Mitsubishi Getting Serious About Electrification, Will Launch 8 New Models in Next 5 Years

Transitioning Away from the Internal Combustion Engine
Mitsubishi, the maker of the lovely electric Jellybean (aka the i-MiEV electric car), has plans to introduce 8 hybrid (HEV), plug-in hybrid (PHEV), and battery-powered (BEV) models by 2015. They anticipate increased demand for “low-carbon” cars and want to position themselves as a major source of those. (Whether they will succeed is another question entirely, but they should at least get some points for trying to move away from the more polluting internal combustion engine.)

Mitsubishi already sells the MiEV, an electric variant of their popular “i” kei-car, in Japan as well as Hong Kong and the UK, and plans to roll out MiEV sales to nineteen European countries starting this year. Re-skinned variants of the MiEV will also be sold in European markets as the Peugeot iOn and the Citroen C-ZERO. The company displayed a plug-in hybrid crossover concept vehicle, called the PX-MiEV, at the Los Angeles Auto Show in 2009.

The U.S. version of the i-MiEV should hit the market late this year as a 2012 model, first in California, Oregon, Washington, and Hawaii. MSRP will be $29,995 before taxes and incentives.

The specs are: A compact 47 kW electric motor (133 lb-ft of torque) and a 330V, 16 kWh lithium-ion battery pack from Lithium Energy Japan (LEJ). LEJ is a joint venture of GS Yuasa Corporation, Mitsubishi Corporation (MC) and Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC). Top speed of the i MiEV is 130 kph (81 mph), with a range of up to 160 km (100 miles) in the Japanese 10-15 cycle driving conditions.

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