Mitsubishi Launches Cheaper i-MiEV In Japan -- UK To Follow?

Mitsubishi i-MiEV

Mitsubishi Motors has relaunched its i-MiEV EV in Japan with two versions and a slash in the price, making us wonder whether we’ll get the same in the UK soon.

The new i-MiEV entry level ‘M’ model comes with a price of 2.60 million Yen (£20,000 before taxes), down from 3.98 million Yen (£30,700), but with a range of 75 miles compared to 100 miles for the previous model.

Above it slots a ‘G’ model — the badges may not stay for the UK market — and can travel up to 110 miles on a full charge.  It is priced at 3.80 million Yen (£23,950 before taxes).  That’s a larger range and a lower price than the car these two models replace.

Mitsubishi says a halving in the cost of batteries over the past two years has enabled the price cut.  But competition has also hotted up, with Nissan’s Leaf — 2011 World Car of the Year — presenting particular problems for the tiny i-MiEV.

Smaller-capacity lithium-ion batteries for the i-MiEV ‘M’ will come from Toshiba, while the batteries made by its joint venture with GS Yuasa will be used for the ‘G’.

The company expects to sell 25,000 i-MiEVs this year, including the cars it badges as the Citroen C-Zero and Peugeot iOn  — it has so far produced 4,000 cars under the PSA Group joint venture.  The price of those cars could also be up for review.

Today, the i-MiEV is on sale in the UK for a price of £23,990 on the road, after the Government;s £5,000 incentive has been applied.  But the much larger Renault Fluence EV will be priced at £18,750 when sales start next year.  We can only what an i-MiEV ‘M’ equivalent might be priced at for the UK, but somewhere around £18,000 would seem fair.

Mitsubishi i-MiEV


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