Today, Mitsubishi announced it has begun U.S. deliveries of the 2012 Mitsubishi i compact electric vehicle. With its name shortened from i-MiEV, and its body enlarged for American tastes, the Mitsubishi i is now beginning to land in dealerships. The i’s arrival on the market should reveal whether or not U.S. car buyers are ready for America’s cheapest EV.
The first delivery of i models for fleet use also took place recently, with representatives from Mitsubishi Motors North America on hand at a ceremony in San Francisco to present the first batch of fleet-bound EVs to California Bay Area-based non-profit organization City CarShare. Mitsubishi says numerous fleet orders have been placed for the i from various organizations, including international corporations, small and large municipalities, major utilities, and other nonprofits – from states such as New York and Hawaii.
The i recently topped the EPA’s list of most fuel-efficient cars, with its mpg-e rating of 126 city/99 highway. With an EPA-rated range of 62 miles though, the i is limited in how it can make use of that efficiency. As pricing for the i starts at $29,125, not including destination, Mitsubishi prides itself on offering America’s cheapest EV. Though that may not sound all that cheap, once a federal tax credit of $7500 is factored in, the price becomes a bit more palatable. Whether or not America is willing to deal with the trade-offs, remains to be seen.