Mitsubishi is making their electric city car – the Mitsubishi i-Miev – quite a bit bigger to cater for the US market.
It’s a big enough problem getting the UK and Europe to buy in to the idea of a very small city car, much less one powered by an electric motor with all the power of a glorified washing machine (exaggerates for effect). It’s even more difficult when your first stab at pricing comes out at nearly £40k.
From that shaky start Mitsubishi has gone on the offensive with their electric city car – the Mitsubishi i-Miev. The list price of £38,699 was announced in March to gasps of horror. Who would buy it? Mitsubishi already had an answer to that – West Midlands Police.
Mitsubishi proudly announced that West Midlands Police were buying the i-Miev to use as community patrol cars. Which, apart from the horrendous price tag (but who cares? It’s only taxpayer money) we can see as ideal for a community patrol car. Perfect for a pair of plastic-plod to wander round their locale dishing out tickets for minor infringements of petty laws.
But what tickled us – considering the i-Miev is the size of a shoebox – was Mitsubishi’s proud proclamation that it was “…the ideal vehicle for urban policing. In addition, with the ability to carry four adult passengers and equipment in comfort, the i MiEV is a versatile community policing vehicle”.
But from impossible claims and fantasy prices Mitsubishi seems to have injected a dose of real-world sense in to the i-Miev. First of all we got an announcement that the price of the i-Miev was being slashed by £10k in an (probably misguided) attempt to compete with the Nissan LEAF. And now it seems that Mitsubishi aren’t entirely sure you can get four British Coppers in an i-Miev.
Or maybe you can get four British Coppers in an i-Miev. But Mitsubishi don’t think you’ll get four Americans in. So the US version of the i-Miev is to be quite a bit bigger – almost 10″ longer, 4.5 inches wider and a smidge taller. Which all seems very sensible. But what they don’t seem to have done is added any more power to accommodate the bigger body. Of the i-Miev and the Americans.
Maybe the Americans will just use the i-Miev as a Floridian Golf Buggy.