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Mitsubishi Motors offering i-MiEV in two trim levels: more affordable and more capable

The new i-MiEV M. Click to enlarge.

Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) will offer the i-MiEV electric vehicle in two trim levels in Japan. The more affordable entry-level “M” will be available at the price of ¥1,880,000 (US$23,200) after receipt of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry’s eco-car subsidy. The M model will go on sale 25 July.

The more capable “G” will offer more comprehensive equipment, extended cruising range per charge, and the MiEV Remote System that allows the owner to set the time for battery charging to start and finish and to pre-activate the climate control system before entering the car. The G model goes on sale in the middle of August, carrying a price tag ranging from ¥2,600,000 to ¥3,800,000 (US$32,100–47,000) consumption tax inclusive.

MMC has sold around 4,000 i-MiEV units in Japan after two years (deliveries to governmental and local authorities began in July 2009) and has exported more than 10,000 units including those supplied to PSA Peugeot Citroën.

In addition to the choice of trim levels, basic vehicle performance and the equipment specification have been upgraded. The cruising range per charge has been extended by linking brake pedal usage to the regenerative braking system while Active Stability Control (ASC) is now fitted as standard. The MiEV Remote System factory-fitted option gives the owner the convenience of using late-night and other off-peak electricity to charge the battery.

The company currently offers, as a dealer-fitted option, the AC Power Supply EZ adaptor that allows i-MiEV’s batteries to be used to power domestic electrical appliances up to a rating of 100W. And the company is aiming to bring to market during fiscal 2011 an adaptor that will enable i-MiEV’s batteries to power domestic appliances up to a total rating of 1500W.

Entry-level M. The newly offered M trim level is targeted as an entry-level model for a wide spectrum of drivers including minicar owners. The use of a 10.5 kWh drive battery and the careful tailoring of the equipment and trim specification have made it possible to offer M at a much more accessible price. MMC says that the M model delivers ample performance for everyday minicar use, such as local shopping and running children to school and back. JC08-cycle range per charge is 120 km (75 miles).

Higher-level G. Inheriting the original i-MiEV’s specification, the G is offered as a higher capable trim level and targets customers with a keen interest in environmental issues and in advanced technologies. Product content has been significantly raised with the use of LED headlamps and rear combination lamps, 15-inch alloy road wheels, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter knob and other high-grade equipment. G also features a navigation system and heated seats (driver and front passenger) as standard and offers all this at a price lower than that of the original i-MiEV.

Using the same 16.0 kWh battery as the original i-MiEV, G now realizes around a 20% increase in its single charge range on the J08-cycle, offering 180 km (112 miles). Together with the expansion of charging facilities at expressway service stations and rest areas, this gives it practical day-trip capability in japan, MMC says.

Comparison of i-MiEV trim levels
Vehicle weight 1070 kg 1110 kg
Performance (MLITT figures) AC consumption (JC08) 110 Wh/km
Range/charge (JC08) 120 km 180 km
Motor Type Permanent magnet synchronous
Model Y4F1
Max output 30 kW @ 2000~6000 rpm 47 kW @ 3000~6000 rpm
Max torque 180 N·m @ 0~1000 rpm 180 N·m @ 0~2000 rpm
Traction battery Type Li-ion
Rated voltage 270 V 330 V
Rated capacity 10.5 kWh 16.0 kWh
Charging time AC 200V (15 A) Approx. 4.5h (full) Approx. 7h (full)
AC 100 V (10 A) Approx. 14h (full) Approx. 21h (full)
Quick charge Approx. 15m (80%) Approx 30m (80%)

Improvements to the MiEV OS (MiEV Operating System) integrated vehicle management system mean that both trim levels now employ a more effective regenerative braking system which increases the energy recovery bias when the driver operates the brake pedal. This results in more deceleration energy being recovered and increases the single charge cruising range by about 20%.

