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Mitsubishi unveils first mass-market electric car from a major car maker

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depakid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 01:14 AM
Original message
Mitsubishi unveils first mass-market electric car from a major car maker


Slightly bigger than the Smart ForTwo but with a similar design, the i-MiEV which goes on sale in the UK later this year is based on the i, Mitsubishi's existing city car. With room for four adults, it has a top speed of 87mph and produces the equivalent of 57 horsepower. Its lithium-ion battery has a range of 100 miles and can be charged from flat to 80% in 20 minutes using Mitsubishi's bespoke high-powered charger; otherwise, a normal mains electricity socket will charge the battery from flat to full in six hours. Mitsubishi estimates that the car can travel 10,000 miles on 45 of electricity at current UK domestic prices.

Jim Tyrrell, managing director of Mitsubishi, said: "The i-MiEV is a great example of Mitsubishi's ability to innovate and bring the latest technology to market. We have a city car to suit real-world users with its ease of use, great environmental credentials and very low running costs."

Around 200 cars will be available in the UK at first, with final costs yet to be determined. A Mitsubishi spokesperson the cars might not be sold outright, but be leased at a cost of around 750 a month. Kieren Puffett, editor of car website Parkers.co.uk who took the i-MiEV for a test drive today, said the car was ideal for urban areas. "Through the town, the car is particularly torquey, it can get away from traffic lights and across roundabouts really quite quickly. That's quite a nice benefit for town driving."

He added: "Because it's based on an existing city car, the characteristics are fairly familiar. If someone got in, I don't think they'd notice anything massively adrift."

<snip>

Tyrrell said that as car makers bring out their electric cars he and others were now waiting for a "clear strategic direction and financial support from central government" on ways to make electric cars more attractive to consumers. This could perhaps include giving local authorities clearer direction to start initiatives such as free parking or exemption from certain taxes for electric cars.

More: http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2009/jan/20/greent...
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 01:29 AM
Response to Original message
1. These are cars from the past come to rescue us from the oil "dinosaurs."
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Auggie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 01:37 AM
Response to Original message
2. 750... doesn't the equal $1040 a month?
Sounds like a great little car -- but that's some monthly lease payment.
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PVnRT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-22-09 09:05 AM
Response to Reply #2
23. I would guess that has to do with production
If it's like the EV1 was, it's likely mostly produced by hand instead of with robotics, which brings costs down. As demand goes up, it makes sense to invest the capital to retool plants to be more automated, and to expand production.

That sucks early on, but such is the disadvantage of a capitalist economy.
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silverojo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 02:51 AM
Response to Original message
3. Here's my question
Does it come standard with the jaws of life, so bystanders can rescue you from a fender-bender?

Something this small, I pray, is only experimental. Put it on the streets, and there will definitely be a rise in auto deaths.

They need to make electric vehicles of a practical size, which can be used by families SAFELY, before these vehicles will ever take off. :(
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GliderGuider Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 03:54 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. This is a fairly standard size for Europe and the UK
North Americans have a somewhat distorted idea of how big a car needs to be.
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Nihil Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 06:15 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. Well ...
... that's far politer than my reply was going to be so I'll
leave it at that.

:dilemma:
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kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 08:31 AM
Response to Reply #6
10. Yeah, me too...
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Javaman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 09:13 AM
Response to Reply #10
13. Dito. nt
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depakid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 06:36 AM
Response to Reply #4
7. One might also notice how narrow that lane is
Not atypical for the UK.
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Javaman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 09:13 AM
Response to Reply #7
12. nt
Edited on Wed Jan-21-09 09:13 AM by Javaman
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susanna Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 06:57 AM
Response to Reply #4
8. Something to ponder...
Europeans usually travel much shorter distances than your average North American, and when they do travel longer distances, have excellent rail transportation (compared to us). Ancedotal information here, but I'll throw it out: a German colleague of my husband's was here on business a few months back. We took him around our area to show him some local places. To us, the drive was short, but to him? He thought we went hundreds of miles (maybe we did, I have no idea). He said he partly understood our larger vehicles now; he would have been cramped up and tired after doing it in a smaller car.

