2012 to 2013 as a result of new competition from Nissan, Renault and BMW.[49]

Year Worldwide production Notes
C-ZERO iOn i-MiEV
2009 N/A N/A 1,710[50]
2010 425[51] 425[51] 7,646[50] C-ZERO and iOn launched.
2011 3,377[52] 3,257[52] 8,161[50] 3,607 total Peugeot iOns produced.
3,724 total Citroen C-ZEROs produced.[52]
2012 1,800[53] 1,800[53] TBA 5,400 total Peugeot iOns produced.
5,500 total Citroen C-ZEROs produced.[53]

Markets and sales[edit]

The Mitsubishi i MiEV was the first electric car to sell more than 10,000 units, including the models badged in Europe as Citroën C-Zero and Peugeot iOn. The record, officially registered by Guinness World Records, was reached on February 2011. Several months later, the Nissan Leaf overtook the i MiEV as the best selling all-electric car.[54] Accounting for all vehicles of the iMiEV brand, Mitsubishi reported around 27,200 units sold or exported since 2009 through December 2012, including the minicab MiEVs sold in Japan, and the units rebadged and sold as Peugeot iOn and Citroën C-Zero in the European market.[55]

As of July 2014, about 32,000 i-MiEV family passenger cars have been sold worldwide since 2009,[56] with Japan as the top selling country market with 10,011 i-MiEVs sold.[57] All three variants of the i-MiEV family have sold over 17,500 units in Europe as of July 2014 ,[58][59][60][61][49][62] with registrations led by Norway with 4,920 units registered,[63][64][64][65][66] followed by France with 4,710 units, [67] and Germany with 2,419 units.[68][69][70][71] The fifth largest country market is the United States, with 1,831 i-MiEVs sold through August 2014.[72]

Australia[edit]

Two i MiEVs in Sydney, Australia, being leased by Better Place and Coulomb Technologies.

During early 2009 the i-MiEV was exhibited in Australia at the Melbourne International Motor Show, and afterwards was toured throughout the country. Beginning in mid 2009, Mitsubishi conducted a twelve month field trial with potential electric vehicle customers, such as local, state and federal government bodies, and major fleet operators.[73]

Sales for fleet customers began in Australia in August 2010 under leasing agreement at a price of A$1,740 a month for 36 months, for a cumulative total of A$62,640 after which the car has to be returned to the dealer.[74][75][76] The initial shipment included only 40 units, but Mitsubishi Motors Australia reported that just before the launch it had received applications for more than 100 vehicles from private companies and government departments.[77] The initial batch of vehicles leased to government and corporate fleets totals 112 vehicles.[78]

Retail sales to the public began in August 2011. Currently, there are no government incentive or rebate schemes for purchasing fuel-efficient vehicles in the country. The new Australian i-MiEV version is similar to the European-spec model released in 2011, with minor changes such as new three-spoke alloy wheels, a few minor exterior tweaks including dark tinted headlights and a revised front bumper with fog lights.[74] With an Australian Design Rules approved range of 155 km (96 mi), the Australian-spec i-MiEV is sold for A$48,800 (US$51,444 as of July 2011) through specially equipped Mitsubishi dealerships (one in each capital city and two in Sydney). Mitsubishi anticipates 5 sales to the public per month. Since then a large number of dealerships across Australia have purchased scoops of these vehicles and most dealerships (mainly in Victoria) have a single i-Miev in their showrooms at prices never seen in this market before.[79][80] During 2011 a total of 30 i MiEVs were sold, and cumulative sales reached 252 units through December 2013.[78][81][82] As of March 2014, Mitsubishi is no longer selling the i-MiEV due to slow sales.[83]

Canada[edit]

An i-MiEV from Hydro-Québec test program

In January 2009, Hydro-Québec and Mitsubishi signed an agreement to test 50 i-MiEV, the largest pilot test of electric cars in Canada ever. The test's goal was to allow a better understanding of winter usage of the technology. BC-Hydro and Mitsubishi had previously tested a three-vehicle fleet in British Columbia.[84] The first five i-MiEVs were delivered in December 2010 and were assigned to staff from the city of Boucherville.[85] In October 2010, Transport Canada and Mitsubishi Motor Sales of Canada announced a partnership to test the Mitsubishi i-MiEV. Transport Canada’s ecoTECHNOLOGY for Vehicles (eTV) Program tested two i-MiEVs in government facilities and in a variety of real-world conditions. This program aim was to evaluate the i-MiEV road performance and range.[86]

