Mitsubishi’s Electric Car Will Be Released in 2009 for $37,500

by Benjamin Jones on July 13, 2008

Mitsubishi iMiev

It seems our favorite media darling, the Chevy Volt, will have  bit of competition when it comes time for it’s eventual release in 2010. Though we’re not sure if it will make it to the US (like the Smart Car EV), we do know that Mitsubishi’s iMiev will make it to market a year earlier than the Volt and be priced lower.

The iMiev, which we start hearing about earlier in the year, has already been slated by Mitsubishi for commercial sale in Japan in 2009, a full year before the Volt is intended to hit US shores. There are also unconfirmed rumors that the iMiev may also make it to the US after a run of a few years in Japan. However, what’s really interesting about the iMiev right now is that Mitsubishi has just released a price figure of what $37,496 US, which is about $2,500less than we often hear talked about as the price point for the Chevy Volt.

Despite the similarities in pricing and release date, the two cars are very different beasts. The iMiev is based on a current Kei-car produced by Mitsubishi for Japan, and has a 47kW electric motor powered by a 330-volt lithium ion battery pack. The car will have a top speed of 80 mph and an all electric range of about 100 miles. Charging will take place via a normal power outlet and should take about 14 hours to completely charge the battery, though there is all a 220V charge option, which only takes 7 hours.

On the other hand, the Volt will feature a sportier 120kW motor and 100+ mph top speed, but will only have an electric range of 20 or 40 miles (depending on the speculation and model selection), after which is will switch over to your standard dinosaur burning engine like in most cars these days. Chevy claims that most people never drive over 40 miles in a day, but I’m sure these Volts will be burning enough fossil fuels that calling them “electric cars” will leave a bitter taste in some peoples’ mouths. I think series hybrid or plug-in hybrid is much more appropriate.

While you’re getting hyped up for the iMiev, check out this test drive video from Popular Mechanics:


If you liked this post, sign up for out RSS Feed for automatic updates.

Popularity: 10% [?]


1 mikey July 13, 2008 at 2:37 pm

heh.. dinosaur burning engine

2 Devo InWisco July 13, 2008 at 2:38 pm

And where do you think the energy comes from to charge the battery.

14 hours of power from a coal burning power plant.

Nice trade off…you people are hilarous!!!

3 Benjamin Jones July 13, 2008 at 2:45 pm

Devo InWisco –

Do some research about issues regarding emissions before attempting to disparage them:

The average grid mix, even coal, when used as power for EVs releases less pollution than cars running around with little ICEs.

4 RT July 13, 2008 at 4:28 pm

The Volt won’t run on gas power. The little internal combustion engine is on board to recharge the batteries as they power the drivetrain, a nifty feat if accomplished.

5 AndyChuck July 13, 2008 at 4:33 pm

“I think series hybrid or plug-in hybrid is much more appropriate.”

huh? The Volt is a series hybrid.

6 Benjamin Jones July 13, 2008 at 4:35 pm

AndyChuck –

I know it’s a series hybrid, but Chevy likes to call it a “range extended electric vehicle” and parade it around as something it’s not, in my opinion.

7 Mrs. Gatsby July 13, 2008 at 5:40 pm

an A for effort, but naaah i don’t think anyone will buy it. too much good stuff coming out in 2010. for this much money you might as well buy a tesla.

8 niles July 13, 2008 at 6:00 pm

too much money.

9 Dave July 17, 2008 at 4:25 am

I’m so happy to finally see the big names producing EV cars for the mass market!

BUT… why the heck does it have to cost so much?

I mean really Mitsubishi, (and all the other manufacturers), are you trying to kill the success of EV’s by selling them so expensively?!

Think about it. It’s based on the body style they already mass produce. They merely add an electric motor and controllers and I’ll admit the Li Ion batteries are expensive.

But the price difference between the gas version of this car is like $30,000 dollars! Whaaaa…?

Replacement batteries only cost like $3000-$5000.

So it seems to me like they’re intentionally jacking up the sell price to ensure they don’t take over the market like they should.

