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2011 Mitsubishi i-MiEV Will Debut at the L.A. Auto Show

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On: Wed, Nov 10, 2010 at 10:34AM | By: Sherry Christiansen

2011 Mitsubishi i-MiEV Will Debut at the L.A. Auto Show

In order to satisfy the American consumer, Mitsubishi has redesigned the i-MiEV to incorporate a wider-body. Mitsubishi's electric vehicle has sold a few thousand units on the European market since it went on sale last month.  The wider version of the mini electric car is already being sold in Japan, but the refreshed version designed for the U.S. market will be longer in the front and rear.

Specifically, the US i-MiEV is 285mm longer, 110mm wider and 5mm taller than the Japanese model. The car also features a wider stance. Other updates for the US-spec i-MiEV include a much more aggressive front fascia, airbags that detect passengers’ seating position and control deployment force, a tire pressure monitoring system, and Active Stability Control. Mitsubishi sold 1,800 i-MiEVs around the world in 2010; most of those units were sold in Japan. The i-MiEV runs on lithium ion batteries.

The first i-MiEV to be launched in the U.S., will be unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show this month. The electric Mitsubishi will go on sale in the U.S. next year. The company plans to produce 18,000 models next year and 40,000 the following fiscal year in order to keep up with its top competitor, the Nissan LEAF.

The federal tax credits for electric cars is $7,500 with California residents being eligible to receive an additional $5,000 to help offset costs of the relatively higher priced electric vehicle.

In cost comparison; the i-MiEV is expected to be priced less than $30k retail price ($22,500 after tax incentives, $17,500 for those who live in California. The Nissan LEAF will have a purchase price in the low $20,000 range after tax incentives, and a bottom line price of around $18K for California residents.

The bigger i-MiEV wasn’t designed simply to appeal to the average American, but also to pass tougher U.S. government crash standards.

According to Mitsubishi Australia Head of Corporate Communications, Lenore Fletcher, “the wide-bodied i-MiEV is currently only for the American market with no plans for the model to head down under.”

Specs, including mileage per charge, for the new wider version of the electric i-MiEV will be revealed when the EV debuts at the LA auto show on November 17th- 18th when the press release is published.

According to the president of Mitsubishi motors, Osamu Masuko, the i-MiEV will be available in the United States in the fall of 2011.

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