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Mitsubishi Motors to Begin Shipping i-MiEV to Australia in July; 2nd Market Outside Japan

2 June 2010

Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) will begin shipments of its i-MiEV electric vehicle (EV) to Australia starting from July. The sale of the i-MiEV in Australia marks the second market outside of Japan that the i-MiEV will be sold, after Hong Kong, which began sales in May of this year.

MMC, along with its Australian distributor Mitsubishi Motors Australia Limited (MMAL), has been conducting EV promotional activities aimed at electric power companies and other entities since February of this year with 2 i-MiEVs.

Forty i-MiEVs will be shipped starting from July. Plans are to sell the i-MiEVs via lease to customers from July.

The i-MiEV was first sold in Japan in July of 2009 mainly to corporations and municipalities, and in April of this year sales to individuals began.

June 2, 2010 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

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The i-MiEV has been a disappointment in the low volume and AER. But that's to be expected from a brand new product line and Mitsubishi is first to market with this model. We wish them good luck in the future.

The real reason Mitsubishi is slow to sell the i-MiEV outside of Japan is that it is a Kei car.

Also known as "keijidōsha" (Japanese for light motor vehicle), Kei is a Japanese classification of small vehicles which encompass a wide range of categories including Sports, Retro-styled, Convertibles, trucks, minivans, mini SUV and hatchback. All Kei Cars are manufactured to comply to government set regulations which dictate among other things, physical size and engine output;
Maximum Length - 3.3m
Maximum Width - 1.4m
Maximum Displacement - 660cc

Kei Cars are extremely popular in Japan because substantial insurance and tax savings are given by the government as an incentive to owning these cars, and not so popular outside of Japan where they don't have these incentives. Outside of Japan people may still buy Kei cars but only for the same reasons they might buy any other small car, like maneuverability and fuel efficiency. But that's only if you car get one: Canadian law requires Kei cars brought into the country to be at least 15 years old to avoid the regulations, you can't buy them new.

Due to their compact nature, Kei cars are a perfect fit for driving in the cities of Japan as they offer excellent maneuverability and handling. Also Kei cars are incredibly fuel efficient in both city and highway use even without the technical complication of hybrids. Typically 40-60 MPG is the norm.

They will have no problems selling forty in Australia. Government departments and corporate fleets looking for green marketing will pick them up in no time. Car share schemes are starting to take off here in inner city Melbourne. i-MIEV's would be ideal in apartment complexes where a car share system is set up. Easy to install charging, cheap to run and useful for short trips to shops, concerts etc.

The sprawling suburbs in US and Aus desperately need a reasonably priced EV or PHEV with a decent range. It will be interesting to see how the Volt sells in both countries. Unfortunately we are so dependent on coal-fired electricity in Australia that there may be minimal savings in pollution.

this car is perfect for european cities
dont know what are they witing for to sell
40 cars is very few they can sell thousands in europe
dont know why they dont produce more

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