Retail sales of the i-MiEV began in December 2011[9][87] at a starting price of CA$32,998 (US$33,891) before any government incentives available in Ontario and Quebec.[88][89] Cumulative sales through August 2014 reached 466 units.[72]

Mitsubishi sells the US i-MiEV version in Canada, although the international version was used in test fleets, and two trims are offered, standard and premium. The premium package price is CA$35,998 (US$36,972) and includes leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, 15-inch alloy wheels, premium audio system, HDD Navigation system, Bluetooth 2.0 hands-free cellular phone interface with streaming audio and USB input with voice control.[88]

Europe[edit]

The Citroën C-Zero is a rebadged Mitsubishi i-MiEV.
Peugeot iOn is another rebadged version of the i-MiEV

The European version of the i-MiEV was introduced at the 2010 Paris Motor Show. Specific features of the European version include a new design to the front and rear bumpers to meet EU regulations, re-arranged center stack in the instrument panel, improved interior comfort and both active and passive safety features have been improved with the addition of Active Stability Control (ASC), as well as side and curtain airbags, all included as standard equipment.[90] The European MiEV achieves an all-electric range of 150 kilometres (93 mi) under the European NEDC driving pattern.[91]

Mass production of the European i-MiEV began in October 2010 at Mitsubishi's Mizushima plant, along with production of its siblings by PSA Peugeot Citroën, the Peugeot iOn and the Citroën C-Zero.[91] In January 2011, Mitsubishi shipped 2,500 i-MiEVs from Japan and began sales in 15 countries: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom, and further expand the European roll out through 2011.[92] Mitsubishi also run demonstration programs with the i-MiEV in the Principality of Monaco, Iceland, and Denmark.[93] The price of the European version vary by country waqs set to around €33,000 to €35,000 (US$41,900 to US$44,400). The carmaker aimed for a final cost to the customer of under €30,000 (US$38,000) or equivalent after government incentives.[90]

Austria[edit]

Retail deliveries began in 2011. A total of 704 units have been registered in Austria through December 2013, including 332 C-Zeros, 254 i MiEVs, and 118 iOns.[94][95][96]

Denmark[edit]

Deliveries began in 2011. A total of 550 units have been registered in Denmark through December 2013, including 227 iOns, 202 C-Zeros, and 121 i MiEVs.[97][98]

Estonia[edit]

On March 3, 2011, the government of Estonia confirmed the sale to Mitsubishi Corporation of 10 million carbon dioxide credits in exchange for 507 i-MiEV electric cars. The deal also includes funding to build 250 express charging stations in larger towns and main highways by 2013, and will subsidize the first 500 private buyers of any electric car approved by the European Union.[99][100] The first 50 i-MiEVs were delivered in October 2011 and this official fleet will be assigned for use by municipal social workers.[93][101] During the first round of allocations of the electric cars, municipalities requested only 336 of the 507 i-MiEVs available. Several local authorities have stated concerns about the electric car performance during harsh winter conditions, maintenance costs and the i-MiEV' reliability on difficult countryside roads.[102][103]

France[edit]

A Peugeot iOn charging in Nice, France.

The i-MiEV family sold 1,326 units in 2011, representing a market share of 50.4% of electric car sales in France. Sales were led by the Citroën C-Zero with 645 units followed by the Peugeot iOns with 639 vehicles, and the i-MiEVs with 42 units sold in 2011.[104] In 2011 PSA Peugeot Citroën was awarded a contract to supply 3,900 electric cars to the French Government, to be used by government officials in Paris.[105] Since its introduction in 2010, the i-MiEV family has sold 4,710 units in the country through July 2014, including 2,384 iOns, 2,214 C-Zeros and 112 i-MiEVs.[67]

The C-Zero is available for rental starting at €35 (US$51) for half a day. The electric car is rented by the MultiCity vehicle rental service in selected French cities. The C-Zero is available in the Paris region at six locations: the Gare Montparnasse, Gare de Lyon and Gare du Nord train stations, Paris-Orly Airport, Porte Maillot and Nanterre.[106]

