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.