Mitsubishi took the occasion of the New York auto show to announce that U.S. pricing for its i-MiEV electric pod will start at $27,990; the $7500 federal tax credit for electric vehicles drops the price to $20,490. (Destination charges for the vehicle are still up in the air; it isn’t included in these numbers.) In states and municipalities that offer further tax breaks, buyers could pay even less. For another two grand, Mitsubishi will toss in an eight-speaker sound system, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, a two-tone interior, 15-inch wheels, and fog lamps. Really spendy EV customers can throw another $2,790 into Mitsubishi’s kitty and get a navigation system, a rearview camera, Bluetooth, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls, and a quick-charge port for 30-minute, 80-percent fill-ups.
Will we get the gas-powered version of the bubble-shaped four-door (called simply the i) sold in other markets? It would certainly have to cost even less, but Mitsu says it wouldn’t be able to sell the car here profitably if the electric version is already so cheap, especially with the current state of the yen/dollar relationship. As such, Mitsubishi told us that it isn’t prepared to make any sort of announcement regarding the sale of the regular i here.
Indeed, Mitsubishi already had to price the i-MiEV below the Leaf and Volt—and even many a Prius—to have any chance of grabbing some alt-vehicle spotlight, critical for the company while it pivots from a mainstream automaker to a purveyor of small cars and alternative-fuel vehicles. We’ll see if the market has any patience left for the perennially struggling carmaker by the time the i-MiEV is in showrooms for demo rides in November. Deliveries start early next year.Tags: Electric Vehicle, EV, Mitsibishi, Mitsubishi i-MiEV |