Germany[edit]

The i-MiEV was launched in Germany in December 2010 at a price of €34,990 (~US$51,000).[107] Germany does not have government purchase subsidies.[108] The only incentive available is an exemption from the annual circulation tax for a period of five years from the date of first registration.[109] On August 30, 2012, approximately 100 Citroen C-Zeros were deployed in Berlin as part of the Multicity Carsharing program. The number of cars is expected to grow to 500 by year end. Sales of the i-MiEV family represented 50.6% of all electric car sales in the country in 2011.[citation needed] Combined sales of the three variants peaked in 2011, with 1,146 units registered, and then fell to 788 units in 2012 and 413 in 2013. As of July 2014, a total of 2,419 units have been sold consisting of 957 C-Zeros, 925 i-MiEVs, and 537 iOns.[68][69][70][71]

Italy[edit]

Retail deliveries began in February 2011. Cumulative sales totaled 540 units through December 2013 including 295 C-Zeros, 189 iOns and 56 i-MiEVs.[110][111][112]

Netherlands[edit]

Since its launch in the Netherlands in 2011, a total of 563 units have been sold through December 2013, including 266 iOns, 166 C-Zeros, and 131 i MiEVs.[113][114]

Norway[edit]

Since deliveries began in January 2011, the i-MiEV became the best selling electric car in the country,[115][116] and the 1000th i-MiEV was delivered in November 2011.[117][118] A total of 2,240 electric cars were sold in Norway during 2011, of which, 1,050 were i-MiEVS, 210 were Citroen C-Zeros, and 217 Peugeot iOns, for combined sales of 1,477 units representing together a 66% share of all electric cars sold during the year.[115] Registrations climbed to 1,670 units in 2012, then fell to 1,094 in 2013, and to 679 during the first seven months of 2014. Cumulative registrations through July 2014 reached 4,920 units, including 2,440 i-MiEVs, 1,295 C-Zeros, and 1,185 iOns.[63][64][119][65][66]

A Peugeot iOn in Bilbao, Spain, operating for the IBILEK car sharing service.

Spain[edit]

Retail sales began in December 2010 and the i-MiEV price starts at €29,153 before sales tax or any government incentives.[120][121] A total of 233 i-MiEV family electric cars were sold during 2011, representing 58% of all electric vehicles sold in Spain that year.[122] Cumulative sales through December 2013 reached 546 units including 204 iOns, 196 i-MiEVs and 146 C-Zeros.[122][123][124]

Sweden[edit]

Since their inception a total of 196 units have been registered in Sweden through December 2013, including 92 i MiEVs, 67 C-Zeros, and 37 iOns.[125][126]

Switzerland[edit]

Deliveries began in 2011. Cumulative registrations totaled 615 units through December 2013, including 342 i-MiEVs, 155 C-Zeros and 118 iOns.[127]

United Kingdom[edit]

In December 2009 Mitsubishi began an electric vehicle trial in the UK with a fleet of 25 i-MiEVs. The i-MiEV demonstration is part of the project Coventry and Birmingham Low Emission Vehicle Demonstrators (CABLED), which is running in the English Midlands with a variety of vehicles including plug-in hybrids and the extended range electric Jaguar XJ.[128] In March 2010, the company reported that after the first three-month period the trial fleet ran an average of 23 miles (37 km) a day, have been parked 97% of the time, and most of the individual trips were under 5 miles (8 km). Another key finding in the test report is that the vehicles were driven in temperatures as low as −10 °C (14 °F) during the winter period, and it was observed a drop-off in usage during extremely cold weather, when only essential journeys are made.[128]

In March 2010, Mitsubishi announced that the i-MiEV would be sold at a price of GB£38,699 (~US$55,870),[129][130] but in August 2010 the company reduced the price to GB£28,990 (~US$45,100).[131] Sales to the public in the UK began on January 2011, which coincided with the date the GB£5,000 Plug-in Car Grant came into effect.[129][132][133] Mitsubishi authorized 13 sales centres with two in London and the rest spread across England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.[133] In April 2011 Hertz Rent-a-Car added two i-MiEVs to its fleet of vehicles in London and intends to add more across the UK later in 2011. The i-MiEVs are offered as rental vehicles to Hertz on Demand members and these electric cars will be supported by 16 Hertz-installed quick-charge stations located in and around London.[134] A total of 862 units have been registered in the UK through June 2013, including 401 iOns, 260 i MiEVs, and 201 C-Zeros.[135][136][137]

Japan[edit]

Mitsubishi i-MiEV recharging from an on-street charging station in Japan.

