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Mitsubishi Motors to Begin i MiEV Fleet Testing in US with Two California Utilities

The i MiEV will begin fleet testing in the US in the fourth quarter.

Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) has signed letters of intent with two California utilities—Southern California Edison (SCE) and Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E)— that will result in the electric i MiEV entering the fleet testing and vehicle evaluation programs run by each.

The i MiEV, which has been in test in Japan over the past two years with seven major utility companies, is powered by a compact 47 kW motor that develops 180 Nm (133 lb-ft) of torque and a 330V, 16 kWh lithium-ion battery pack from Lithium Energy Japan (LEJ). LEJ is a joint venture of GS Yuasa Corporation, Mitsubishi Corporation (MC) and Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC). Top speed of the i MiEV is 130 kph (81 mph), with a range of up to 160 km (100 miles) under Japanese 10-15 cycle driving conditions. (Earlier post.)

In the SCE testing, the utility hopes to help Mitsubishi Motors gauge how electric vehicles will most effectively connect to the smart grid of the future and the next generation Edison SmartConnect advanced meters. In addition, the collaboration may explore future requirements for vehicle communication and connection, helping enable new customer values associated with home energy management and control.

SCE’s EV Technical Center, unique in the utility industry, partners with automakers and battery manufacturers to conduct industry-leading prototype testing and evaluation on battery EV, plug-in hybrid EV and fuel cell EV vehicles.

PG&E will gauge the viability of utilizing all-electric vehicles in its operations and further understand the impact of charging electric vehicles on the electric grid. The testing will provide PG&E and Mitsubishi Motors with vehicle usage data, which will be used to publicly demonstrate and validate the benefits of dedicated electric vehicles within the California market.

MMC hopes testing to begin in the fourth quarter of this year. Mitsubishi has already moved up its planned introduction date to the market of the i MiEV, and has increased its production plans. (Earlier post.)



Hmmm, if the usable capacity of the battery is 16kWh then at 250Wh/mile, I'd expect a range of 64 miles.

You'll probably be lucky if its got a real world useful range of 60 miles.

The Japanese drive cycle is very timid and certainly wouldn't reflect my average drive to work.

Any idea what the list price might be on one of these if it were ever to make it to a main dealer?



16kwh pack is about $10k, small cars are usually about $12k, electric premium and low availability add another $10k for a total of $32k.

Unlimited range if you attach a small trailer with a 10Kw generator. If they offer this car in the US you will have riots in the dealerships from people trying to get one.. oh yes there will be a sticker on the window that says "additional dealer profit"


So..... about 60K. Oh and good luck finding a bank that will finance it.


I would be interested to know whether these battery electric vehicles are using upconverters. Since the Gen II Prius demonstrated the performance jump you can get enquiring minds.....

I'm thinking that 165v on the motor @ 2500 rpm and base speed of 16mph. At 32mph 330v would be reached with zero headroom, the upconverter would then be energised to gradually allow headroom towards a 660v rail voltage at 64mph. The last 16mph on to 80mph could be done at constant voltage with some sacrifice in torque. Then at cruise the upconverter could be shut down for continuous operation at 330v since the volts/Hz ratio (representing torque) can be much lower when the vehicle is no longer accelerating. Any one have comments ?


This exact form factor is probably more suited for Japan than the US. However, a PG&E hosted test fleet is certainly possible.


I think that this car should be tested in europe, and in small countries like Israel italy or denmark. it is too small for the avarage american taste , and the range is not suitable for states like california.

this car can show to the european and american car industries the way to go. forget bulky prius or Volt dreams. this is a car to be sold around 20us$, consume 100w per Km, and is the way EV should go.


I wouldnt drive a car with that small a front crumple zone.. real leg breaker that car.

Also while it has a 15 kwh pack its usable cap is likely 10-12 kwh. What gives it its range is a very weak motor a very small car and a very feble testing method. In real world your likely gona want to keep it under 40 miles and no way in hell are you gona survive a freeway speed crash... so avoid freeways.


20k$ ....


@ wintermane
if this thing performs at all like a fortwo in a crash, i think you'd be surprised at how well it might actually perform:
US crash standards i believe only require a 35mph crash into a solid wall to simulate a 60mph crash into a parked car, so this test is extreme.

Hey if you want to drive around in a Tank, you can be completely safe, but the costs for fuel will really hurt. Americans are blind to gas costs because they've had cheap fuel for 30 years. Safety will improve when most people drive smaller cars. yea for $10/gallon gas. It's coming and when it does, you'll be changing your tune!


"In the SCE testing, the utility hopes to help Mitsubishi Motors gauge how electric vehicles will most effectively connect to the smart grid of the future and the next generation Edison SmartConnect advanced meters."

Except that the political and technological power of big utilities is headed for collapse. These giant monopolies have controlled energy use for more than a century. Those days are rapidly fading. iMIEV or any EV car company does not need SCE or PG&E. Independent, low cost energy is coming to market in step with the first PHEVs.

IF the big utils want to retain even a portion of their ancient monopoly - they will become the service organizations for the new energy resources. They will accept mandates to remove their outdated centrally controlled distribution systems - and provide maintenance service and third party innovation for independent energy systems powering residences, municipalities and private sector. The dark days of monopolized energy are coming to a close.

Like an overlong, hideous, opera.

The Declaration of Global Energy Independence has been heard. Lead, follow or get outta the way.


