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Home » News » “i MiEV” Mitsubishi Innovative Electric Vehicle

“i MiEV” Mitsubishi Innovative Electric Vehicle

“i MiEV” Mitsubishi Innovative Electric Vehicle

October 16, 2010

By Mary Pechar

Photo:   Phil Oberkrom of Lee's Summit Mitsubishi
Tribune Photo / Linda Ahern

This past week, Lee’s Summit had the chance to check out the new zero-emissions vehicle “i MiEV” being developed by Mitsubishi Motors.  This car replaces the conventional engine, transmission and fuel tank with a lithium-ion battery system, motor, inverter and other EV components. Linda Ahern, LS Tribune Publisher, took advantage of the opportunity and Phil Oberkrom of LS Mitsubishi was happy to give her a test ride and show off the futures. 

Mitsubishi has been developing the “i MiEV” for several years and it has been available in Japan for about a year and a half.  They are currently producing the European model and the US version is scheduled to be available next year.  The US version will be two to three inches wider and have some equipment upgrades and meet all collision standards.

Phil is excited by the “i MiEV” even more so having had the opportunity to experience it first hand.  He explained that early reactions of analysts within the industry, Car & Driver, Motor Trend, etc., were “what for?”, “why?”, but after experiencing the “i MiEV” they have been shocked and amazed.  Ahern shared some of that same reaction, “I couldn’t get over how smooth the ride was and totally quiet.  You didn’t even realize the car was on until we began moving.  The acceleration was really impressive.”

The car is surprisingly roomy and can easily hold four 6’4’’ men.  This rear wheel drive vehicle features traction control, however the US version will have active stability control.  The battery module is made up of four cells and 22 modules which combine to make one battery pack.  Fleet tests conducted in Japan during 2008 produced up to 100 miles per charge.  The highly efficient motor is smaller than a gasoline engine but yet produces high torque at low revolutions.
The long wheelbase provides space for the batteries under the floor giving the vehicle a low center of gravity providing an extremely stable driving dynamic. 

The “I MiEV” can be charged with household chargers running at either 110 volts or 220 volts.  There is also a 440 volt option being developed by power companies. The battery pack will reach full charge in six (200V) to 12 hours (100V).  The 440 volt charger will bring the batteries to 80% of capacity in just 20 minutes.  As electric cars become more common, quick charging stations are expected.

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