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Mitsubishi and TEPCO Testing Latest Version of i MiEV Electric Car

I_miev_switch_l
The current i MiEV.

Mitsubishi Motors Corp. and Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) have begun test-driving the latest version of the i MiEV electric car. Mitsubishi delivered its first prototype to TEPCO in March 2007. (Earlier post.) The two have been collaborating on the electric vehicle since 2005. (Earlier post.)

The latest prototype has a newly developed lithium-ion battery, a more efficient motor that is also 10% lighter, an inverter that is 30% smaller, and tires that rotate with less resistance.

The expected range on the new version is now 160 km (100 miles) with the 16 kWh battery pack—a 23% increase (30 km) over the first prototype. The earlier version required the use of a 20 kWh pack to achieve the 160km distance.

Total distance accumulated during the first phase of testing was about 4,500 km (2,796 miles)—sufficient, according to the partners for an initial check on the fast charging and the integrity and suitability of vehicle operations (range, power performance, ease of use, etc.)

Mitsubishi Motors has supplied 10 of these new models to Tepco. This phase of the testing will run through March 2009, during which Tepco will collect data for Mitsubishi’s evaluation, and evaluate charging and driving performance.

Comments

William

Another year of testing and this product may actually get
to market by 2010. The overall efficiency increases may
continue on through different configurations of battery and
motor synergy. Expecting a 16 KWH battery to top out at 100 mi. range,
is just this years threshold. Another few reconfigurations
of these systems will yeild a 20KWH battery and motor assembly
capable of going 200mi. Then you will see these as real transportation,
and not just some "future car".

John Taylor

ok so in a few years the technology will improve.

Thing is, this is good enough to make and sell.
So go for it.

The sooner we get a viable electric car to mass market, the sooner people will be keen to switch and the sooner we will begin to reduce the infestation of pollution-mobiles on our planet.

Karl-Uwe

March 2009 ?! When will this car be released? This is a great car!

Joseph


2010, just like the Phoenix SUV, 90 mpg Prius, the Volt, the hydraulic hybrid F150, Tesla motorcar......

Unless they decide to push them back again. Since they were all originally supposed to be here this year.

And how come Prius is not in my MS word spellcheck?

GreenPlease

A few suggestions:

1. Have the radiator mounted on the underside of the vehicle and have it be an extruded fin design (kinda like what they use on the underside of LN2 trucks). This should allow them to improve the aerodynamics slightly. No fan should be necessary as there is no "idle" as in a traditional ICE and thermal output is commensurate with load and therefore speed.
2. More aerodynamic wheels (solid exterior) with the rears being partially shrouded like in the Honda Insight.
3. Perhaps a rear spoiler and/or diffuser? I'm sure if this was viable, Mistubishi would've implemented it. They're not idiots.

sjc

I agree with the underside radiator. Making the nose completely smooth should help at higher speeds.

NIRMALKUMAR WALA

THE WHOLE WORLD IS WAITING FOR PRODUCTION TO START . DEVELOPMENT CAN TAKE PLACE ON THE WAY DAILY. WE HAVE TO START SAVING ON OIL AND REDUCE POLLUTION RIGHT FROM TODAY AND WE CANNOT WAIT WITH DAILY SHOW OF PROTOTYPES. LET THERE BE A NOBLE PRIZE FOR THE STARTER OF FIRST MASS SCALE ELECTRIC. TECHNICAL SNAGS OF MINOR NATURE CAN BE ELIMINATED AS WE INCRESE PRODUCTION. ESSENCE IS TIME . START TODAY EVEN WITH ONE CAR A DAY.

Cervus

I think this is one of the best-looking small vehicles I've seen, either in kei car or EV form. Give me a 150+ mile range and quick-charge nanobatteries, and we're set.

Alex

Mitsubishi: Halve the size of the battery pack and put in a 500cc engine and a generator, and a 50 litre fuel tank, and tell me how much and where I can get it.

(Anyone have an idea what KW you can get out of a 500cc engine?)

GreenPlease

500cc? You could probably get 20kw out of it. It depends on how you run the engine.

Tom Street

A 100 mile range would be more than adequate for 98% of my driving. If I really need a longer drive, I'll use my Prius.

Of course,this article says nothing about price, so I would only purchase this if they could bring it below $25,000.

This thing supposedly gets 6.25 miles per kwh. That's less than 1.5 cents per mile where I live. The co2 emissions for the U.S. average power plant is 612.34 grams per kwh. That's 97.9 grams per mile compared to a Prius of 210 grams per mile.

We have had a similar discussion before, so we would still need to know the grams per mile on a well to wheel basis to make a more realistic comparison.

sjc

Tom,

Good analysis. Those are the kind of numbers that help me understand EV and HEV CO2. Higher capacity and lower cost batteries would help, but it seems to me that they will cost a lot and I do not see the prices coming down dramatically anytime soon.

I could be wrong, but I think that range will be one of those issues that will not go away. If a family has one vehicle for all of their needs, it will have to have range. Maybe some people could buy a new EV for around town, but most need a car that will do everything that they need to do to justify the expense.

John Taylor

Sure, I'd prefer a cheaper price, and longer range but lets not ask the people at Mitsubishi to do a rethink, what they have is viable as is.

Now all we need is to see it in production, and get "pay-for plugs" installed in every major shopping plaza parking lot.

Improvements will come after the market is opened.

what2do

Yes I think 100 mile range is good for almost all of my driving needs along with most americans. People are going to have to start changing some of their driving habits or else get left behind. With oil perhaps at or nearing its peak production getting anything to the market now in mass production would be a great head start for any auto maker. Sure EV dont have a long term high profit margin but this is something the industry along with everyone else will just have to slowly adjust to. Plugin hybrds will be the transition cars for the near term perhaps over the next 10 to 15 years during that time EV's will continue to become more available and cheaper. I think hydrogen is good but not going to happen for another 50 years at best. The electric economy is the future of the world unless there are some big breakthroughs in hydrogen and ofcourse when hydrogen is ready for the market the electric economy will be here and there will be no need to change. I see oil still playing a role in air travel for sometime to come until hydrogen is commerically ready to use. Bio fuels are a waste of time for now until some breakthroughs happen, all we are doing now is making food more expensive. Anyways thats how I see things.

MarkMC

Agreed, it may not be perfect, but just get it out there ASAP and improvements will come afterwards. What we need is to show the population what current, even 15 year old, technology can do and the light bulb will light up and the rest will be unstoppable history.

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