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Mitsubishi to Show i MiEV Sport Air Concept at Geneva

Mitsubishi will show a sports car concept based on the i MiEV electric vehicle at the upcoming 79th Geneva International Motor Show (3-15 March, open to the public 5 March).

Sketch of the i MiEV Sport Air. Click to enlarge.

The i MiEV Sport Air Concept features a clear, removable top and signals the direction in which Mitsubishi may take with a sports EV in the future.

The EV concept places a greater bias on “exhilarating driving pleasure. Equipped with a beefed-up electric motor, the concept leverages the stable driving and handling and low center of gravity due to the in-floor Li-ion battery.


Alex Kovnat

Frankly, I wonder if all the developments in pure electric vehicles and PHEV's are just a clever way to get around the letter of the law requiring otherwise-impossible CAFE for purely engine driven vehicles.

Suppose that, considering losses at the power plant, losses in transformers and transmission lines, and less than 100% charging efficiency when electric power finally does get to the battery charger, the amount of CO2 is greater than what you would get from an engine-driven hybrid vehicle like a non-PHEV Prius (for example).

If that is so, then we must ask ourselves: Are we going through the trouble to implement EV's and PHEV's for logical, rational purposes (i.e. reducing overall CO2), are are we doing so purely to satisfy the emotional needs of neurotic intellectuals?

I think such issues are going to have to be faced sooner or later.


Even in the worst case scenario, when electricity comes solely from coal power stations and no other source, the CO2 emissions are about 800 g CO2 per kWh produced.

A car of Prius size can easily go 5 miles per kWh (the R1e and MiEV are actually rated at 6 miles per kWh).

Assuming 90% electricity distribution and charging efficiency, an EV would therefore emit ~176 g CO2 per mile, or 110 g/km. For comparison, a gasoline Prius manages 104 g/km (exhaust emissions only, not including refining etc).

However, even in the USA, coal only contributes 49% to the generating mix. The remainder is much less CO2 intensive (10% renewable, 19% nuclear, 20% natural gas).

Thus, in almost every electricity generating grid mix around the world, EV is lower polluting than gasoline, and will become progressively better still as renewables replace fossil fuels.


The numbers I have seen so far say that with current mix of power gen a plug in is in fact producing more co2 then a gas car. So the VITAL bit is if you realy WANT to have impact you must also switch your power over to green power at the same time.


Seems ideal for Japan domestic market and some metro areas in Europe.


Not realy all that good in japan. Its gotten so annoying to own a car in japan that alot of people have simply given it up.

Alot of places elsewhere have been ramping up parking fees like crazy and adding fesd and charges and blah blah blah to the point no one wants to go there anymore by car.


Wintermane, what numbers?

From EIA 1999 estimates of CO2:
"The national average output rate for coal-fired electricity generation was 2.095 pounds CO2 per kilowatthour in 1999 (Table 4)."

Roughly 951gm CO2 per kW-hr in 1999 (pure coal generation) output rate (meaning 1kW-hr at the home plug with transmission losses accounted for).

Given 125W-hr/km (200W-hr/mi) 118.9gm CO2/km for a Prius type vehicle on pure electricity. This would be worst case scenario BUT - the worst place in the US used 74% coal and 22% non-fossil. Without having to calculate the other fossil mix let's just say it was 78% coal and 22% non-fossil meaning that each kW-hr of electricity comes at the cost of 741.8gm/CO2 nocking a Prius type vehicle operating on pure electricity down to emissions of 92gm CO2/km. This beats the standard HEV Prius on daily use.

Now if someone else wants to add back in manufacturing CO2 differences: (+ larger battery, + larger electric motor, - fuel tank, - gasoline engine, - exhaust system, - effects over lifetime of evaporative emissions, - effects over lifetime of oil changes [and other maintenance items for the various filters and the like]). It seems to me on the surface the larger battery manufacturing CO2 intensity balances out the manufacturing AND lifetime emissions intensity of the gasoline engine system.)

Besides, who wouldn't love to do something about the US trade deficit?


I really hope the MiEV is good an is a success. What we need is one good affordable EV - the Tesla doesn;t count as it is too expensive.

The problem is that the energy density of batteries is so low that most designs are tiny and awful (like the Reva).

It just isn't easy to build cars that will sell (see Ford/GM) for examples, and it is harder still to build electric ones.

So I really hope Mitsubishi can pull it off.

Even if the range is limited, if it looks OK and is built properly and looks good, you probably have it.

For city use, range is not important.

They should give an ICE swap with it - that is, if you want to go a long way, you bring it to a swap station and they lend you a Mitsubishi ICE car for the long weekend (or whatever), and they figure out how to manage the insurance, tax etc for you, so it is painless and very inexpensive.

Perhaps they could rent your EV to green tourists to defray the cost.

That way, you have a 2 car PHEV solution, but you only have to own one of the cars.


Dont look at me Im a freaking conservative its not as if I keep track of co2 numbers;/ I just know we were told we had to change the gen mix alot before electric cars came out or we would make things worse and that was from both the electric companies and enviros.


As long as the numbers of EVS are low - medium, you can charge them at night and even out the daily electricity usage cycle.

You only have problems when you have so many EVs that the night usage goes above the daytime peak, and I would imagine that is a long way off.

Also, because EVs have (will have) large batteries, you will be able to buffer excess wind power much of the time, enabling even more EVs to be added to the grid.

If you still need more, add nukes.

(Well ... go back 15 years in time and start the planning process to add nukes).

Or get the direct ethanol fuel cells working - at the right price.


Aren’t we way past doubting that electric cars use less petroleum and emit less CO2?
But really, what’s so special about this car? Is it not just another electric concept car?
On the other issue we should not neglect the emotional needs of neurotic intellectuals, particularly those looking for affordable parking spaces in Japan.

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