I know I’d buy an EV in a second if they were $15,000 or so. E.g. just a few thousand more than the gas version of the same car.

I’m willing to pay a small premium for ditching the internal combustion engine. But come on! $30,000 more?! This looks intentionally expensive to ensure lackluster sales. ..

And I’m guessing the other big manufactures have silent agreements to do likewise. Big oil has influenced them into ensuring continued dependence on gas for as long as possible it seems. Just my opinion, but it looks rediculous that we’re still driving 100 year old technology that hasn’t improved in efficiency in the last 30 odd years or so. Seems to me to be almost by design…

Big manufacturers, I want my EV and I want it at an honest price.

I’m sure they’ll cite startup costs of the new technology for early adopters, etc. But they’ve had 100 years. It’s all excuses.

Stop playing around with us dependent masses and finally do something right for the globe by not killing the launch of these with ridiculous prices.

Not so patiently waiting.

10 troy wiggins July 20, 2008 at 12:45 pm

i couldn’t agree with you more! excellant commentary

11 EllsworthToohey July 21, 2008 at 3:37 pm


I find it interesting that you are coming up with replacement costs for the packs when the cars haven’t even been released yet.

Are you just quoting the replacement price for a hybrid like a Prius?? Do you think the Prius could drive 100 miles on that pack??

I’m willing to bet it could drive MAYBE 5 miles. Probably more like 2.

The automakers are charging honest prices. I’m willing to bet those Li-on packs are costing upwards of $25,000.

If you want a good comparo, look at how much it costs to replace your laptop battery. Now multiply that by at least 300.


12 The Enemy August 14, 2008 at 4:54 am

“Chevy claims that most people never drive over 40 miles in a day, but I’m sure these Volts will be burning enough fossil fuels that calling them “electric cars” will leave a bitter taste in some peoples’ mouths. I think series hybrid or plug-in hybrid is much more appropriate.”

Whatever you want to call it, it’s still an electric vehicle. You may not like its secondary source or method of electrical generation, but your disapproval doesn’t magically un-make it an electric vehicle.

The lengthy charge times are one of the biggest drawbacks of an electric vehicle. They make fine commuter vehicles, but they’re not so great for distance driving. A car that gives people the flexibility to commute on electric during the week and get away on the weekends is far more likely to get more people driving more miles on electric-only than trying to foist limited-application plug-in-only vehicles onto the public. Let’s not make perfect the enemy of good.

13 Ed October 16, 2008 at 9:29 am

I agree that this is prohibitively expensive. Battery technology right now makes EV’s most viable for people who relatively short commutes. If you only have to drive 10 miles to work each day, $40k seems a bit expensive to me.

I built my EV for $5k. It get’s me back and forth to work and costs me about 75% less to operate than my gasoline Jetta did.

14 Nathan October 23, 2008 at 2:09 pm

You wanna check out my idea of perfect, when and if they work out the bugs. XP vehicles…. Now there is a great concept, and a workable easy to use solution. Or TATA motors Air vehicle. Those are faster, require far less tech and could be made so aforadable that I’d buy one for my son in a heart beat.

15 alf June 11, 2009 at 2:56 am

it’s all about the batteries, if the firefly batteries ever come on the market conversions would be affordable and perform well

16 theDude July 6, 2009 at 11:29 am

I want to add to the benefits of an ALL-electric vehicle. That are a LOT less things to worry about maintainence-wise. You never need to worry abou the engine overheating from not enough oil or water. You never need to worry about a belt breaking, rendering the car undrivable. You never need to worry about a transmission that stops working, changing transmission oil. You never need to worry about an oil pump that stops working, or a water pump that stops working. You never need to worry about oils leaks.

Only things to worry about, tires and brakes, and then of course, calculating how much you drive.

17 alf July 7, 2009 at 4:23 pm

If the firefly batteries ever come on the market i will convert my old vw, you need them to get a decent storage

Comments on this entry are closed.

{ 15 trackbacks }