Mitsubishi has officially joined the electric fray with the introduction of its 2010 Mitsubishi i-MiEV electric vehicle today, pricing the tiny car at 4,599,000 yen ($47,059) in Japan.
Mitsubishi wants to lease about 1400 i-MiEVs starting in July of this year, with sales to individuals scheduled to start in April 2010. According to Mitsubishi's press release, the company will start taking orders for the electric car this July.
The i-MiEV is a true electric car - meaning it runs completely on electricity, without ever using a gasoline motor or generator, like the upcoming Chevrolet Volt will. Mitsubishi claims the i-MiEV has a range of 160 kilometers (about 100 miles), though it includes a disclaimer that range will vary depending on weather conditions, road congestion and the driving patterns.
The i-MiEV's 330V, 16 kWh lithium-ion battery, which powers a 47 kW motor, can be recharged 3 ways: through 100-volt or 200-volt household outlets, or at a "quick-charge" station. Recharge times range from 14 hours for a 100-volt outlet to 30 minutes (for an 80 percent charge) at a quick-charge station.
The Mitsubishi i, the vehicle on which the i-MiEV is based, is 5-door hatchback. The i is a "kei car", a class of Japanese cars that receive special tax and insurance breaks because of their small physical size and engine displacement. The Mitsubishi i was introduced in 2006, and has been a sales hit for the Japanese automaker.
The full press release detailing the i-MiEV's Japanese specifications can be found at Mitsubishi's press site.