Both trim levels are fitted as standard with Active Stability Control (ASC). This system promotes more stable driving by helping to prevent changes in vehicle attitude and loss of traction caused by slippery road surfaces or sudden steering inputs.

For regular battery charging, both trim levels are fitted as standard with a special AC 200V cable (15A) which now features a control box that allows the charge status to be monitored. (This cable connects to an exterior socket made by Panasonic Electric Works Co., Ltd. and specially designed for EV charging use.) An AC 100V cable (10Amp) is available as a factory-fitted option.



About 52% more battery power and 50% more e-range with a total weight increase of only 40 Kg or 3.7%. This not bad at all.

Doubling the original battery power could give the i-MIEV 240+ Km e-range with a total wight increase of only 7.5% or about 80 Kg. Improved batteries could do better.

Will this be the next upgrade?


i-MIEV 240+ Km e-range

I am not sure anyone would want to ride 5 hours on the highway non stop in this thing. The range is fine if people charge at night at home and the employer has chargers. It still is a small car and maybe more suited for urban use.


Is the M Nickle and the G Lithium? Is that the reason for the big difference in price/power and the little difference in weight?

I'm glad they are doing this. There needs to be a mini car that costs less because it takes so little energy/battery to move a kilometer. It comes in below the Nissan Leaf and creates downward price pressure on the whole market.


I fully agree with HB. The majority do not need 3-ton 15 mpg monsters or trucks to drive to work and/or go shopping. Common sense will eventually prevail, even in USA.


Closer and closer.
EVs are comming.

EVs await better batteries still.


Is the M Nickle and the G Lithium? Is that the reason for the big difference in price/power and the little difference in weight?

"In June 2011 Mitsubishi announced the introduction of lithium titanate oxide SCiB battery technology for its two new models of electric vehicles, the i-MiEV and Minicab MiEV. The SCiB technology was developed by Toshiba, which stated that its SCiB batteries can withstand 2.5 times more charge/discharge cycles than a typical lithium-ion battery. In addition, recharging via CHAdeMO takes about half as long as it takes using a typical li-ion battery, allowing the SCiB battery to reach 80% capacity in 15 minutes, 50% in 10 minutes and 25% in 5 minutes. In terms of performance, the SCiB battery offers a higher effective capacity than a typical lithium-ion battery, which combined with more efficient regenerative charging during braking or coasting downhill, allows the SCiB battery to deliver 1.7 times the driving range per charge of a typical lithium-ion battery of the same size."


This results in more deceleration energy being recovered and increases the single charge cruising range by about 20%.
Hmm this could be the whole gain from regen, not the improvement itself, right?


We don't need large SUVs for shopping, but they have a role, albeit in limited situations for proper off road requirements for forestry and agriculture work and in countries where sealed / level roads don't exist. Of course people with the usual anti-SUV rhetoric forget this. Hence efforts to price or regulate out SUVs discriminate against the few who do actually need them. For the record, I wouldn't go near an SUV because they are very expensive and thirsty and impracticable. They are not very big inside (as much of their bulk are wheels and bonnet) bad to park and poor for handling. But then I suppose people in the US have got used to cars that are like supertankers to drive. Even if fuel prices dropped dramatically, I'd be happy to hang on to my car, because i'd just spend my saved money elsewhere.

Unfortunately small EVs have their limitations. I don't fancy having to take a long road-trip in one, having to stop every 90 miles or so to recharge. Given that we have to queue at petrol stations, even for a 3-minute fill up, I can imagine people having to wait a good hour or so to get anywhere near a charge point on the highway, assuming of course there is some take up of the technology. And of course limited charge points against possible high demand will translate into high charging prices, just for the service. Visit any motorway service area in the UK and you'll realise the horrific mark-up on items such as fuel - almost $1 per gallon in some cases, just for being conveniently on the motorway. So, this will be fine for the few who hop around town. Although for many there are good alternatives such as buses, trains, bikes and shoe leather and care is needed to make sure that EVs don't compete and undermine the viability of public transport in cities because of their percieved cheaper running costs. But lets also remember that public transport etc, however good it is will never provide accessibility for everyone, so EVs will be valuable to people who do need to make a cross town trip which would be difficult by other means - again there needs to be care not to dicriminate.