The i-MiEV was launched for fleet customers in Japan in late July 2009, after Mitsubishi's more than 40 years in development of electric vehicles.[138] Initial price was set at ¥4,590,000 (US$46,500). The Japanese government is offering subsidies of up to ¥1,390,000, and some local governments are also offering additional subsidies that could bring the price down to as low as ¥2,200,000.[24][139][140] Mitsubishi reduced the price of the vehicle by ¥619,000 (US$6,700) to just below ¥4,000,000 two days before it went for retail sales in Japan in April 2010 to compete with the Nissan Leaf. As of early 2010 there were 60 charging stations in Japan.[5][23][24]

On June 2010 Mitsubishi Motors announced that is aiming to cut the price of its electric vehicles to ¥2 million(US$21,890) by fiscal year 2012 to obtain price parity in the showrooms with hybrid electric vehicles. Mitsubishi is expecting that mass production of lithium ion batteries from its battery plant coming online in April 2012 will allow to reduced battery cost from its current ¥2.5 million to less than ¥1 million.[141] On March 2010, the company said it had received about 2,000 advance orders in Japan for the vehicle.[23] Cumulative sales reached 3,000 units in Japan by October 2010.[41] Sales in the Japanese market raised from 986 in 2009 to 2,340 in 2010, and then stabilized at 2,290 units in 2011 and 2,295 in 2012. Sales fell to 1,491 units during 2013, and to 609 units during the first seven months of 2014. As of July 2014, cumulative sales reached 10,011 i-MiEVs since July 2009.[57][142]

Two new trims levels were launched in the Japanese market in the second half of 2011. Beginning in July 25, the lower-level "M" trim will be sold for ¥1,880,000 (US$23,200) after the government subsidy. The "M" trim has a 10.5 kWh battery and its equipment and trim specification were adjusted to allow a more accessible price. The "M" trim range is 120 km (75 mi) on the JC08-cycle. The higher-level "G" trim will be available by mid-August at a price varing from ¥2,600,000 (US$32,100) to ¥3,800,000 (US$47,000). The "G" trim has the same 16.0 kWh battery as the original i-MiEV, but the new trim realizes around a 20% increase in its single charge range on the J08-cycle, offering 180 km (110 mi). The "G" has LED headlamps and rear combination lamps, 15-inch alloy road wheels, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter knob and other high-grade equipment, such as a navigation system and heated seats for the driver and front passenger as standard.[28][143]

United States[edit]

The first fleet and individual customer deliveries in the U.S. took place in December 2011.[6][7] Mitsubishi initially announced a base price of US$27,990, but in September 2011 raised the base price to US$29,125 plus the destination charge and prior to the federal tax credit and other incentives available in California and other states.[8][144] The American version of the Mitsubishi i-MiEV was unveiled at the November 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show.[145] During the LA show, Mitsubishi announced it decided to drop the "MiEV" from the name and the US version will be named simply as "i" electric vehicle.[146][147]

i-MiEV test drive event in Washington, D.C.

The U.S.-only version is enlarged, has redesigned front and rear bumpers,[148] and includes more features than the Japanese and European versions in order to meet crash standards, government mandates, and the preferences of the U.S. consumers. The American version is 285 millimetres (11.2 in) longer than the Japanese version, 110 millimetres (4.3 in) wider,[4] and slightly taller. It also has advanced airbags and the mandated tire-pressure monitoring system (TPMS), has an upgraded interior and features more accessories.[149][150][151]

Woody version of the American-spec Mitsubishi i exhibited at the 2011 LA Auto Show

