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The Mercury Cars Guide : June 6th 2009
12— Mini micro already a big mover Mistubishi’s i-MIEV isabit pricier than other hybridmodelsbut the Japanese manufacturor insists it will beworth the extra pennies. NeilMcDonaldreports T HE price of going green is $43,000. That’s the cost of the new all-electric Mitsubishi i-MIEV in the Japanese domestic market, where it is about to go on sale. The i-MIEV will cost more than its bigger hybrid rivals from Toyota and Honda. But despite the micro- car’s high-entry price, Mit- subishi Australia spokes- person, Lenore Fletcher, be- lieves it will still be popular when it arrives here, possi- bly next year. Ms Fletcher does not be- lieve its price will be a barrier for acceptance. Local pricing is not yet confirmed but Ms Fletcher said judging by the reaction of 150 people at recent drive days around the country, the car will be a hit. ‘‘If we had 20 i-MIEVs tomorrow they would all be sold,’’ she says. ‘‘We’ve had people trying to give us firm orders for the car.’’ Participants were sur- prised by the power and refinement of the little hatch, she said. Ms Fletcher is confident prices will come down as these electric cars become more common and produc- tion ramps up to achieve economies of scale. POWERFUL: Test drivers are impressed with the refined i-MIEV. Mitsubishi Australia is buoyed by the fact that many fleets are interested in the car to sell a green message. The rear-drive i-MIEV de- velops 47kW, the same as the three-cylinder petrol- powered Mitsubishi ‘‘i’’ but delivers 180Nm from zero revs compared to the petrol car’s 94Nm. It also contributes 70 per cent less C02 emissions than a similarly sized hatchback. The car has been fully certified to Australia De- sign Rules and has compli- ance so Mitsubishi Austra- lia is just waiting for the nod from Japan. It has a range of about 160km from its lithium-ion battery pack. With about 85 per cent of commuters travelling less than 100km a day, Ms Fletcher said the i-MIEV is an ideal city car. Just 2000 i-MIEVs will be built in Japan this year but the car’s popularity has already prompted Mitsu- bishi to lift production. Next year it will build 5000 cars and by 2013 it hopes to build 30,000 a year. Mitsubishi, like many ALL-ELECTRIC: The i-MIEV’s is appealing to fleet buyers. leading carmakers pushing the electric button, faces a lack of supply of battery components for their ve- hicles. The new Toyota Prius goes on sale in July and is expected to cost slightly more than the Honda In- sight. Honda Australia is aim- ing for a sub-$30,000 price for the Insight and had originally hoped to have it on sale here this year. Mitsubishi, along with Nissan Australia, wants more government incen- tives to get people into electric cars. i-MIEVs tomorrow they would all be sold — we’ve had people trying to give us firm orders for the car ‘ ’ If we had 20 Classifieds 62 300 400 • carsguide.com.au Saturday, June 6, 2009
May 30th 2009
June 13th 2009