|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.