For the longer inter-urban journeys, especially roadtrips that involve carrying a lot of luggage for holidays (e.g. camping trips) and for those trips where getting a train would too impracticable or inconvenient, this is where the more conventional car comes into its own. Lets not forget there's other liquid fuel technologies coming forward. So it will be a very long time before the ICE loses its role and value, and they will become cleaner and more efficient as time goes on, as they are beginning to already. So again care is needed not to discriminate against people, perhaps the majority in this case, who think of these trips as a key driver behind their buying decisions.

In essence, whilst EVs have a role, they are not yet a panacea for replacing the whole vehicle fleet. Other types of vehicles and modes of transport have their roles. It's therefore foolish to discriminate and also wasteful in terms of throwing subsidies, and using valuable resources at replacing cars that have a good few years left in them or trying to cover areas with buses that will run near-empty (which would be worse for efficiency than cars). Careful thinking is needed then about policies for transport and car technologies. We'll wait and see.


The ranges are based on the hugely optimistic Japanese cycle.
For the lower spec version 40 miles may be more like it.
Pretty useless, IMO.


" 'This results in more deceleration energy being recovered and increases the single charge cruising range by about 20%.'
Hmm this could be the whole gain from regen, not the improvement itself, right?" said yarross

I agree; This is probably empty PR - or they system was really poor before.


Scott...I used an old very light Citroen 2-hp on very rough dirt roads in Africa and I often drove where Jeeps failed. Light weight AWD BEVs could become the best off-road and/or dirt road vehicles.


"Common sense will eventually prevail, even in USA." As it did for Thomas Paine.


Thomas Paine (Pain) wrote a pro-revolution pamphlet called Plain Truth latter renamed Common Sense. TP may have been more of a revolutionary than an administrator. He actively participated into the American and French Revolutions.


Two interesting things I read on this elsewhere.

First "Mitsubishi will buy the smaller-capacity lithium-ion batteries for the i-MiEV's 'M' grade from Toshiba and continue using batteries made by its joint venture with Mitsubishi Corp and GS Yuasa Corp for the 'G'."

Second, Mitsubishi's President is quoted as saying the cost of the batteries for the iMIEV has halved in only two years and cell prices are set to continue in that direction.


Clett...I like your second news. Another 2 years like that and batteries may become affordable. Hope that performance may follow a similar but reversed curve.


The ranges are based on the hugely optimistic Japanese cycle.
For the lower spec version 40 miles may be more like it.
Pretty useless, IMO.

If you'll remember our exchange in the previous post about the i-MiEV using SCiB batteries, this was kind of my point. Their energy density is so low that they can't not provide the range that the Yuasua's do, making them less attractive for many.

That said, the smaller battery fits my particular driving profile better and I would definitely buy it over the longer range one because of the price difference.


This seems to be the first BEV with optional battery size. Modular(4 to 6 Kwh modules) batteries would allow multiple options to suit buyers requirements and pocket book.


Modular battery packs make sense. There was one other that was going to offer two models, it may have been Tesla. They would start by selling the full model and a year later offer one with fewer batteries.


"Pricing has been announced at US$57,400 for the base-level model with a 160 mi (260 km) range, US$67,400 for an intermediate model with a 230 mi (370 km) range, and US$77,400 for a high-end “Signature Series” model with a 300 mi (480 km) range"


The interesting thing about the smaller Scib pack is that it will last decades, and the motor in the car wont wear out either.. it may be passed down to the grandkids in some families.

40 miles range and widespread chargers in parking lots will make it a very practical everyday city car... and the kids wont have much room to neck in it :)

I say bring the cheap iMiev to the US also..

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