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Latest Mitsubishi i Buzz Looks To Early 2012

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On: Fri, Jun 24, 2011 at 3:13PM | By: Chris Salamone

Latest Mitsubishi i Buzz Looks To Early 2012

Whether or not you love the new Mitsubishi i, or electric vehicles in general, it’s impossible to ignore the palpable hue of anticipation surrounding the latest and greatest in fuel saving technology. Not surprisingly though, the upcoming 2012 Mitsubishi i is fast becoming the poster child for EV practicality vs. greener tomorrow debates. That’s because this new Mitsubishi can travel only 85 miles on a single tank… err, charge. On the flip side, Mitsubishi’s MiEV technology ensures that all systems are operating as efficiently and economically as possibly. Mitsubishi estimates that the 100% electric i will cost the average driver $2.40 per 85 miles driven, while a hybrid vehicle rated at 50mpg costs about $6.80 to travel the same distance. Like it or hate it, those savings are hard to ignore.

In addition, Mitsubishi is not shy about noting two major cost saving points, aside from great fuel economy: tax credits and lower maintenance bills. First, the US government offers a $7,500 tax credit for purchasers of electric cars. And some states offer additional rebates that really sweeten the pot (e.g. Hawaii, which awards $4,500). In Hawaii, a brand new Mitsubishi i will cost a mere $16,000 compared to the standard MSRP of $27,990. Secondly, Mitsubishi contends that gas-powered cars have hundreds of parts which require maintenance that are simply not required on an EV—engine oil, transmission fluid, filters, fuel-injection components, spark plugs, muffler, exhaust, smog-control, transmission, and so on.

Partly because of Hawaii’s attractive tax rebate, and partly because residents of a small island are less likely to travel more than 85 miles, Mitsubishi intends to launch the i in Hawaii first. Estrella Seese, Acting Energy Program Administrator, Hawaii State Energy Office, recently stated: “We thank Mitsubishi Motors for choosing Hawaii as one of the first states to receive the new ‘i’ electric car. Electric vehicles use a fraction of the fuel needed by traditional cars, so each EV on the road means we’re reducing our dependence on imported oil and increasing our ability to reach Hawaii’s goal of 70 percent clean energy within a generation. That’s a goal to be proud of".

Like most newish EVs, the i can be charged in three different ways: using a standard 120V outlet (in 22.5 hrs), a 240V charging dock (in 6 hrs), or a public quick-charge port (80% in 30 mins.). While these numbers might dissuade some readers, people who live in highly urban or remote communities might actually find comfort here. 85 miles per charge really isn’t too bad when you consider that the Mitsubishi i will be the cheapest EV on the market, and perhaps one of the most environmentally friendly cars available to the public worldwide.

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