The Mitsubishi i MiEV, which stands for Mitsubishi innovative Electric Vehicle, was an electric five-door hatchback that went into production in 2009. It is an electric motor-driven version of the ""tall boy"" hatchback Mitsubishi i. The car was launched in Japan for fleet customers in 2009 and for other markets in 2010. The American version of the Mitsubishi i MiEV, sold only as the Mitsubishi i, is bigger than the Japanese version and also includes many other features. The retail and fleet deliveries of the car in the United States took off in December 2011. In late-2011, the 2012 Mitsubishi i MiEV was the most fuel-efficient vehicle certified by the EPA in the U.S.
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Mitsubishi i MiEV Origins
The Mitsubishi i MiEV shares its base with the Mitsubishi i Kei car sold in Japan and a few other Asian countries. The i MiEV was unveiled at the International Battery, Hybrid, and Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle Symposium & Exposition in Yokohama.
The company moved away from the Mitsubishi In-wheel motor Electric Vehicle (MIEV) technology and embraced the more conventional system that consisted of batteries, inverter, and motor pack to replace the rear mid-ship fuel tank and engine setting. Mitsubishi provided its vehicles to three power companies in 2006 and 2007 for joint research. Five power companies conducted fleet testing in 2007. The Mitsubishi i MiEV was calculated to run for 80 miles on a 16 kW-h lithium-ion battery pack and 100 miles on the 20 kW-h battery pack. The top speed of the Mitsubishi i MiEV was 80 mph and the company announced its plans to launch it in Europe under the Citroën and Peugeot brands. About the Mitsubishi i MiEV
The Mitsubishi i MiEV is considered to be one of the most revolutionary electric cars. This car, along with the Nissan Leaf, transformed the electric car market. While some argue that Tesla Motors set the benchmark with the Tesla Roadster, the fact is that the Mitsubishi i MiEV thrust electric vehicles (EV) into the limelight and made them a feasible option for both regular and fleet customers. Mitsubishi i MiEV Features
The production version of the Mitsubishi i MiEV is now available in the U.S. as the 2012 year model. This model shares the same powertrain as the 2009 Mitsubishi i MiEV sold in Japan. The car is powered by a single synchronous motor equipped with a single permanent magnet. This motor is located just above the rear axle and has a rated power output of 47 kW and a torque output of 180 Nm. The car comes with a standard 16 kW-h lithium-ion battery pack and a single speed-reduction gear transmission system.
The United States EPA rated the Mitsubishi i MiEV with an average fuel economy of 112 mpg (126/99 mpg city/highway). This is higher than the Nissan Leaf, which was rated an average of 99 mpg. However, the Leaf is said to have a better range since its battery pack is larger than that of the Mitsubishi.
The battery of the Mitsubishi i MiEV consists of 88 lithium-ion cells. These high-density cells are one of the heaviest elements of the powertrain and are therefore placed on the base floor to lower the center of gravity as far as possible. The cells are grouped into 22 cell modules that are collected in series at 330 V. Two four-cell modules are stacked vertically at the center and ten 8-cell modules stacked horizontally surround them. The batteries use SCiB battery technology, developed jointly by Mitsubishi and Toshiba, so that it can withstand more than twice the charge-discharge cycles of a typical lithium-ion battery. Moreover, the time taken to recharge the battery of the 2012 Mitsubishi i MiEV through a CHAdeMO electric connector is less than the time taken to charge it via the Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE).
The United States EPA declared the official range of the 2012 Mitsubishi i MiEV to be 62 miles. This range was calculated according to a five-cycle test that used different climate controls and driving conditions. The EPA rated the car’s range under the LA-4 driving cycle for city driving as 98 miles. Mitsubishi stated that the city range of the latest Mitsubishi i MiEV model was improved through a new regenerative braking system and some software upgrades.
The Mitsubishi i MiEV imported to the United States is larger than the Japanese version and also has different bumpers in the front and rear. The American version is 11.2 inches longer and 4.3 inches wider, and has a small difference in height as well.