2012 Mitsubishi i MiEV Undercuts Leaf Pricing, Goes "Normal"

By Matthew Askari | October 10, 2011
A world without gasoline emissions, the weekly ritual at the pump, and a dependence on an exhaustible commodity: This is the promise of the electric vehicle. The mission statement has been clear for some time, but murkier is what shape the electric vehicle marketplace would take. Would automakers be able to deliver a financially accessible EV for the masses? Would this car be practical? Desirable? Mitsubishi believes it has an innovative contender in the i MiEV—so innovative they named it so: Mitsubishi Innovative Electric Vehicle—and through November it's playing show and tell. The 2012 Mitsubishi i MiEV, which has been in the international marketplace since 2009, is the Japanese automaker's Nissan Leaf fighter. The Leaf has garnered much acclaim and attention, in large part because it's accessibly priced, and perhaps equally important, not embarrassingly ugly. Both boast similar ranges, but entry into a Mitsubishi EV will save you a few thousand dollars, $29,000 starting versus $36,000 for Nissan's offering. Where the Leaf is attractive and modern, the i MiEV is playful and egg-shaped. To promote its electrical egg, Mitsubishi is simulating what it believes will one day be normal, by taking over Normal. Normal is a rural city in Illinois known for growing soy and corn. More importantly, it offers a down-in-the-heartland patriotic association for the i MiEV, and is the site of the automaker's "EVTown" campaign. Mitsubishi is flooding the area with "up to 1,000 i MiEV cars for the region," and installing 30 quick charging stations to simulate what an electrically charged future could look like. The company is also kicking off the "Mitsubishi i 100% Electric Experience" Tour, with stops along the West Coast from San Diego to Seattle. More information is available on the tour website.
Source: Mitsubishi
Joel A
Joel A

Isn't Normal the location of Mitsu's lone manufacturing plant?