This could now change the image of the electric car as the i-MiEV is the first proper performance four seater electric car from a major manufacturer. It will be available for leasing in the UK from the middle of 2009.
The i-MiEV can not only carry four adults but there is room for approximately 246 litres of luggage. The battery pack which makes the car heavier than its conventional petrol version sits under the floor and the electric motor occupies the space near the rear wheels. Recharging of the battery takes seven hours via a conventional plug or up to eighty percent in twenty minutes via a unit that Mitsubishi intends to lease with the car.
Mitsubishi says a hundred miles will cost 45p of electricity and zero road tax. The two hundred vehicles will be made available in 2009 at the price of £750 per month which is equivalent to £35,000 bought outright. Prices should come down as production increases but customers will probably be expected to pay at least £15-£20,000 by 2011.