AndyTK and Pinki:

As a point of comparison, we drive an ACPropultion eBox, which is bigger, heavier, and (god knows) less aerodynamic. Our energy consumption ranges from 181 to 298 Wh/mile, with an average around 240. I would anticipate that the iMiEV should use somewhat less, maybe with a low at 100 Wh/km (160 Wh/mile) and the high at about 250, but a realistic average would probably be near 200.

Using Lithium batteries, the usable range of SoC should be pretty much the whole 16, so a range of 80 miles does not seem at all unreasonable. Of course if you love your drag-racing between red lights, then range will suffer (though not as much as gas mileage would).

If the price is in the ballpark of 25-30k (which is my guess), then I agree with Herm that Mitzo won't be able to build them fast enough... literally... setting up entirely new battery supply chains will probably limit sales well before lack of demand does.


Use it as a city or second car.

At least it looks reasonable and is made by a proper car company.

As long as it does not cost too much (after rebates etc) it could go well for city and local use.

No good for the big summer road trip.

Rent or borrow an ICE for this.


$10 gas means 1.5 Billion people starve to death. Gas is only $4.00 and every continent has reported large starvation increases. Not just Africa but Central and South America, the Orient, even Europe.


@ Joseph
For the present, the average fuel economy of american vehicles is: 22.4 miles/US gallon, whilst the average fuel economy of UK vehicles
is: 38 miles/US gallon
People in USA should forget about gas guzzler vehicles.


Perfect city car for my family. Will probably cover 80-85% of my driving. Will keep the VW TDI station wagon for road trips. Can't wait!!!



I agree and the shift in the US from trucks to cars is already fully underway. If Toyota doubled production of the Prius it would still be sold out.

$10 gas in the US before a suitable replacement is available would cause problems only nightmares are made of.

Healthy Breaze

The iMiev sounds fine. There are several markets for it, and more and more people will be willing to trade range for low-cost operation, a squeaky clean conscience, and the cachet value of a distinctive save-the-Earth ride.

It's great that we are all so good at figuring out what the perfect green car would be, but most cars today are not the perfect anything. It's unreasonable to think that anything short of perfect is pointless. iMiEV is substantial incremental progress. If they ship it soon as is, it might be like the first Prius. A few years later, iMiEV 2.0 with next generation battery could be the Electric car to capture the public's fancy.

Henry Gibson

This car or any other electric car must not be allowed to be sold in the US or anywhere.

To stop, now and forever, any concern or talk about the limited range of electric vehicles, all electric motor driven cars must have a fuel powered engine-generator and fuel tank with automatic starting. The weight of such engines can be very small, but because of the ability to operate always at very high speeds, their average output can be very high for their weight.

According to figures published by CALCARS, TZERO, WrightSpeed and others, Two kilowatts or two and a half horse-power will allow a Prius or similar car to travel continuously at 30 miles an hour. The engine-generator, from a Honda electronic unit 1000is, could be beefed up to give this much power and a lot more.

A small diesel engine, the OPOC, gives 1 HP per pound. The diesel particle filters and catalysts and NOX elimination system can be electrically preheated and operated and only need to be operated over a narrow range of power. The engine could have two modes of operation, however, high efficiency or high power. The high efficiency mode is for very long distance travel; but the engine can be operated while the car is parked away from any electrical outlet, but this is not idling, since the engine is charging the battery.

In the 1970s, Philips was proposing a car that ran with a sterling engine. The zero emissions version had an insulated box with molten salt to provide the heat to the engine. A steam car with molten salt does not seem to have been proposed, but it could have higher starting torque at a lower cost than electric and would be very cheap to build in high quantities and would have a very long life. Natural gas could keep the salt hot at home and any fuel on the road.

The recent demonstrations of an electric powered man piloted airplane and the prior demonstrations of electric hang-gliding eliminate any doubt that electric transportation on the ground is possible for many people. Others would be financially better off with cheap used cars and expensive gasoline. But as mentioned, taste is what selects the purchase of most cars (and houses)...HG..


putting an ice in the car could be a problem for a lot of people.. the gas would go bad and foul the engine before it could be used, diesel would probably grow algae if it not treated.. SOME people would never have need of using all the range this car offers.

If you have to have a built-in extender how about a propane powered small ice?

I favor using a small trailer with a generator when needed, go to the dealership or UHAUL and rent one for the weekend. So the couple of times a year that you drive long distances it would come in handy.


a standard tank of propane used for BBQ holds about 4.5 gallons of liquified gas.. a small 10kw generator optimized for it should be able to get about 250 miles out of one tank.. they are safe and you can get them refilled everywhere. So just keep a place in the trunk that will hold a removable tank for your built-in, optional, ice extender.


Ya and have you seen the results of real fourtwo crashes? I can afford a few more dollars a month alot more then a life in a wheelchair. We drive sedans not heavy tanks just sedans. Very safe as they have good crumple zones.

wintermane, those large sedans you drive cripple other people and waste fuel. It's just pure selfishness to drive a big vehicle and claim that it's safer.


here's a Smart crash.

In certain crashes a Smart may not fare well, but than again, trees, walls and semi trucks are killers for larger vehicles. Mass x acceleration and all that.


Why use a trailer for the range extender? Why not a roof rack? Stick it in the trunk with a bungee cord to hold the lid down?

Rent a tractor truck to tow the stirling engine? (Only jesting Henry.)

Can't wait for those 10min charge batteries to be developed. Aww shucks.. the're already making them.

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