The entry-level ES trim starts at US$29,125, the SE trim is at US$31,125, and the SE Premium version is priced at US$33,915 including an HDD navigation system and better entertainment and audio options. These prices do not include an US$850 destination charge. For either of the models, available options include a factory-installed CHAdeMO fast-charging port for US$750 and the Cold Zone package, which includes a battery warming system and heated outside mirrors for US$150.[8][144] The reservation process for the U.S. began on April 22, 2011, and customers were required to pay two deposits: US$299 for the car and US$99.99 for a required home inspection. The carmaker decided to waive the US$100 fee for the first 2,000 people who placed an order and then buy the car. Mitsubishi is only accepting PayPal as the method of payment for these online transactions.[8] Mitsubishi began sending order confirmation emails and offering optional accessories by early September 2011.[152] In November 2010, Mitsubishi announced partnerships with Eaton and Best Buy for sales and home installation of recharging units.[145]

Initial availability is limited and the initial roll-out markets include California, Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington, followed by the Northeastern states. Nationwide availability is expected by mid 2012.[149][153] The first delivery to a fleet customer took place on December 8, 2011 in San Francisco. The first delivery went to City CarShare, a non-profit carsharing service that operates in San Francisco, Oakland, and Berkeley.[6][154] The first individual customer delivery took place on Honolulu, Hawaii, on December 12, 2011.[7] Sales increased from 80 units in 2011 to 588 in 2012 and rose to 1,029 during 2013. A total of 1,831 i cars have been sold in the U.S. through August 2014.[72]

The 100,000th plug-in electric production vehicle sold in America was a Mitsubishi i-MiEV purchased by Rich Salmon of Grand Bay, Alabama on 2013-05-16, based on 'sales data from recent reports' judged by Plug In America as part of the #PIA100K contest.[155]

Changes to 2014 model year vehicle include driver and front passenger heated seats, CHAdeMO DC quick charge port, battery warming system, heated side view mirrors, rear door speakers, 8A/12A switchable Level 1 charging cable (approximate charge time from near empty to fully charged - 22 hours for 8 amp/14 hours for 12 amp), charge port lamp, leather-covered steering wheel and shift knob, passenger-side vanity mirror with lid, numerous decorative color/trim upgrades, aluminum wheels, front fog lights, new daytime running lights (DRL), black-out door sash trim, US $6,130 lower price before incentives.[156]

Other countries[edit]

Mitsubishi i-MiEV sales price by market
(without any government tax credits or grants)
Country Sales
price
Equivalent
US$(1)
Launched/
scheduled
 Japan[23] ¥4.0 million US$51,570 Apr 2010
 Hong Kong[157] HK$395,000 US$50,840 May 2010
 Australia(2) A$62,240
(2011)[76]
US$63,175 Jul 2010
A$48,800
(2012)[79]
US$49,530 Aug 2011
 Germany[107] €34,990 US$45,280 Dec 2010
 Spain[120] €29,153 US$37,730 Dec 2010
 United Kingdom[131] GB£28,990 US$44,750 Jan 2011
 Costa Rica[158] ¢30.5 million US$60,795 Feb 2011
 Chile[159] CLP27.7 million US$53,270 May 2011
 Russia[160] руб.1,799,000 US$55,990 June 2011
 New Zealand[161] NZ$59,990 US$46,345 Jul 2011
 United States[6] US$29,125 Dec 2011
 Canada[88] CA$32,998 US$32,340 Dec 2011
 Sweden[citation needed] 281,000 kr US$40,758 2011
Notes (1): Exchange rates as of December 31, 2011.
(2) The 2011 i-MiEV is available for leasing only, at a price of A$1,740/month
during 36 months totaling A$62,240. Retail sales only for the 2012 i-MiEV
Chile

The i-MiEV was launched in May 2011 at a price of CLP27,7 million (US$60,000). Initial availability is limited to 25 units.[159][162] The first public quick charging station in the country was opened in April 2011 in preparation for the arrival of the first i-MiEV electric cars.[163] As of August 2012, only 10 units have been sold.[164]

Costa Rica

The i-MiEV was launched in February 2011 at a price of US$61,500.[165][166] Costa Rica does not have any government incentives for electric cars. According to Mitsubishi, Costa Rica was selected at the first market launch in the Americas due to its environmental record. Initial availability will be limited to 25 to 50 units.[158][167] Sales are oriented to supply mainly fleet customers including government agencies and electric companies.[168]

