|The components of the i MiEV powertrain. Click to enlarge.|
Mitsubishi Motors (MMC) has unveiled a new, single-motor research electric car based on its i minicar. The new Mitsubishi innovative Electric Vehicle (i MiEV) will be used for joint research programs with Japanese power companies beginning this year, and in fleet tests in 2007. Mitsubishi had earlier planned to begin selling electric cars in Japan in 2010. (Earlier post.)
The power companies will conduct field tests, gather data and evaluate the commercial viability of the vehicle. MMC will provide power companies with EVs and analyse field test data collected by them.
The label “MiEV” now encompasses all of MMC’s electric drive systems work, including lithium-ion batteries, in-wheel motors and other technologies related to EV, hybrid-electric vehicle and fuel-cell vehicles. The broader MiEV concept is based on MMC’s former concept Mitsubishi In-wheel motor Electric Vehicle (MIEV), referring to a lithium-ion battery/in-wheel motor-driven vehicle. MMC continues to develop its in-wheel motor technology.
Mitsubishi decided to priotiritze development of the single-motor configuration because it can be developed more quickly and at a lower cost than its in-wheel-motor configurations—and therefore accelerate market introduction.
|The i MiEV|
The new i-MiEV is powered by a compact 47 kW motor that develops 180 Nm (133 lb-ft) of torque and a 330V, 16 kWh or 20 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. Top speed is 130 kph (81 mph), with a range of up to 130 km (81 miles) for the 16 kWh pack or 160 km (99 miles) for the 20 kWh pack. The motor is coupled to a reduction gear and differential to drive both rear wheels.
Charge time (80% capacity) with a 15-amp/200-volt on-board charger is 5 hours and 7 hours for each of the packs. Use of a 15-amp/100-volt charger increases the time to 11 hours and 13 hours respectively. A 3-phase, 50kW/200V quick charger drops that to 20 minutes and 25 minutes respectively.
MMC will display i MiEV at the 22nd International Battery, Hybrid and Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle Symposium & Exposition (EVS-22) at Pacifico Yokohama in Yokohama 23 - 28 October 2006.
MMC will begin joint research with Tokyo Electric Power Company, and The Chugoku Electric Power Co. in November 2006 and with Kyushu Electric Power Co. in January 2007. MMC will provide each power company with i MiEVs. By testing i MiEV, the power companies will evaluate how the vehicle is applied to their business and how fast-charge infrastructure may be developed for EVs.
In the autumn of 2007, MMC will begin fleet testing in order to verify the vehicle’s technical capabilities in daily use and to evaluate the commercial acceptance in collaboration with the power companies above along with the Kansai Electric Power and Hokuriku Electric Power Company.