Also, in particularly desolate and cold regions of North America, we should also carry more survival gear than your average European (salt, sand, jumper cables, blankets, food and water, toolkits). Smaller vehicles don't easily lend themselves to that use - especially if you want to carry people, too.

It's a pet theory of mine, and it really started when I realized I never took my very small B-car (VW) anywhere further than around my city neighborhood in southern Michigan. When I went on long trips, I took a sedan or van, sometimes renting one to do so.

I also noticed how easy it was to get around Europe when I was there; very different from our car-centric culture. The small cars were great for short hops, but rail made getting to larger cities quite simple.

So I think there are a few things to contemplate about vehicle needs before saying "one size fits all."
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Kolesar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 04:54 PM
Response to Reply #8
17. Under 2000 pounds is dangerous on snowy roads
During a continuous snowfall, it is dangerous to change lanes and try to plow through the snow-walls that form between the tires and between the lanes. People in Cleveland are smart drivers and they slow down to 50-ish when it is snowing, but even yet, I would be scared to drive the freeways in a car like the Mercedes little car or this Mitsubishi.
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susanna Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 09:12 PM
Response to Reply #17
19. Great point.
Edited on Wed Jan-21-09 09:15 PM by susanna
And quite true. My little B car of years past (93 VW Fox) could go through about eight inches of snow, but it was a manual tranny and had an amazing amount of low-end torque. It would pull through the piled snow like a little workhorse. Similar cars I have driven (and having been in the industry, I drove quite a few) don't necessarily have that kind of pull. The weight of the vehicle makes them much more unstable, as you point out.

Thanks for the response...I can add this bit to my theory. Living in Detroit you'd think I would have figured it out. :-)

on edit: doh, forgot a couple conjunctions
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One_Life_To_Give Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 07:09 AM
Response to Reply #3
9. Jaws is for SUV's etc
In my experience it's the larger vehicals that need a Hurst Tool. A Halligan bar in the hands of a trained rescuer is very effective at opening up a small Uni-body vehical. It's ironic that the perceived defence of big steel is frequently the impedimanet that prevents timely transport to Trauma centers.









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Javaman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 09:14 AM
Response to Reply #9
14. wow, you must be from the old school. :) I didn't think anyone still called it a hurst tool. nt
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One_Life_To_Give Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 09:58 AM
Response to Reply #14
15. Factory Trained 32A, O150
Also covered 30in & 60in Rams, & Omni.

And yes I am from the school of

"It Pumps Like HALE"

(Never had a Hale fail annual pump test.)
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tinrobot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 12:06 PM
Response to Reply #3
16. Instead of complaining about this car being too small...
...complain about other cars being too large.

If everyone drove smaller cars, this wouldn't be an issue.
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madokie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 04:17 AM
Response to Original message
5. It would work for us
a hundred miles and 6 hrs to charge is getting there. I want one.
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kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 08:34 AM
Response to Reply #5
11. Same here. I'm in a rural community and 80+% of our driving would be EV
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Auggie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 06:03 PM
Response to Original message
18. I think it's a great second (or first, depending where you live) car.
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guardian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 09:30 PM
Response to Original message
20. Looks like an
Edited on Wed Jan-21-09 09:30 PM by guardian
AMC Pacer mated with a snail.
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kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 11:01 PM
Response to Reply #20
21. Just the thing for slug like you to slime around on...
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Nihil Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-22-09 05:57 AM
Response to Reply #21
22. Ouch.
Bet that left a mark ... :evilgrin:

FWIW, although I wouldn't lease *any* car at 750pm, I'd be interested
to see what it's like when it becomes available to buy ... if the size
(inside - especially for back seat passengers) and price are OK, it would
make an ideal car for most of the week and we could keep the Prius for
longer journeys!
:thumbsup:
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