Hong Kong
Mitsubishi i MiEV Police Patrol Car for Hong Kong Police Force

On December 2009, the Hong Kong Government and other corporation began testing the i-MiEV, totaling 30 vehicles tested until May 2010.[169] Sales to the public in Hong Kong began in May 2010 at a price of HK$395,000 (~US$50,631).[157]

Malaysia

The i-MiEV was released in Malaysia in March 2013 at a price starting at RM136,118 (approx US$43,995), becoming the first electric car sold in the country. Mitsubishi expects to sell more than 50 units during its first year in the market.[45] The Penang Second Bridge highway patrol unit, JKSB Ronda using i-MIEV for patrolling and to provide assistance to commuters on the bridge. Seven charging stations were also set up at the toll plaza on the mainland, two of them being rapid chargers which are able to give a 80 per cent charge in 30 minutes.[170]

New Zealand

Between January and March 2009 the i-MiEV was brought to New Zealand as part of an electric vehicle trial, during which the i-MiEV travelled the entire country, testing infrastructure and demonstrating the vehicle to the public.[171] As of March 2011 there were 8 i-MiEV in use in Wellington, as a field trial sponsored by the Wellington City Council, New Zealand Post, Meridian Energy, The Wellington Company and Mitsubishi Motors. Sales to the public are scheduled for July 2011 at a price of NZ$59,990 (~US$51,325), and the number of units will be limited.[161]

Russian Federation

The i-MiEV was launched in June 2011 at a price of руб.1,799,000 (~US$64,946).[160] The price would be sat at руб.999,000 (~US$28,948) on 1 February 2014. There were 211 cars sold in 2013, many of them bought by government organizations. As of 2013-2014 i-MieV is the only electric car sold in Russia.[172]

Singapore

In November 2010 Mitsubishi signed an agreement with the Singaporean government to introduce electric vehicles in the country. Mitsubishi will supply 25 i-MiEVs in 2011 to the Economic Development Board, the Energy Market Authority and the Land Transport Authority, which are part of a multi-agency EV task force. This agreement is part of a three-year US$20 million test program that will deploy charging infrastructure for electric vehicles and evaluate the cost benefits of EVs for future adoption.[173][174] The delivery of the first batch of 10 i-MiEV electric cars is scheduled for May 2011.[174]

Thailand

In December 2010, Mitsubishi Motors and the government of Thailand agreed to start fleet testing electric vehicles for a possible launch of i-MiEV.[175] In July 2011, a new agreement was signed to begin the trials with the participation of the Metropolitan Electricity Authority (MEA) and PEA ENCOM International (PEA), two of Thailand's electricity distribution companies.[176]

United Arab Emirates

A test fleet of 10 i-MiEVs was deployed in Masdar City in Abu Dhabi in 2011 as part of a one-year pilot to test a point-to-point transportation solution for the city as complement of its sustainable public transportation systems, the Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) and the Freight Rapid Transit (FRT), both of which consist of automated electric-powered vehicles.[177][178]

Global sales[edit]

As of July 2014, about 32,000 i-MiEV family passenger cars have been sold worldwide since 2009.[56] The following table presents total retail sales by year since deliveries of the i-MiEV began in July 2009 for the top selling national markets by variant (Mitsubishi i-MiEV/i, Peugeot iOn and Citroën C-Zero) through June 2014.

Mitsubishi i-MiEV family sales by top national markets
between 2009 and June 2014
Country/Region Total 2014
CYTD(1)
2013 2012 2011 2010 2009
 European Union[58][59][60][61][49][62] C-Zero 6,127 464 651 3,147 1,830 35  
i-On 5,774 269 455 3,091 1,926 33  
i-MiEV 5,583 341 901 1,636 2,608 97  
All variants 17,484 1,074 2,007 7,874 6,364 165  
 Japan[57][179] i-MiEV(1) 9,909 507 1,491 2,295 2,290 2,340 986
 United States[72] i 1,794 97 1,029 588 80    
 Canada[72] i-MiEV 441 54 168 196 23    
 Australia[78][81][82] i-MiEV 252 0(2) 15 95 30 112  
Total top markets 29,880 1,732 4,710 11,048 8,787 2,617 986
Notes: (1) CYTD: current year-to-date sales through June 2014. (2) No longer available in Australia due to low sales.[83]

Awards and recognition[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]